Dr. Ottaplakkal Neelakandan Velu Kurup, popularly known as O. N. V. Kurup or and endearingly O. N. V. was a Malayalam poet and lyricist from Kerala, who won the Jnanpith Award, the highest literary award in India for the year 2007. He received the awards Padma Shri in 1998 and Padma Vibhushan in 2011, the fourth and second highest civilian honours from the Government of India. In 2007 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by University of Trivandrum. O. N. V. was known for his leftist leaning. He was a leader of All India Students Federation, he died on 13 February 2016 at KIMS hospital in Thiruvananthapuram due to age-related illnesses, aged 84. O. N. V Kurup was born to O. N. Krishna Kurup and K. Lakshmikutty Amma, on 27 May 1931 at Chavara, Kollam in Kerala, he lost his father. His childhood days were spent in Chavara. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in Economics from SN College, Kollam, he moved to Thiruvananthapuram city where he joined Travancore University and pursued Master of Arts in Malayalam literature.
O. N. V. was a lecturer at Maharajas College – Ernakulam, University College – Trivandrum and Science College – Kozhikode, Brennen College – Thalassery. He joined Government Women's College – Trivandrum as the Head of Malayalam Department, he was a visiting professor at Calicut University. He retired from service in 1986, he received the Jnanpith Award, India's highest literary award, for the year 2007. He was the fifth Jnanpith laureate from Kerala and the second Malayalam poet to win the prestigious award. According to a statement by Bharatiya Jnanpith, the trust which presents the award, Kurup began his career as a "progressive writer and matured into a humanist though he never gave up his commitment to socialist ideology", he was settled at Vazhuthacaud in Thiruvananthapuram, with his wife Sarojini, his student in his early days. His son Rajeev works with the Indian Railways Authority, daughter Dr. Mayadevi is a noted gynaecologist in Aster Medicity, Cochin. Malayalam playback singer Aparna Rajeev is his granddaughter.
O. N. V.'s first published poem was'Munnottu' which appeared in a local weekly in 1946. His first poetry collection, Porutunna Soundaryam, came out in 1949, he published a book named Daahikunna Paanapaathram, a collection of his early poems during 1946–1956. *Collection of 1500 songs. **Poems for children In addition to the valuable contributions he had given to the Malayalam literature, he was one of the leading lyricists in Malayalam film/drama/album industry. He was the part of many dramas by Kerala People's Arts Club which has a major remark in the revolutionary movements of Kerala. Kalam Marunnu was his first film, the first film by the famous Malayalam composer G. Devarajan. Since he has been active in film until date and was honoured with one national award and fourteen state awards, he has penned about numerous songs for plays and albums. His partnerships with Salil Chowdhury and M. B. Sreenivasan were so popular in Malayalam film industry, he has made many hit songs with popular music directors, including G. Devarajan, Raveendran, V. Dakshinamoorthy, M. S. Baburaj, M. K. Arjunan, K. Raghavan, Johnson, Bombay Ravi, Mohan Sithara, M. G. Radhakrishnan, S. P. Venkatesh, Vidhyadharan and M. Jayachandran.
2011 – Padma Vibhushan 2007 – Honorary Doctorate by University of Kerala 1998 – Padma Shri O. N. V. has won numerous awards for his literary works. 2015 – Medal of Pushkin 2011 – Kamala Surayya Award for Dinantham 2011 – Thoppil Bhasi Award 2010 – COSINE Award 2009 – Ramashramam Trust Award 2007 – Ezhuthachan Award 2007 – Jnanpith Award for his overall contributions to Malayalam literature 2006 – Vallathol Award 2003 – Bahrain Keraleeya Samajam Sahitya Award 2002 – P. Kunhiraman Nair Award for Ee Purathana Kinnaram 1993 – Aasan Prize 1990 – Odakkuzhal Award for Mrigaya 1982 – Vayalar Award for Uppu *1979-Pandalam Keralavarma Janmasathabdi Smaraka Award 1981 – Soviet Land Nehru Award for Uppu< 1975 - Kendra Sahitya Academy Award for Aksharam 1971 - Kerala Sahitya Academy Award for Agni Salabhangal National Film Awards1989 - Best Lyricist – VaishaliKerala State Film Awards ONV won the Kerala State Film Award for the Best Lyricist fourteen times: 2016 – Best Lyricist 2008 – Best Lyricist 1990 – Best Lyricist 1989 – Best Lyricist 1988 – Best Lyricist 1987 – Best Lyricist 1986 – Best Lyricist 1984 – Best Lyricist 1983 – Best Lyricist 1980 – Best Lyricist 1979 – Best Lyricist 1977 – Best Lyricist 1976 – Best Lyricist 1973 – Best Lyricist Filmfare Awards2009 – Best Lyricist Award – Pazhassi Raja 2011 – Best Lyricist Award – Paattil Ee Pattil – Asianet Film Awards2001 – Best Lyricist Award -Meghamalhar 2002 – Best Lyricist Award -Ente Hridayatinte Udama Kurup served and headed various office of state and central government organisations.
Dr Ved Prakash Kamboj, FNASc. FNA is the president of the National Science Academy of India and ex-director, CDRI and CSIR Emeritus Scientist, Central Drug Research Institute. Ved Prakash was born in a Punjabi family of Lamba Pind village, Jullundur, in the Punjab Province of British India, on 1 April 1937, he received his basic education from Jullundur city. He obtained his B. Sc in 1959, M. Sc. in 1960, Ph. D. in 1965 and D. Sc. in 1970, all from Punjab University, Chandigarh. He took advanced training in Reproductive Biology and Contraceptive Technology in 1975 in West Germany, his field of specialisation being Reproductive Biology, Fertility Regulation and Endocrinology. After graduation in 1960, Kamboj joined the Division of Endocrinology, Central Drug Research Institute, Uttar Pradesh, India, in 1961 as a research scientist where he became the Head of the Department of Endocrinology, which position he held until 1981. In 1981, Kamboj was appointed the Deputy Director, Division of Endocrinology of the Central Drug Research Institute which position he held till 1992.
In 1992, he took over as Director, Central Drug Research Institute and continued till 1997. From 2005 till 2006, he was the President of the National Academy of India. Kamboj has been the Chairman of Review Committee on Genetic Manupulation 2007 and INSA Honorary Scientist 2006, he was the Chairman of Biotech Consortium India Limited Proteomics for drug discovery 2003. In 1989, Kamboj was elected a Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy, he has been Administrative Member, Indian National Science Academy Council in 1998, 1999, 2007 and 2008–2010 and Member, Indian National Science Academy Sec. Committee, 1991-192, 2003–2005, 2004–2006, 2007. Kamboj has won many distinctions and awards including Ranbaxy Research award 1992 in Medical Sciences. On 12 January 2000, he was awarded the Vigyan Gaurav Award the Council of Science & Technology, a division of the Government of Uttar Pradesh, for his contributions to medicine. Kamboj holds honours like F. N. A. Sc. and F. N. A.. Kamboj has authored or co-authored over 300 research papers and articles appearing in Indian and international journals.
He has been instrumental in the development of a nonsteroidal once-a-week contraceptive pill, ormeloxifene. He is the editor/author of several books including Chemistry and Biology of Herbal Medicine, the proceeding of the conference held in January 1997 at CDRI, Lucknow. Recent articles scholarly articles for Dr Kamboj V. P CDRI Director 1992-1997: The National Academy of Sciences, India - Benefactors: Welcome to Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India: Indian Institute of Technology Bombay