Prof. Rameshwar Prasad Misra
Prof. Rameshwar Prasad Misra (Prof. R P Mishra) was born in a non-descript village Hanumanpur in Pure Chattu Gram Panchayat of Pratapgarh district, Uttar Pradesh. Following completion of his bachelor and master degree from Allahabad University, he worked as an Assistant in Lok Sabha Secretariat, New Delhi for three years after that joined Field Officer in National Atlas Organization, Ministry of Scientific Research and Cultural Affairs, Calcutta. While posted in Dehradun, he attended the evening classes of DAV Post-graduate College affiliated to Agra University, and earned his MA degree in Economics.
He was granted Research Assistantship of the University of Maryland, College Park, Md. USA and Fulbright Travel Grand of the US Educational Foundation, New Delhi (USEFI) to do his Ph. D. He joined Maryland University, USA the topic of his research was: Agricultural Development in Traditional Societies: Case Study of Amish Farmers of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA.
On return from USA, Prof. Mishra was offered the post of Reader (Associate Professor) and Head of Department of Post-Graduate Studies and Research in Geography, Mysore University, Mysore University. His academic and administrative performance was so good, that he was promoted a s Professor and Head of Department. Under his leadership, the Department of Geography of Mysore University became a leading department of Geography in South India.
Prof. Misra went beyond the field of Geography and launched an interdisciplinary Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in 1972 with a sumptuous grant from Ford Foundation, New Delhi. By 1976, IDS became a link between the people, government and the university through a series of training and applied research programs including the one for newly recruited IAS officers of India.
In recognition of his work at Mysore University in the field of development planning, the UNDP, Teheran, Iran invited him as a Consultant Advisor to help revamp the urban and rural development policies and programs in Iran. It is here that he developed his well-known Growth Center Theory of integrated rural-urban development, which now being used in urban and regional development planning all over the world, Metropolitan approaches to rural transformation is his other major contribution to development theory. In 1974, he was invited by the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), Geneva to promote research on Development Planning. His work in the field of Planning and Development became so well-known that he was invited as visiting professor by Boston and Pittsburgh universities in the USA and as number of countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America as UN advisor, expert and consultant.
Prof. Mishra worked as Vice-Director, United Nations Center for Regional Development (UNCRD), Nagoya Japan for about five years. In 1984, returned to India and joined Allahabad University as Vice-Chancellor on January,1984.Well-known for honesty, sincerity, dynamism and innovativeness, he put the University on sound footings, academically, administratively and financially within the three years at his disposal. He has been Founder Vice-Chancellor of a number of new departments (Earth Sciences (Geology); Anthropology; Sociology; Fine Arts; Mass Communication; Computer Science; Environmental Studies; and Gandhian Studies and Peace Research) at Allahabad University.
Prof. Mishra joined Delhi University in 1987 as Professor of Regional Planning (Department of Geography). While in Delhi University, he concurrently held the post of Director and later Chairman of the Center for Gandhian Studies and Peace Research, DU.
Prof. Mishra is a recipient of Scholarly Achievement Award by the Institute of Oriental Philosophy, Tokyo; Bhoogol Ratna award (the highest award in the field of Geography); Life-time Achievement award by the Commonwealth Human Ecology Council for distinguished service in the field of Human Ecology; the first and prestigious National Mahatma Gandhi Fellowship by Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti; and Five volumes of Festschrift in honor of Prof. Misra under the title Regional Development: Theory and Practice were released at Mysore in 2016.
Prof. Mishra has authored/edited over 80 volumes on Gandhian Thought, Social Geography, Regional Development, Urbanization, and Rural Development. To sum up, Professor Mishra is a distinguished Earth Scientist, Economic, Social Planner, Development Specialist, Educational Administrator & Institution builder, Gandhian scholar, Social Worker and Peace Activist.
After his retirement from the DU, he devoted his time to promote Gandhian Studies and Peace Research through Gandhi Smriti & Darshan Samiti, and Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), both located in New Delhi.