Birth and FamilyAtta-ur-Rahman was born on 22 September 1942 in Delhi, British India ( India) into an Urdu-speaking academic family. His grandfather, Sir Abdur Rahman, was a vice-chancellor of the University of Delhi (1934–38) who briefly served as a judge at the Madras High Court. In 1946, Sir Abdur Rahman was appointed as vice-chancellor of the Punjab University in Lahore, eventually relocating his family there, a year before the Partition of India took place. Sir Abdur Rahman eventually ascended as a Senior Justice at the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 1949. His father, Jamil-ur-Rahman, was a lawyer who established a textile industry in Karachi, Sindh.
EducationAtta-ur-Rahman was a bright student at school.
- After settling in Karachi in 1952, he excelled in passing the competitive O-Level and A-Level from the Karachi Grammar School and joined Karachi University.
- Attending Karachi University in 1960, Rahman graduated with a bachelor's degree (with honors) in Chemistry in 1964, with degree concentration in natural products.
- He obtained a Master of Science (MSc) in organic chemistry in 1965, and earned a Commonwealth Scholarship for doctoral studies in the United Kingdom.
- He joined King's College of the Cambridge University and resumed research in natural products under J. Harlon-Mason.
- In 1968, Rahman received his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Organic chemistry; his doctoral thesis contained fundamental work on natural products and organic materials.
- In 1987, Cambridge University also conferred him with the Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) for his contribution for the advancement of the chemical sciences.
- In 2007, the Coventry University bestowed him with the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in recognition of his services to help improve science education in Pakistan.
- Sc.D. from Cambridge University (1987)
- DSc. from Sir Syed University (2003)
- DSc. from Gomal University (2004)
- Sc.D. from Karachi University (2005)
- Ed.D. from Coventry University (2007)
- Sc.D. from Bradford University (2010)
- DSc. from Asian Institute of Technology (2010)
- DSc. from Universiti Teknologi (2011)
- In 1964, Rahman joined the Karachi University as a lecturer in undergraduate chemistry. He remained associated with the Cambridge University between 1969–73, and is presently honorary Life Fellow at the King's College of the Cambridge University .
- In 1977, he became the deputy director of the Hussain Ebrahim Jamal Research Institute of Chemistry at University of Karachi; eventually he was ascended as the Director in 1990.
- In 1979, Rahman did the post-doctoral research at the University of Tübingen. Upon returning to Pakistan, he joined Karachi University where he lectures and taught chemistry. He was appointed Professor Emeritus at University of Karachi for life.
- In 2008, Rahman was appointed as Patron-in-Chief of the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS).
- In 2011, Rahman was made emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of Karachi. With more than 1052 international publications, including 210 books and 37 international patents, he has the distinction of being the only scientist to be elected Fellow of Royal Society (London) in 2006 in recognition of research contributions carried out within a country in the Islamic world.
- He is also the only scientist from the Muslim world to have been awarded the UNESCO Science Prize (1999). He was awarded an Honorary Life Fellowship by King's College, University of Cambridge in 2007, an honorary Doctorate of Science by Cambridge University 1987, a Doctorate of Education by Coventry University in 2007, a Doctorate of Science by Bradford University in 2010, a Doctor of Philosophy by Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand in 2010 and honorary Doctor of Scıence by University of Technology MARA.
- Malaysıa. A number of other universities have also granted honorary doctorate degrees to Atta-ur-Rahman including Coventry University, Bradford University, University of Karachi, Sir Syed University and Gomal University.
- He was given the International Cooperation Award, the highest award of the Chinese Academy of Sciences for Institution Building, on 10 January 2014.
- Rahman was also conferred the highest national award of China, the Friendship Award, at a ceremony held on 29 September 2014 in Beijing, in recognition for his developing a large number of collaborative programs with China.
- Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman was elected as an "Academician" (Foreign member) of Chinese Academy of Sciences, thereby becoming the first scientist from the Muslim World to be so honoured.
- German academic, Dr. Wolfgang Voelter of Tübingen University in Germany over viewed the performance of HEC under the leadership of Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman and described the reforms in HEC as "A miracle happened." After teaching and visiting in 15 universities of Pakistan, Voelter wrote that the "scenario of education, science and technology in Pakistan has changed dramatically, as never before in the history of the country.
- The chairperson of the Senate Standing Committee on Education recently announced the first 6 years of HEC under Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman as "Pakistan's golden period in higher education".
- Thomson Reuters in an independent assessment of Pakistan's progress in international publications has acknowledged that in the last decade there has been a fourfold increase in international publications and a tenfold growth in highly cited papers, statistics that were better than the BRIC countries
- American academic Prof. Fred M. Hayward has also praised the reform process undertaken by Pakistan, admitting that "since 2002, a number of extraordinary changes have taken place." Hayward pointed our that "over the last six years almost 4,000 scholars have participated in PhD programs in Pakistan in which more than 600 students have studied in foreign PhD programs."
- The UNCSTD has closely monitored the development in Pakistan in the past years, coming to the unanimous conclusion that HEC's program initiated under the leadership of Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman is a "best-practice" example for developing countries aiming at building their human resources and establishing an innovative, technology-based economy.".
- A number of institutions have been named after Prof. Rahman including the “Atta-ur-Rahman Institute of Natural Product Discovery” (RIND) at Malaysia’s largest university, Universiti Teknologi Mara and the Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences at National University of Science & Technology in Islamabad .
- Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman has won four international awards for the revolutionary changes in the higher education sector brought in the HEC. The Austrian government conferred its highest civil award (“Grosse Goldene Ehrenzeischen am Bande") in recognition of his eminent contributions.
- Nature, a leading science journal, has also written a number of editorials and articles about the transformation brought about in Pakistan in the higher education sector under the HEC. In an article entitled "Pakistan Threat to Indian Science" published in the leading daily newspaper Hindustan Times, India, it has been reported that Prof. C. N. R. Rao, Chairman of the Indian Prime Minister's Scientific Advisory Council made a presentation to the Indian Prime Minister at the rapid progress made by Pakistan in the higher education sector under the leadership of Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman
- Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman was conferred the highest national Award of the Republic of China in September 2014 for his contributions to develop strong linkages between Pakistan and China in various fields of higher education, science and technology.
- In 2016 he was elected as Academiciann (Foreign Member) of Chinese Academy of Sciences, thereby becoming the first scientist from the Islamic world to be bestowed this honour .
HAARP ResearchIn 2010, Atta ur-Rahman published his views that the United States government had financed a science research project, the HAARP program, in Alaska that could affect the weather. Since 2003, Rahman quoted the European Union resolution condemning USA for research on altering weather patterns through HAARP as well as the 12 international patents obtained in the field by the US supported HAARP initiative in Alaska .
- Fellow, Kings College, Cambridge University (1969-1973)
- Professor at H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry at Karachi University
- Coordinator General of COMSTECH(1996-present)
- Federal Minister of Science & Technology (2000-2002)
- Federal Minister of Education (2002)
- Former Federal Minister/Chairman, Higher Education Commission, Pakistan (resigned due to govt issues)(2002-2008)
- Advisor to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Science and Technology(2002-2008)
- Honorary Life Fellow, Kings College, Cambridge University (2007-present)
- Distinguished National Professor International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences at Karachi University (2011-present)
- Patron-in-Chief International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences at Karachi University (2009-present)
Honors and awards
- Prof. Rahman was elected as Fellow of Royal Society (London) in July 2006 thereby becoming the one of the 4 scientists from the Muslim world to have ever won this honour.
- He has been conferred honorary doctorate degrees by many universities including the degree of Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) by the Cambridge University (UK) (1987) and an Honorary degree of Doctor of Education by Coventry University UK in November 2007.
- He was elected Honorary Life Fellow of Kings College, Cambridge University, UK in 2007. Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman was conferred the TWAS Prize for Institution Building in Durban, South Africa in October 2009 in recognition of his contributions for bringing about revolutionary changes in the higher education sector in Pakistan.
- He was awarded the Engro Excellence Award in Science & Technology 2011 with a prize of Rs. 5 million (US $ 59,000) for meritorious contributions.
- He is President of Network of Academies of Sciences of Islamic Countries (NASIC) and the Vice-President (Central & South Asia) of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) Council, and Foreign Fellow of Korean Academy of Sciences.
- Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman was the President of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences (2003–06), and was again elected President of Pakistan Academy of Sciences in January 2011..
- He was the Federal Minister for Science and Technology (14 March 2000 – 20 November 2002), Federal Minister of Education (2002) and Chairman of the Higher Education Commission with the status of a Federal Minister from 2002-2008.
- The Austrian government also honoured him with its highest civil award (“Das Große Goldene Ehrenzeichen am Bande”, 2007) in recognition of his eminent contributions.
- Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman is presently the Coordinator General of COMSTECH, an OIC Ministerial Committee comprising the 57 Ministers of Science & Technology from 57 OIC member countries.
- He is also the Patron of International Centre of Chemical and Biological Sciences (which comprises a number of institutes, including the Husein Ebrahim Jamal Research Institute of Chemistry and the Dr. Panjwani Center of Molecular Medicine and Drug Development) at Karachi University.
Civil AwardsIn recognition of his eminent contributions in the field of Organic Chemistry, he has been conferred with four civil awards, including:
- Nishan-e-Imtiaz (2002) (highest national civil award),
- Hilal-e-Imtiaz (1998)
- Sitara-e-Imtiaz (1991)
- Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (1983)
Books and Journals
- Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
- NMR Spectroscopy
- 13C-NMR of Natural Products
- Dimensional NMR Spectroscopy
- Bioassay Techniques for Drug Development
- Indole Alkaloids
- New Advances in Analytical Chemistry
- Decommissioning and Radioactive Waste Management
- Studies in Natural Products Chemistry
- Studies in Natural Products Chemistry: Bioactive Natural Products (Part F)
- Anti-Angiogenesis Drug Discovery and Development
- Frontiers in Cardiovascular Drug Discovery
- Handbook of Natural Products Data: Diterpenoid and steroidal alkaloids
- Handbook of Natural Products Data: Pentacyclic triterpenoids
- Frontiers in Clinical Drug Research – Anti Allergy Agents
- Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
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