Yelavarthy Nayudamma

Yelavarthy Nayudamma (10 September 1922 – 23 June 1985) was a chemical engineer and a scientist killed on Air India Flight 182(Emperor Kanishka bombing).


Nayudamma was born in an agricultural family at Yelavarru village near Tenali (Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh state in India.)

He had his primary education in the village and studied Intermediate in AC College here. Later, he did B.SC (Chemical Technology) at the famous Banaras Hindu University and a course in leather technology at Madras Institute of Leather Technology. He contributed to the initial development of the Central Leather Research Institute at Chennai, India. He was responsible for building the international image of the institute and for establishing close ties with the Indian leather industry.

He was married to Y. Pavana. His children included two sons, including eldest son Ratheish, and one daughter. After Nayudamma’s death, his wife committed suicide.

Honours and positions held

He was awarded many national and international awards and honours, including Padma Shri.

Nayudamma was conferred with the prestigious Raja-Lakshmi Award in the year 1983 from Sri Raja-Lakshmi Foundation, Chennai.

He served as the Director General of CSIR, New Delhi and also as the 4th Vice-Chancellor of the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi from 12 June 1981 to 27 October 1982. He also served on many prestigious national and international committees.

Dr. Y. Nayudamma Memorial Award

Recipients of this prestigious award include T. Ramasami, A. Sivathanu Pillai, Nori Dattatreyuudu, Sam Pitroda, G. Madhavan Nair, Kota Harinarayana, V. K. Aatre, R. Chidambaram, R.A. Mashelkar, J.S. Bajaj, K. Kasturirangan, Verghese Kurien, S.Z. Qasim, M.G. K. Menon and M.S. Swaminathan among others.

The award for 2009 went to eminent defence scientist, Dr. Vijay Kumar Saraswat who was instrumental in the successful launch of the Agni-III missiles for 3 consecutive times.