Prof C N R Rao has done a Tendulkar in research in another common link besides the Bharat Ratna bestowed on the eminent scientist and cricket icon on Saturday.
That 40-year-old Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, the youngest Bharat Ratna awardee, is the only batsman to score 100 international centuries is a widely known fact.
But it is also a fact that Prof Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao(89), also known as C N R Rao, became the first Indian in April this year to reach the h-index of 100, reflecting the enormity of the body of his published research work.
Translating the feat into common man's parlance, scientists say Rao's achievement is equivalent to Tendulkar scoring 100 international centuries.
Rao, who serves as the head of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India, has published more than 1,500 research papers in his career spanning over five decades. He is also one of the few scientists in the world who is a member of all major scientific academies in the world.
The h-index was first described in 2005 by physicist Jorge Hirsch. A scientist's h-index is the greatest number of papers he or she has published that have each amassed at least that many citations.
A section of the global scientific community though saysh-index in itself may not be enough to rate a scientist and one also has to look into the total number of citations along with it to rate a scientist.
Prof Rao, incidentally, is the only Indian scientist and among a handful in the world with close to 50,000 citations, which puts him in the league of the biggies of science.
Indian scientists familiar with the h-index and Dr Rao's works say most scientists with high h-index numbers are career researchers, unlike Prof Rao who has been involved in various other activities along with research.
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (Posthumous), Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhai Tata and Satyajit Ray got the award in 1992.
Gulzarilal Nanda, Aruna Asaf Ali (Posthumous) and Dr A P J Abdul Kalam in 1997, Madurai Sanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi and Chidambaram Subramniam in 1998, Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan (Posthumous), Professor Amartya Sen, Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi (Posthumous) and Pandit Ravi Shankar in 1999, Lata Dinanath Mangeshkar and Ustad Bismillah Khan in 2001.
According to the 'Bharat Ratna' award notification the "recommendations for Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister himself to the President. No formal recommendations for this are necessary."
"The number of annual awards is restricted to a maximumof three in a particular year. On conferment of the award, the recipient receives a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a medallion. The award does not carry any monetary grant," it said.