BPR’s Core Interests

As a geologist BPR took special interest in the following areas:

  1. Geomorphology and Landscape Evolution
  2. Evolution of the Indian Continental Lithosphere
  3. Issues related to Water and Mineral Resources of the country
  4. Metallogeny and Crustal Evolution and the Role of Impact processes
  5. Global Warming: Anthropogenic or Otherwise?

BPR recognized that the western continental margin of India is a world-class landform, which he termed as the Great Escarpment of the Indian Subcontinent. The uplift and history of the Western Ghats includes rifting, scarp retreat on a grand scale and the geomorphic and lithospheric aftereffects of uplift causing removal of large quantities of material and its deposition in marginal sedimentary basins. He emphasized the role played by all these factors in the geomorphic evolution of the Indian landscape.

BPR took special interest in the evolution of the Indian Continental Lithosphere characterized by the high-grade granulite terrains, the granite-greenstone association of the older supra-crustals and the craton-basin association (Dharwars). He believed that these three components are brought together in Southern India like no other place with such good exposures offering us a great opportunity to study the early history of the earth. He attempted to correlate the metallogeny in the Indian shield with different stages of crustal evolution. Further, he conceived that the Indian Subcontinent is made up of different crustal blocks, geologically unrelated to each other, and brought into juxtaposition and sutured together during different periods of the earth’s history.

BPR firmly believed that India has great potential to revive its gold and copper mining as well as its ancient glory in diamond mining. Realising the importance of gold exploration and revival of gold mining BPR had suggested the creation of Gold Authority of India. During the last few years he was increasingly fascinated by the role of extra-terrestrial impacts based on the new insights on the Vredefort Dome in South Africa and the Sudbury impact basin and associated metalliferous deposits of Ni-PGE. The arcuate disposition of the kimberlite pipes along the western margin of the Cuddapah Basin also raised possibilities of deep fracturing of the crust along the margins of an impact originated basin. The enigmatic presence of the world’s largest barite deposit at Mangampeta in the same belt warrants further studies. He felt that bold new ideas on these issues need to emerge from Indian geologists offering new insights.

BPR maintained a lifelong interest in the management of the water resources of the country. During his tenure as Director of the Mines and Geology Department of Karnataka, BPR organized the State Groundwater Cell in 1966, first of its kind in India, for the development of groundwater resources of Karnataka. He laid emphasis on the fact that though India received the second highest annual rainfall anywhere in the world, methods of conservation of water resources have not received due attention. He was continuously warning about the impending water crisis in our urban agglomerations due to our improper water management practices and not taking up rainwater harvesting and utilization of recycled water in all seriousness. He was also appalled at the levels of pollution in drinking water causing severe health problems in different parts of the country. He appealed to the State Governments in India to pass suitable legislation to restrict tapping of the finite groundwater resources, to the extent possible, which should be otherwise saved for dire emergencies only. He was at times greatly frustrated by the apathy of the Governments both at the Centre and in the States to grapple with the problems of water in a scientific and rational way.

His popular science book on Groundwater (Antarjala, in Kannada) was aimed at educating the public as well as those at the helm of affairs about the fundamentals of groundwater geology. By his repeated editorials on the topic of wise management of our water resources, he tried to reach out to the wider earth science community to take up serious research work on the rates of infiltration of rainwater into subsurface aquifers, dating of groundwaters and the regional and local movement of subterraenean streams of water about which scant data is available. BPR also took great interest on the ongoing debate about the anthropogenic versus the extraterrestrial causes of global climate change. He dreaded the prospect of populous countries like India and China imitating the consumption oriented economic models of the western world as a sure recipe for disaster.