DR. PINNAMANENI NARASIMHA RAOSri Pinnamaneni Narasimha Rao was born in 1914 in
Neppalli in Krishna District ,in family distinguished for socialservice and nationalism. His father, Sri PinnamaneniPunnaiah Garu, was a highly respected and enlightenedperson, an intense individual who provided pioneeringleadership in the local administrative bodies and banks. Onhis mother, Smt. Varalakshmi's side, his uncles were activelyinvolved in the nationalist movement. No wonder, SriNarasimha Rao inherited, even from his boyhood days, apenchant for social work and dedicated service. Born andbred in an atmosphere of service, altruism and humanism.It was natural that Dr. Narasimha Rao was later in his life todevote his professional career to the cause of humanity anddedicate his gifts of the healer's compassionate art in theservice of the suffering and the needy.
Sri Narasimha, Rao had his elementary education atVijayawada, and then moved to Madras to do his Interme-diate at the Madras Christian College. Sri Narasimha Raojoined the Visakhapatnam Medical College soon after hisIntermediate and graduated in Medicine in 1939.
In 1946, Dr. Narasimha Rao obtained the M.S. Degreeof Andhra University in Otolaryngology, having been the firstto achieve this distinction, which led to his appointment asthe E.N.T. Surgeon at K.G. Hospital, Vizag, and Head ofDepartment of E.N.T. Diseases, Andhra Medical College.This phaseof his careerwas significant in that itsynchronizedwith the development of the E. N.T. Diseases Department asan independent entity not only in Andhra Pradesh but alsoelsewhere in India. In fact, the history of the E. N.T. Diseasesspeciality in the South in particular, and all over the countryin general, is the story of Dr. Narasimha Rao's contributionin that field. The contour of the individual's professional life,thanks to the force of his personality, became the saga ofan institution's growth and evolution in time.
When Dr. Narasimha Rao joiried the Department in1942 , the faculty was still in its infancy, being looked afterby a surgeon , designated as a lecturer in E.N.T. diseasesand assisted by a tutor. Even way back in 1946, when Dr.Narasimha Rao became a lecturer, on the retirement of hismaster, Dr. Tirumala Rao, the subject continued to have alow profile and was not yet deemed worthy of postgraduatespecialization. Thanks to Dr. Narasimha Rao's foresightand initiative, and his zeal and dynamism, the importanceof the subject was soon recognized universally, and stepswere taken to accord it its rightful place as an independentspecialization. The Postgraduate Course in E.N.T. diseaseswas thus started in The Andhra Medical College in 1946.Cr. Narasimha Rao's patience, perseverance and vision
enabled the faculty to grow into a full-fledged discipline notonly in the Andhra Medical College but also in the otherMedical Colleges of the State.
Not merely content with sponsoring and starting this
faculty, Dr. Narasimha Rao went on to give it a credibility andauthenticity by modernizing E.N.T.studies and developingthem on sound lines. Besides his zeal, what contributed tothe growth of this specialization was his academicearnestness and professional excellence. As a teacher, hewas noted for his great erudition and an ideal temperamentcharacterised by sobriety, balance and urbanity. As acreativeand inspiring teacher he employed the artof facile expositionwhich infused ready enthusiasm and aptitude for thesubject among his students many of whom have, yearsafterwards, continued to cherish it in their memories withgratitude and reverence.
He has published more than thirty papers in thisspecialization challenging the scholar-doctors to explorenew postures. He was the first to form the Association ofOtolaryngologists in India along with fourteen Surgeons ofhis fraternity, and then the Andhra branch with its headquarters at Vizag in 1951.
The Medical Council of India, New Delhi has paid afitting tribute to his services, when it met recently. "His workin the Council has subscribed, to a great extent, in clarity ofthought, and enabled the council to formulate its policy onundergraduate and postgraduate medical education. Hehas been an ardent advocate of high standard of academictraining and an upholder of the highest standard of medicalethics in the profession. As an E.N.T. surgeon, he has beenof eminent service to the large number of patients who flockaround him. As a teacher he has rendered yeomans service
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Notable Man in ENTS. Banerjee
and trained a large number of post graduates.If the 40's and the early 50's saw him march ahead in
his profession, as a teacher, researcher, surgeon, counsellorand guide, the late 50's and the early 60's discovered Dr.Narasimha Rao was an administrator,academician andeducationist of exceptional professional ability, intellectualacumen and imaginative leadership. In 1956, he waselected to the Senate of the Andhra University from theGraduate's Constituency by a majority which is yet to besurpassed. From the Senate to the Syndicate was an easyand natural passage for him. During his tenure as a Senatorand a Syndic forthree terms, his guidance and counsel wereof immense help to the successive Vice- Chancellors inshaping the educational policy in general and that of medicalstudies in particular. Andhra Uviversity had the benefit of hisexperience as its Vice-chancellor for a brief term, duringwhich he made a mark in administration. In 1966, he wasappointed as Vice-Chancellor of Osmania University, whichwas a befitting gesture of recognition affirming public faith inhis incomparable gifts of academic distinction, objectivityand civility. The starting of the Postgraduate Centre atGuntur was in no small measure due to Dr. NarasimhaRao's initiative.
He has been an active Lion, having been a CabinetMember of the Lions District for some time. He has beenintimately associated with the Red Cross and the St. John'sAmbulance for many years. Currently, he is the Vice-President of the Indian Council of Social Welfare, GunturBranch.
Even as a student, Dr. Narasimha Rao was a keensportsman, having been an active member of his MedicalCollege Foot-Ball and Athletic teams and as Vice Presidentof the Andhra University Sports Council. His sportsmanship
brought him still closer to the student community in that heencouraged and developed many student activities, bothcurricular and extracurricular. As the Principal of the MedicalCollege, Vizag in 1960, and of that at Guntur in 1964, heexplored new areas of student involvement such as a)Students Health Insurance Scheme, b) Students Guidanceand c) Tutorial System. He was for a long time the Vice-President of the World University Student's Organizationand the patron of the Overseas Students Organization.
Dr. Narasimha Rao has travelled extensively in ourcountry and visited Australia in 1958 as a VisitingProfessor. He retired from Government service in 1968 andsince then has been Professor Emeritus at the GunturMedical College. He has distinguished himself in many afield and in recognition of his talents and service to theworld of science, he has been elected a Fellow of theAmerican College of Surgeons and a Fellow of theInternational College of Surgeons.
Advancing years have not found Dr. Narasimha Raoany less physically active or mentally agile. Even now asProfessor Emeritus, he is liberally dispensing advice andguidance to individuals and institutions that seek his matureviews. Surgeon and Professor, academician andadministrator, socialworkerand humanitarian, Dr. NarasimhaRao is a multifaceted, fully integrated personality whosequiet dynamism, intimate knowledge, initiative, perceptionand imaginative leadership have been of great service tohumanity. The honour conferred on him by the AndhraUniversity in awarding him the Golden Jubilee DoctorateDegree in 1978 and President, Medical Council of Indiain 1994 are the humble token of recognition of a lifetime service and selfless devotion to academic and publiclife.
Compiled by:Santanu Banerjee
IJO & HNS . 238 Vol. 46, No. 4, Oct.Dec. 1994