Lalji Singh

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Lalji Singh
Born (1947-07-05) 5 July 1947 (age 67)
Kalwari, Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
Residence India
Nationality Indian
Fields DNA fingerprinting
Institutions Banaras Hindu University
Padma Shri India
IND Padma Shri BAR.png

Lalji Singh (born July 5, 1947) is an Indian molecular biologist. He currently was the Vice-Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University (BHU),the Chairman of Indian Institute of Technology (BHU) Varanasi [1]and was the director of the centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) before that.[2] His areas of his research interest involves molecular basis of sex determination, DNA fingerprinting, wildlife conservation, silkworm genome analysis, human genome and ancient DNA studies. He was awarded the Padma Shri by Government of India in 2004.[3]


Singh was born on July 5, 1947 at Kalwari, Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh and obtained his B.Sc. degree in 1964. He won the Banaras Hindu Gold Medal for standing first in order of merit in the M.Sc. in Zoology examination of 1966, and was awarded Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) from the University Grants Commission (U.G.C) that year. He went on to receive a Senior Research Fellowship (SRF) from CSIR in 1972. He then went on to earn a Ph.D. degree in 1971 from the Banaras Hindu University for his work on "Evolution of karyotypes in snakes" in the area of Cytogenetics under the guidance of Professor Dr. S.P. Ray Chaudhuri.

From 1970 to 1972, Singh was Research Associate at the Department of Zoology, Banaras Hindu University and later on Pool Officer at the Calcutta University during April–September 1974. He won the two year Commonwealth Fellowship in 1974 to carry out research at the Edinburgh University U.K. He stayed on to work as a Research Associate for two stints (1977–79 and 1979–87) at that university. During a leave from October 1976 to April 1977, he joined Calcutta University (Department of Zoology) as Guest Scientist. From July to September 1979 Singh was invited as Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University, Canberra. He was awarded the Dr. S. P. Basu Memorial Medal of Zoological Society, Calcutta in 1973 for his outstanding contribution to the field of Cytogenetics. In 1974 the Indian National Science Academy decorated him with the Science Academy Medal for Young Scientists.[4]

Work in CCMB[edit]

In June 1987, Singh came back to India and joined the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad as senior scientist.

Singh and his colleagues developed a probe called Bkm-derived probe for DNA fingerprinting which brought CCMB to limelight. Since then this probe is being extensively used for forensic investigation, paternity determination and seed stock verification. For the first time DNA fingerprinting evidence was presented in the court of law in India. The Kerala High Court upheld the verdict and since then this indigenous technique has been used as evidence in more than 300 cases including the assassination of the late Prime Minister of India Shri Rajiv Gandhi. This fetched him and his group the CSIR Technology Award for the year 1992 for biological sciences. The direct result of this work was the formation of an autonomous institution, Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) in 1995.

In 1998 he was appointed the Director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad. He was awarded for Dr.Nayudamma for the year of 2012, which will be presented to him by Nadendla Manohar speaker of Andhra Pradesh Assembly on Feb 16th at Tenali, Guntur District, AP

At present, Dr Lalji Singh is the Bhatnagar Fellow (CSIR) at CCMB, Hyderabad since August 2009. In August 2011, Dr. Lalji Singh appointed as 25th Vice-Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University (BHU). BHU VC

He founded Genome Foundation in May 2004, to do research and support to people suffering from genetic disorders in India. Millions suffer from inherited genetic diseases and the one-sixth of the world’s population living in India has never been systematically studied for the prevalence of these diseases. The fact that most of the genetic disorders found in rural India are novel in nature and have not been recorded till date, makes the task of diagnosing these disorders challenging. The Genome Foundation strives to meet the urgent need to take authentic and affordable genetic diagnostic services to the rural population in the country.The foundation is an Indian non-profit organisation set up with the aim of diagnosing and treating genetic disorders affecting the Indian population, in particular the under privileged residing in rural India. The foundation has on its board of directors renowned individuals like Dr K Kasturirangan (former chairman ISRO), Dr C Rangarajan (Chairman of the Indian Prime Ministers Economic Advisory Council), Dr P M Bhargava (former and founder Director CCMB - Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad) and Dr Lalji Singh (former Director CCMB and former Vice Chancellor of Benaras Hindu University, Varanasi).

Except these things Dr singh has given a golden opportunity to the people from Jaunpur. Instead of going directly to BHU they can go to Rahul Mahavidyalaya Kalwari if they feel any serious problem regarding their health, because Doctors from BHU use to come every sunday at this vidyalaya to treat the people. To the some extend we can say that patients get same facility here as they get in BHU because of Dr. Singh only.[5]