Mysore Geological Department

Mysore Geological Department BPR joined the Mysore Geological Department in the same year as a Field Assistant on a salary of Rs.75 per month. He served the Department for 37 years rising to the position of its Director, for a period of ten years, till his superannuation in the year 1974. The Mysore Geological Department came into existence in the year 1894 during the tenure of Dewan K. Seshadri Iyer and happens to be one of the oldest State Geology Departments in the country. It was led by a galaxy of reputed field geologists of that period starting from Robert Bruce Foote (formerly of the Geological Survey of India) followed by W.F. Smeeth, P. Sampath Iyengar, B. Rama Rao and C.S. Pichamuthu. These stalwarts of Mysore Geology laid the foundations of the Precambrian Geology of Southern India and more importantly prepared an excellent, detailed and accurate geological map of the Princely State of Mysore that has served the geological profession superbly. As a young geologist BPR was engaged in geological mapping and mineral investigations in different parts of the Mysore State during the period 1937-53. Simultaneously, his research bent of mind propelled him to undertake special investigations on one of the key elements of Karnataka Geology, namely the Closepet Granite extending in a N-S direction for almost 500 km with an average width of about 20 km. BPR was the first to suggest that these predominantly porphyritic potassic granites could have originated from the partial melting of the Peninsular Gneisses. This work fetched him the Ph.D. degree of the Mysore University in the year 1954. BPR’s interest in geomorphology, landscape evolution and crustal geodynamics began with this study of the Closepet Granite and was later extended to the Western Ghats and lasted all his life.

BPR took over the reins of the Department of Mines and Geology in the year 1965, as its Director. One of the first things he did was to organize the State Groundwater Cell in the Department in 1966 to carry out extensive and intensive surveys for groundwater resources in all the districts of the State with special emphasis on the drought-prone areas. His passionate interest in the wise management of the water resources of the country dates back to this period when he gained invaluable experience in understanding the behaviour of groundwater in the predominantly hard rock terrains of Karnataka.

Similarly, during his tenure as Director of the Mines and Geology Department, major initiatives were launched in the exploration for iron, manganese, chromite, gold and a host of minor minerals/ non-metallics in different parts of the State. He laid the foundation for legislation of groundwater and minor minerals. He organized Bureau of Mines in Princely Mysore State and the Board of Mineral Development in Karnataka, which were the nucleus that became the Mysore Minerals Limited (MML) later on. He retired as Director, Mines and Geology in the year 1974 but continued Mines and BPR took over the reins of the Department of Mines and Geology in the year 1965, as its Director. One of the first things he did was to organize the State Groundwater Cell in the Department in 1966 to carry out extensive and intensive surveys for groundwater resources in all the districts of the State with special emphasis on the drought-prone areas. His passionate interest in the wise management of the water resources of the country dates back to this period when he gained invaluable experience in understanding the behaviour of groundwater in the predominantly hard rock terrains of Karnataka. Similarly, during his tenure as Director of the Mines and Geology Department, major initiatives were launched in the exploration for iron, manganese, chromite, gold and a host of minor minerals/ non-metallics in different parts of the State. He laid the foundation for legislation of groundwater and minor minerals. He organized Bureau of Mines in Princely Mysore State and the Board of Mineral Development in Karnataka, which were the nucleus that became the Mysore Minerals Limited (MML) later on. He retired as Director, Mines and Geology in the year 1974 but continued to hold several important positions in the State Government till the year 1979. He was appointed as Adviser to the Government of Karnataka for development of groundwater resources (in 1975), Chairman and Managing Director of Karnataka Copper Consortium charged with the exploitation of copper and other base metal resources (in 1976) and as Member, Board of Director of the Hutti Gold Mines and Bharat Gold Mines Ltd. (in 1976).