Bangalore: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah Saturday congratulated scientist C.N.R. Rao for becoming the latest recipient of the nation's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna.
"Both (batting maestro) Sachin Tendulkar and Rao are truly Bharat Ratnas. It is an award for our state as well as the country," Siddaramaiah said in a statement here.
He said Rao and Tendulkar richly deserved the country's highest civilian award.
As an expert in chemistry, Rao has got more doctorates than any Indian scientist, he said.
"It is a proud moment for all of us, as Rao is the third Kannadiga to be honoured with the Bharat Ratna by the central government," Siddaramaiah said.
The other two Kannadigas awarded with the Bharat Ratna were M. Visveshwaraiah in 1955 and Hindustani vocalist maestro Bhimsen Joshi in 2008.
Rao is also the third Indian scientist to be honoured with the Bharat Ratna after Nobel Laureate C.V. Raman in 1954 and former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in 1997.
Meanwhile, celebrations broke out in the premier Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in the city centre as news broke out that Rao has been conferred with the highest award.
"It's a great honour for Dr. Rao and our institute, as he was our director for over a decade and has been exhorting us to devote more time and energy in pure science and its research," said N. Balakrishnan, a professor at IISc.
India's space agency's former chairman U.R. Rao said it was a proud moment for Indian science and a great recognition for the amount of research C.N.R. Rao did in chemistry.
"It is a well-deserving award for Rao, who did a lot of work in basic science, especially in chemistry and published over 1,500 research papers in the subject," Rao added.