Achievements: Former head of India's Biotechnology Ministry. Dr Sharma, played a key role in setting up the world's first Biotechnology Ministry at the Government level, in the early 1980s and later headed it for six years till January 2004.Recipient of Padma Bhushan Award in 2007.
Dr. Manju Sharma, received her Master's degree in Science from Lucknow University in 1961, with a first rank and the Birbal Sahni Memorial Gold Medal. She did her post-doctorial research at Purdue University, USA with Prof. A. C. Leopold. From 1974 onwards, working in the Department of Science and Technology, Planning Commission, Office of Scientific Advisor to the PM, and Department of Biotechnology. She has played an important role in promoting science and technology in general and bioscience in particular in India.
She is a nominated member of the State Planning Board, Government of Himachal Pradesh and chairperson of the Vision Group of the State Government of Orissa for Biotechnology Programmes and also a member of the Biotechnology Advisory Council for the Government of Gujarat. She has been responsible for conceptualizing the setting up of the Biotech Consortium India Ltd (BCIL), to bridge the gap between industry, academia and research scientists. As General Secretary, Vice President and later as President of the National Academy of Sciences (the only lady scientist to occupy the position of President in any of the Science Academies in India) she has served the Academy .She has been largely responsible for boosting the establishment of a number of new institutions and spread the educational network for biotechnology all over the country.
Awards and recognitions :VASVIK Award in 1994,The Norman E. Borlaug Award and the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Indian Science Congress Association in 1995, K. N. Bahl Memorial Gold Medal conferred by the Society of Biosciences(1997) , General President of the Indian Science Congress Association(1998) FIE?s National Award, Shri Om Prakash Bhasin Award, and the Fifth National Science and Technology Award for Excellence presented by the JEPPIAAR Educational Trust, President of the Association of Microbiologists of India (AMI) in 1999,Asutosh Mukerjee Memorial Award and the Indian Science Writers Association (ISWA) in 2000.
Distinguished Fellow Award conferred by the Institute of Directors (IOD), New Delhi,(2001),Dr. B.P Pal Memorial Award conferred by the Indian Science Congress Association, and elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, India. .Received a life time achievement award from BIOSPECTRUM. She is a member of the Board of Governors of the United Nations University?s Institute for Advanced Studies, a member of the Advisory Panel on Agricultural Biotechnology of the U.S.A.?s Agency for International Development, and a Fellow of the Third World Academy of Sciences.Now she is the President & Exclusive Director of Indian Institute of Advanced Research, Gandhinagar Gujarat.