Prof. Rai joined the department as a Reader in 1984 from Hyderabad University where he was serving as a Lecturer. He became Professor in 1987. Earlier he did his Ph.D. (1977-1980) and post-doctoral at University of Dundee, UK (1980-83). His extensive research at doctoral and post-doctoral levels had already established him as an international authority in the field of N2-fixation and related metabolism. He has continued and developed the field at the department making a place for his group at international level. He had active research collaborations with Uppsala and Stockholm Universities for over two decades. He has been a Visiting Professor at Uppsala and Stockholm Universities, Sweden for varying period between 1985 and 2002. Prof. Rai has been Head of the Department (1986-89; 1990-93; 2003-2005) and the Dean of School of Life Sciences (1999-2002). As a Visitor’s nominee to various Central Universities, as member of various committees at national level, as Vice Chancellor of Mizoram University and NEHU, as Director NAAC and as member of Scientific Advisory Committee to the cabinet and central Advisory Board on Education, Prof Rai has made significant contributions. He was elected Fellow of Linnean Society London and member Institute of Biology London in 1982. He is recipient of young scientist Award (Biotechnology 1996) and Honorary D.Sc. (Rani Durgavati University). He has delivered 16 convocation Addresses.
With over 36 years of post-doctoral teaching/research experience, Prof. Rai has supervised 5 Ph.D. theses. His main research interest is in microbial biochemistry (Plant–microbe interactions/cyanobacterial physiology & biochemistry). Prof. Rai has (99 publications: 4 books, 32 book chapters, 62 research papers and 1 technical report). He has served on the editorial board and has been referee for many journals and funding agencies. He has >2200 citations.
Research grants: Prof. Rai has completed research projects funded by different national and international agencies: INSA-1 (1984-87), DST-2 (1989-1992 and 2004-2007) SAREC-SIDA, Sweden-3 (1986-89; 1990-93; 1998-2001), ICAR-1 (2006-11), DBT-1 (2007-10).
He was Head of the UGC Delegation of Indian Vice-Chancellor that visited New Zealand Universities (2012). He is recipient of Amity Academic Excellence Award (2007) and ABP News Award for outstanding contribution to Education (2012).
Area of Interest/Specialization: Plant-Microbe Interactions, Cyanobacteria
Experience: 36 yrs Teaching / 39 yrs Research
PhD Awarded/Supervised: 5 PhDs Awarded
Administrative responsibilities undertaken:
Academic affiliations: North-Eastern Hill University