There are very few people in this world who need introduction in their respective fields and profession. Talking as an Indian , I am talking about Dr. Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad Jr. who has made india proud in the scientific world and has strengthened the fact that the great legacies are being and can be carried in Modern India.A Nobel laureate feels pity about him as he is leading a life of a recluse and whose services are not being tapped in India.His suggestions can be used to convert a developing India in the field of Medicine into a more better place.
Dr. Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad is the great grandson of First president of India , Dr. Rajendra Prasad of whom Dr. Ashoka J Prasad never took advantage. His father’s name was Mr. Jahnavi Prasad who was a distinguished Judge in Uttar Pradesh Government and his mother’s name is Mrs. Usha Prasad. His forefathers were important ‘ Jamindars ‘ (Land Owners) of Gorakhpur .His forefathers’s home is now about 300 years old and the family is one of the oldest family in Gorakhpur .The nine generations including Dr. Ashoka J Prasad Jr. was of Lawyers. He was born on 10th May 1955 in Patna ( Capital of Bihar , India ).He has one brother , Mr. Harsh Prasad who is younger to him. Dr. Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad didn’t got married and remained single and on asking why then he answered that he never thought of marriage.He has an extraordinary natural gift to remember the things which he reads or discusses with other people and what he perceives from the surroundings.A simple man with interests in literary subjects.He is a man who worked for intellectual and professional fulfillment to contribute for the Medical Science and the Society.He is also a social worker having concerns for the society.He observes and does the analysis everyday.On asking who he admires the most, he answered that there are many and he regards them as human beings who imbibe and enhance your knowledge when you read about them and you also learn from them.
Dr. Ashoka J Prasad Jr. was sent in hostel from Standard I during schooling.In 1961,he joined St. Xaviers School , Delhi in Standard I.From standard III to XII he studied at ultra elite Colvin Taluqdars School , Lucknow.In 1972,he joined M.B.B.S at Kanpur University .In 1973 he lost his father as his father died when he was in the second year of his Bachelors degree in Medicine and Surgery. In 1977 , he specialized in Pediatrics in Ireland and began his career as a Neonatologist and after this he specialized in Pshychiatry in Edinburgh .In 1984 he went to Cambridge to study Plato .In 1985 he studied Aviation Medicine in London and in 1986 he stayed in London to study Medical Anthropology .
His academic distinctions are as below:
1. M.B.B.S ( Kanpur University , 1976 )
2. Specialization in Pediatrics ( Ireland , 1977 )
3. Ph.D ( Beliard College , Oxford , 1980)
4. M.R.C. Psych. ( London 1983 )
5. F.R.C.P ( Glasgow , 1984)
6. D.Phil ( Oxford 1985 )
7. D.Sc ( St. Andrews Scotland Open University 1985 )
8. F.R.C.P ( Ireland , 1985 )
9. L.L.M ( Harvard ,1987 )
10. Bar – at – law ( Lincolus Inn. , London 1989 )
11. M.A ( Anthropology , Columbia 1989 )
12. Ph.D ( Cambridge ,1993 )
13. F.R. His. S ( London 1995 )
14. F.R.G.S ( London 1995 )
15. F.R.A.I ( London 1995 )
16. C. Biol ., F.I Biol ( London 1997 )
17. C.Math F.I.M.A ( London , 1997 )
18. Honourary Doctorate , Natal ( South Africa , 2000 )
19. F.R.C.Path ( London 2000 )
Elected Academician , Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences , 1990
Board Certified ( US ) in Clinical Genetics , 1996
Fellow Honourary Member , American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Former Board Member and contributing Author, Indian Institute of Advanced Study , Shimla
Dr. Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad Jr. has served as Professor at:
1. Dalhousie University , Halifax , Nova Scotia, Canada , 1987
2. Columbia University , New York , 1989
3. University Of British Columbia , Vancouver in 1990
4. University of Pennsylvania , Philedelphia in 1992
5. Drexel University , Philadelphia , Pennsylvania.
Dr. Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad Jr. served as Visiting Professor at:
1. Harvard University , Cambridge, Massachusetts
2. Yale University , New Haven, Connecticut
3. Cambridge University , Cambridge, England
4. University of Zurich , Switzerland
5. Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
6. Weyburn (Canada)
He performed Short term Consultancies at:
2. As Special Expert , Ministry of Health , Mahe , Seychelles
He held many positions as a full professor in reputed and oldest universities of the west.On not getting the professional fulfillment he left most of the jobs related to research and teaching but some of the work he had done is considered as pioneering research in the medical science world. Sir Arvid Carlsson who received Nobel Prize in year 2000 said about Dr. Ashok Prasad Jr. that he couldn’t have received the honour if Dr. Prasad wouldn’t have done the pioneering research and it is a matter to feel pity that he is leading a life of a recluse.Dr. Prasad was given honour of Padmashree (High recognition Award in India ) in 2003 for his contributions to Medicine but it is not known that whether he accepted the honour or returned it.He has about 260 Publications in International Academic Journals.
Dr. Ashoka J Prasad Jr. ‘s name comes in the list of a book entitled " Top 1000 Scientists from the beginning of Time to 2000 A.D. " edited by Philip Barkar , has been published by Book Guild Ltd. , Sussex , England. The names in the book have been voted by Eighty Universities world wide.Only nine Indian Scientists are included in the book of whom only Hargovind Khorana ( A Noble Laureate ) and Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad Jr. are alive. Dr. Abdus Salaam a noble Laureate met him once and remarked for establishing it was still possible to be a polymath in the twentieth century.Sir Derek Barton , described him as a ‘perfect example of Twentieth century Genius’. Dr. Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad Jr. is a behavioural scientist primarily known for his work on sodium valproate as an alternative to lithium in the treatment of bipolar disorder, and his book, Biological Basis and Therapy of Neuroses, in which he expounded on the biological origins of neuroses.
Excerpt from the book " Top 1000 Scientists from the beginning of Time to 2000 A.D. " is as below: Johnubiprasad , Ashoka (1955- ) " Indian polymath , who used a shortened form of his surname for publications ,born in Patna ,India,son of a meritorious judge in a highly distinguished family ;his great grandfather was one of the the Fathers of the Indian Constitution and later First president of the Indian Republic and his great uncle led the revolt resulting in the downfall of Mrs. Indira Gandhi ‘s dictatorship in the mid 1970s.He was educated at the ultra elite Kolvin School in Lucknow where he had a distinguished academic record despite dyslexia and later at the Cawnpore University , Edinburgh , Leeds and London. Abdus Salam , after his only meeting with him , remarked that he would be best remembered for ‘establishing it was still possible to be a polymath in the twentieth century’.Sir Derek Barton , described him as a ‘perfect example of twentieth century genius’.By the time he was 35 , he had earned top accolades in medicine , paediatrics , geography , pathology , clinical genetics , psychiatry , surgery , public health , history , anthropology , biology , mathematics and qualifications in aviation medicine.He rose to hold full professorships in several centers and an adjunct full professor of medical anthropology at Columbia University, New york .His major contribution was establishing a link between GABA , Valproate and mania which led to a safer alternative to toxic lithium.He also has a syndrome named after him which links Hashimoto ‘s with mania.His lectures on ‘Philosophical Bankruptcy in Modern day Science’ in New York and Philedelphia won wide acclaim .He steadfastly refused any honour and maintained a low profile.Several disputes with colleagues led to retirement to his home town where he is leading the life of a recluse. "
When Sir Ernst Boris Chain (June 19, 1906 – August 12, 1979) (a German – born British biochemist, and a 1945 co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his work on penicillin.) was hospitalised for the last time in Castlebar, County Mayo, he reportedly was very impressed with the dedication of the recently qualified doctor who was attending him and said "Future of medicine is safe in your hands". His words seemed prophetic – the doctor in question was Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad.
He has a very good memory. He is a vegetarian now and only takes eggs and milk in breakfast.He doesn’t like adulteration in edible products and freshness of vegetables at his native place Gorakhpur . In the Lunch he prefers the normal Indian food , roti , dal , sabji , and rice. He likes Chinese vegetarian food ,South Indian , Mexican . He has left non-vegetarian food since 25 years.In the dinner he takes Vegetable soup and Paratha with cooked vegetables. His favourite dressing is Indian dress Kurta-Pyajama and generally wears casual dress.Occasionally he wears a Suit. His hobbies includes reading , light classical music ,ghazals and collecting recipie books. He admires Talat Mehmood , Begham Akhtar , Kaifi Azmi . The sons of the famous Indian poet Jaan Nizah Akhtar ‘s sons Javed Akhtar and Salman Akhtar were his schoolmates.He used to attend the Mushayaras and get together. He used to also admire Anand Narain Mullah . He had interests in sports like Cricket , Badminton , Tennis and Squash. He is 5 ft 11 inchess tall ,a handsome personality and daily walks 10 kilometeres and a health conscious person. He is leading a peaceful life with his mother Smt. Usha Prasad. He spends most of the time in reading . Also he practices free for public in Gorakhpur where he visits "Harijans Basti" on regular basis.
For his Images , visit http://www.timespiders.co.in/ajp
Information collected and compiled by Abhinav Shankar, http://www.TimeSpiders.co.in