s o m d e v a . o r g




Research Papers

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Herbarium Somdeva
Vijaya Sharma
Dr. Gopal Singh Rawat
Dr. Anil K. Goel
Dr. Sachin Biswas
Dr. S. K. Upadhyaya
Arun Gupta
Dr. Wazahat Husain
Madhulika Choudhry
Dr. Govind. S. Rajwar
Dr. Ravindra Chibbar
Dr. Mahesh Bhandari
Surgeon Commodore (Retd.) Dr. A. K. Verma
Dr. M. A. Rau
Sandeep Puran Singh
Pradeep Sharma


Professor Som Deva – Exceptional Teacher and Visionary
Dr. Ravindra Chibbar

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 I am very fortunate that Professor Som Deva was my teacher in the formative years of my academic career.  I first met Professor Som Deva when in 1969, I joined DAV (PG) College, Dehra Dun.  He had a very impressive personality and his extensive knowledge about taxonomy was always intimidating to new students.  But as one got to know him in and outside the class room, some times the class room was in the Mohand Forest, one realized how extra-ordinary teacher he was and how fortunate, I was that I got to work in a M.Sc. thesis project under his supervision.  Professor Som Deva was a teacher who worked very hard with his students and also expected the students to work equally hard.  It was the work ethics which he built in me and it still persists to-day, which has carried me through my professional career over the last thirty-five years.  I still vividly remember, when I completed my M.Sc. degree with a thesis (Flora of Royle’s Portus Kheere) under his supervision, his first piece of advice was to go to a larger centre than Dehra Dun and explore the wide world of academics.  I was very keen to complete a Ph.D. under his supervision, but his firm advice was that I should go and study plant physiology and biochemistry in a larger university. He always had the student’s interest in his mind.  I am one of the rare and fortunate students, who has a single author publication as his first research paper.  Thank you Professor Som Deva!  It is his advice and guidance which took me where I am today.  Whenever, I went to Dehra Dun, , I always made a point to visit with him and we discussed a wide range of topics from Himalayan botany to genetically modified crops. The last discussion, I had with him a few years ago, was about the cutting edge science of biotechnology. I was amazed that a person interested in Himalayan botany, was so knowledgeable in biotechnology, that one can have such a stimulating and engaging discussion with him in agricultural biotechnology. His unique perspective as an outsider to the area brought out points that we as biotechnology practitioners never even thought about.


His views were always very balanced and even at this stage after discussing with him, I would come home with something new. Professor Som Deva was an epic among teachers, and I was so disappointed and extremely sad when during my recent trip (February 2005) I learnt that he had suddenly passed away in January. I went to his house which is like a temple to me, I missed his presence, met his beloved wife Mrs Som Deva and some of his friends. We reminisced about our Professor, we discussed, but I came home with the feeling that some thing was not lacking on this trip. His vivid smile, discussions and advice now I will always miss in my life.

Ravindra Chibbar, Ph.D.
Professor & Canada Research Chair
Crop Quality (Molecular Biology and Genetics)
Department of Plant sciences
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, SK S7N 5A8