Happy Teacher's Day - Salute To My Best Teacher Prof. P. R. Pisharoty !

Everyone's first teachers are one's own parents, same for me - my mother Mrs. Satwinder Kaur (Sarpanch of VPO Bhana near Dasuya in Hoshiarpur District of Punjab in India for 20 years), father Mr. Mohinder Singh Sehra (Postmaster), and grandfather Mr. Bir Singh Sehra (Small scale farmer) whom I dedicate my whole life and work.

According to the great Scientist Physicist Sir Albert Einstein, it is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. The World Teacher's Day is celebrated on 5th October since 1994 because on this day in the year 1996, a special intergovernmental conference adopted the UNESCO endorsement regarding the status of teachers, and to celebrate the engrossment & accomplishment of teachers and also the primacies that they put in the field of education.

In India, the Teacher's Day is celebrated on 5th September, the birthday of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (5 September 1888-17 April 1975), the great philosopher and statesman who was the first Vice President of India (1952–1962) and the second President of India from 1962 to 1967, and this tradition started from 1962. He was a man of many good qualities and a favorite teacher among students. It was his request that his birthday should be celebrated as an honorable day for all the teachers in the country, in case someone is wishing to celebrate his birthday at all. So, in a nutshell, we celebrate Teacher's Day because teachers have been the architect of the society and without them no society can walk in the path of progression. 

Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan once wrote a book on Bhaagwad Gita and there he defined a teacher as, “The one who emphasizes on presentation to converge different currents of thoughts to the same end”. I believe it must be the real One God-the Almighty Divine Force which can neither be created nor destroyed by any means but is actually in itself the Creator, the Provider, the Sustainer, the Controller, and the All in All of the whole Universe who is fearless & doesn't have any enmity or hatred with anyone, who is timeless & immortal and is neither born nor dies, who doesn't enter into any life cycles and is ever self-existent & omnipresent from the pre-beginning & very beginning during different eras and also exists at present and will always exist in future also as per Guru Nanak's Mool Mantar on which is also based the super-hit Hindi feature film 'PK'. 

Culture & Religion have got nothing to do with the real God-the Almighty Divine Force as the former Culture & Religion are made by human beings themselves according to their needs which can be many under different man-made identities which is not important,   but the latter is the only one real God-the Almighty Divine Force which recognizes no cultural or religious barriers, whom one can worship & convey gratitude informally in any form at any time anywhere, though some people have commercialized it to a large extent all over the world for their vested interests, which has also polarized the society! 

Guru Nanak was, indeed, a great teacher who tried to unite the people with his Gurbani based on scientific logics, and Maharaja Ranjit Singh was a great Ruler who united all the people and expanded the boundaries of Punjab from Delhi to Lahore to Afghanistan contrary to limiting its boundaries by dividing it into three parts, viz., Himachal Pradesh, Haryana & Punjab even after the hard earned independence of our country. The policy should be to 'Unite and Rule' like that of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and not 'Divide and Rule' like the foreign Rulers! We all should always work together for one United India with unity in diversity and humanity as our common goal!

My best teacher will be always Prof. P. R. Pisharoty from Palghat, Kerala under whose guidance I did my Ph.D. in Atmospheric Physics from the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) affiliated with the Gujarat University, Ahmedabad in 1976, from which was born the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) with the efforts of many reputed scientists led by Prof. Vikram A. Sarabhai. The title of my Ph.D. Thesis is 'Atmospheric Structure: Exploration over Antarctica and Interhemisheric Comparison', which is the first Ph.D. Thesis written on Antarctica from India, and is now available on the internet and also in the Library of the reputed Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, England.

I still remember that one day I went to Prof. Pisharoty to get the draft of my first research paper 'Upper mesospheric wind structure in Antarctica' checked before sending it to the reputed scientific journal 'Nature' for publication when he took a pen from his pocket and struck off his name from it as the first author and retained my name only saying that it wasn't he who had braved the harshest & the coldest weather of Antarctica to do this research work there, so he cannot write his name. Seeing my disappointment on deletion of his name as an author, he remarked "Alright, You can put my name in the acknowledgements only and not as an author." 

This is very rare in the whole world that a Ph.D. Guide would delete his name as an author or co-author from a research paper written by his student for publication in the world's most reputed scientific journal 'Nature' because it is every scientist's dream to publish at least one research paper in this journal during his or her lifetime! So, I salute to him deep from my heart for being such a great teacher who made my name & life a history in this world to last for ever with details on the internet!

Professor P. R. Pisharoty often used to say that he has one very important person as a reserve force with him, viz., his own student who can do anything in the world which others cannot do, by citing my example as the only person who volunteered to go to the harshest continent 'Antarctica' when no other Indian was willing to go there as it involved great dangers and risks to life, which made him a hero and also the founder of the Indian Antarctic Programme and hence the National Centre for Antarctic & Ocean Research (NCAOR), Goa, for which he worked very hard and raised heaven & earth in the Government of India to start Indian Antarctic Expeditions and open some bases in Antarctica for future exploration of minerals & oil resources there, which was finally launched in 1981. However, he didn't get any monetary benefit or other reward for it which was earlier committed by the Government of India in the Parliament in 1973 under an Unstarred Question No. 8177, except the only satisfaction that his dream of starting Indian Antarctic Expeditions and opening some research bases in Antarctica finally came true! 

Prof. Pisharoty also used to say that his student has earned a unique historical distinction of being the first ever Indian to winter over the South Pole and circumnavigate and explore the Antarctic continent as a lone Indian participant in the scientific Soviet Antarctic Expedition to the South Pole from 1971 to 1973 under a joint official Indo-Soviet Agreement signed between the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) & Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Hydro-meteorological Service (HMS) of the erstwhile USSR. He also used to add that Dr. Sehra has worked in all the seven continents of the world from Deep Freeze, the coldest place 'Vostok' in Antarctica at -89.3 deg C to Furnace, the hottest place 'El-Zizia' in Libya, Sahara Deserts at 58 deg C, and also as a Consultant in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the USA, and as an Expert in the United Nations Organization (UNO), etc., with name in history and details on the internet), and yet he remains very simple, modest, honest, sincere, and down to earth person!

Prof. Pisharoty had, however, made a prophesy that one day the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), Goa would be named after my name as Parmjit Singh Sehra Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (PSSCAOR) due to my tremendous Antarctic explorations & research work and unique discovery of sudden warmings in the Antarctic atmosphere leading to climate change as explained in my 2nd paper 'Upper atmospheric thermal structure in Antarctica' published in the reputed scientific journal 'Nature', and many more research papers published in other reputed international scientific journals!
(Former PAU Prof, ISRO, NASA/USA & UN Expert, and 1st Indian Antarctic & South Pole Explorer also to do Ph.D. on it, having visited and worked in all the seven continents of the world from Deep Freeze, the coldest place Vostok in Antarctica at -89.3 deg C to Furnace, the hottest place El-Zizia in Libya, Sahara Deserts at 58 deg C, with name in history and details on the internet)

Present Residential & Mailing Address:

Dr. Parmjit Singh Sehra, Ph.D. (Sci.)
c/o Dr. (Mrs.) Bhupinder Sehra, MBBS, MD       
Senior Consultant, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology       
Apt. A-4, Bilga General Hospital  Campus (A Unit of CMC, Ludhiana)       
Village & P.O. Bilga-144036, Nurmahal Road, Tehsil Phillaur       
District Jalandhar, Punjab, India