Bunyan Edmund Vijayam (1933[3]–2019) was an Indian geologist with major contribution to the field of Geology. A 1958–1959 Technical Report of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research heralded the news that new developments had taken place in scientific matters led by a team of researchers at the Andhra University,[9]

B. E. Vijayam

Professor Vijayam with his students at Osmania University, Secunderabad (1973)
(Courtesy Mennonite Church USA archives)
Born(1933-11-20)20 November 1933[3]
Died30 January 2019(2019-01-30) (aged 85)
Resting place17°28′26.1″N 78°42′05.5″E / 17.473917°N 78.701528°E / 17.473917; 78.701528
Other namesBunyan Edmund Vijayam[3]
EducationB. Sc. (Andhra),[3]
M. Sc. (Andhra),[3]
Ph. D. (Osmania),[8]
Postdoctoral researcher (Northwestern)[8]
Alma mater
Known forTeaching and research in applied Geology
AwardsProf. Bal Dattatreya Tilak Endowment Lecture (1995), Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi[1]
Scientific career
PatronsFulbright Program[3]
  • Sedimentation in the upper proterozoic near Kurnool[4]
Doctoral advisorProf. S. Balakrishna[5]
Other academic advisorsProf. C. Mahadevan,[6]
Prof. U. Aswathanarayana

A new technique for the ion-exchange separation of uranium from thorium and rare earths has been developed. A simple chromatographic method for the estimation of thorium (present in very small quantities) has been evolved. This utilizes thenoyl trifluoroacetone (TTA) in benzene as solvent-C. Mahadevan, U. Aswathanarayana, V. V. S. S. Tilak, B. E. Vijayam and D. Purushottam, Department of Geology, Andhra University.....[9]

Even as a student of geology at Andhra University, Waltair, Vijayam and his fellow researchers were already carrying out research in the field.[10] During 1954–1958, Vijayam had carried out research on geology in parts of Kurnool district.[10] Vijayam's research articles began appearing in geological and other inter-disciplinary scientific journals for more than three decades and continue to be referred by the present generation[11] of Geologists.

Vijayam stood witness[12] to Christ[13] and inspired many. During the Fifth National Convention of the Christian Businessmen's Committee in 1987[13] held in Hyderabad, he spoke on the theme You shall be witnesses unto me and shared dais with Archbishop Samineni Arulappa,[13] Member of parliament, Lok Sabha Marjorie Godfrey and Policeman G. Alfred,[13] IPS. Vijayam also led honorary initiatives towards Christian missions by equipping[14] the Laity not only with knowledge of the Gospel, but also a means of livelihood was recognised by Theologians, comprising the Missiologist, Roger Hedlund,[15] SB, and Bishop Ezra Sargunam,[16] ECI. During the 2000s, the Christian artist P. Solomon Raj, AELC made an Empirical research highlighting the new and indigenous missions,[17] and Vijayam's effort falls in such line of indigenous missions to equip the grassroot Evangelists, which even the Old Testament Scholar, Victor Premasagar, CSI appreciated such initiatives.[17]

Life and background edit

Vijayam was born in 1933[3] in Giddaluru in erstwhile Madras Presidency during the colonial era to Bunyan Joseph,[3] an Evangelist and grew up in rural India[3] in the drought-prone Rayalaseema zone in southern India. The Church made an impact in the life of Vijayam as those were the days' of early Christians in the Telugu hinterland where the Catholic[18] and the Protestant Missions had already set foot. Among the Protestant missions, the American Baptist Foreign Missionary Society, the London Missionary Society (LMS) and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG) were the Christian missions at work in the Rayalaseema area. Vijayam grew up in a Christian household[8] in mission compounds of the Churches as his father was a Priest, Canon and later Bishop. When Vijayam moved to Waltair in the 1950s, he also took part in the fellowship gatherings of the Canadian Baptist Ministries[3] (Convention of Baptist Churches of Northern Circars).

Education and career edit

Education edit

After initial studies in schools across Andhra Pradesh, wherever his father (Bunyan Joseph) was transferred, Vijayam moved to Madras Christian College, Tambaram for a pre-University course (PUC). For undergraduate studies, he enrolled at Andhra University, Waltair, in 1953[3] and pursued graduate and postgraduate courses specialising in Geology. He was a direct student of Professor Calamur Mahadevan[6] and U. Aswathanarayana and imbibed the subtle nuances for research which infused[6] in him a flair for scientific research throughout his career in geological sciences. One of his companions during his study days at Waltair included the Theologian G. D. Melanchthon, AELC. Vijayam was awarded with an M. Sc. in 1957.[19]

Vijayam also pursued a Ph. D. programme during his early years at Osmania University, Secunderabad, on the topic Sedimentation in the upper proterozoic near Kurnool[4] under the supervision of Prof. S. Balakrishna[5] and was awarded a doctorate in the year 1965.[4] He also spent time at Northwestern University, Evanston (United States) as a Postdoctoral researcher through the benevolence of Fulbright Program and also published a research article, Tectonic framework of sedimentation in the northwestern part of the San Andreqa fault zone at Park field, California[20] on his return to India.

Career edit

Vijayam joined the ranks of Geological Survey of India in 1961.[2] He then moved to academics and joined Osmania University, Secunderabad, A State-run university, where he also pursued a Ph. D. programme. In 1965[4] and became a lecturer in the same university. Over the years, he rose to the ranks of a reader and professor and in 1984,[3] he became head of the Department of Geology and chairperson of the board of studies.[3]

Articles published edit

During the three decades, beginning with the 1960s, Vijayam researched together with his fellow geologists and brought out different aspects of the Earth's rich resources to the fore. He was also managing editor of Journal of Indian Academy of Geoscience during the 1970s.[21]

1960–1969 edit

1970–1979 edit

1980–1989 edit

1990–1999 edit

Other initiatives edit

In addition to his academic pursuits, Vijayam was involved in founding entities as a means to bring in development in rural areas. Vijayam himself hailed from a rural family[3] and his career pursuits brought him to an urban setting. In spite of it, he chose to better the lives of those in special circumstances. Towards this end, he drew talent from universities as a matter of service[22] and also sought the partnership of United Nations Development Programme,[23] Government of India,[24] and other[25] funding agencies.[26] In 1982,[23] he also went to Bangla Desh to see the work of Social Entrepreneur and Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus.[23] In 2012, two sets of researchers working independent of each other had written about the work of Vijayam beyond the portals of learning.

A University of Hyderabad researcher, Gadde Peda Rattaiah referred to the work of Vijayam in the context of partnerships with United Nations Development Programme and writes,[23]

Professor Vijayam was a retired professor of Geology who worked, at the Department of Geology, Osmania University in Hyderabad. He founded MERIBA, PROGRESS, TENT, JVI, I-WILL agencies and his approach to poverty alleviation in rural India, was inspired by the Judeo-Christian values approach and was promoting attitudes of love, unity, mutual respect, self-help and collective action to overcome the hindrances to human deprivation, poverty and suffering.[23]

Similarly, a group of Earth Scientists regarded the work of Vijayam in connecting Geology with development and write,[27]

Community development initiatives without adequate geological input are potentially doomed to failure. For many years now, wonderful counterexamples have functioned under the guidance of distinguished geologist B. E. Vijayam in India. Vijayam's NGO creations, including PROGRESS and TENT, integrate geological principles into almost every aspect of holistic rural development. Many of the village-level projects under TENT are planned to consider improvements in the context of a unified watershed. Water sources, sanitation, erosion, agriculture, land-use planning, and energy provision are all analyzed and managed as components of a larger, single geological system.[27]


During 1978[28] Vijayam founded[29] Mission to Encourage Rural Development in Backward Areas (MERIBA)[3] as an entity to bring forth development in select areas of drought-prone Rayalaseema area of Andhra Pradesh amidst caste-ridden hegemony. The work of MERIBA was taken up in Kurnool district in the villages of Balapanuru, Kouluru, Neravada, Bhimaram and Yerraguntla.[23] For organising Dalits[29] through participatory management initiatives through Sarvodaya Sanghams,[23] Vijayam's entity was also locked in horns with those oppressing the Dalits. There was indeed some resistance to the reformation that MERIBA ought to bring in and even the State executive was found to be in tandem with those oppressing the Dalits. It took judicial intervention[3] to get the oppressors behind bars, but in no time they were freed and were ready to seek vengeance, but for the timely presence of Vijayam who sought reconciliation, an act which stunned the oppressors.[3] Incidentally, Nagi Reddy,[23] an advocate by profession, became MERIBA's first project director, and there was renewed activism in taking legal recourse in curbing atroticities on Dalits through SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.[23]


By 1982,[30] Vijayam founded Peoples Research Organization for Grass-root Environmental Scientific Services[31] (PROGRESS)[32] as a platform to share the benefits of technological advancement[33] with the rural[34] poor.[35] Select case studies and stories relating to the success of PROGRESS had been documented in 1994 by National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board[36] and there also had been significant contribution by scientists working in PROGRESS to the environmental studies. In 1996,[37] P. Sita Janki and K. Sumalini contributed a paper entitled Enhancement of seed germination in Amla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.) by different growth regulator treatments[38] that appeared in the Journal for Tropical Forestry.[39] A 2007 report of the University Grants Commission (UGC) listed PROGRESS among those NGOs [40] supported by it in advancing Rural development. PROGRESS was a member in the National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee.[32]

TENT edit

The Theologians, F. Hrangkhuma and Sebastian Kim had recognised the efforts of Vijayam towards Tentmaking.[41] At the same time, Roger Hedlund had acknowledged Vijayam's efforts towards founding TENT in equipping individuals with means of livelihood as well as basic theological principles.[15] It was in 1985[42] that Vijayam founded[43] Training in Evangelism Needs and Technology (TENT), intertwining technology with theology for ministerial advancement, which the notable Entomologist P. Judson has also been associated.[44]

See also edit

Further reading edit

References edit

  1. ^ Indian National Science Academy, Recipients. [1] Archived 16 September 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b Records of the Geological Survey of India, Volume 95, 1964, pp.47, 314.[2]
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Kay Marshall Strom, In the presence of the poor: Changing the face of India, Authentic, Hyderabad, 2008.[3]
  4. ^ a b c d e B. E. Vijayam, Sedimentation in the upper proterozoic near Kurnool, cited in B. E. Vijayam, Worm Burrows in Narji Limestones, near Govindinne, Kurnool District, A. P., Current Science, Volume 5, 5 March 1968, p.142.[4]
  5. ^ a b Hari Narain, Obituary note on Suri Balakrishna (1931-1984), Journal of Geological Society of India, Volume 25, Issue 11, 1984, pp.759-760. [5]
  6. ^ a b c Calamur Mahadevan (1901 - 1962): A humane professor in The Hindu - Metro Plus Visakhapatnam, 7 April 2003.[6]
  7. ^ Commonwealth Universities Handbook, Parts 3-4, 1986, p.1874
  8. ^ a b c d e Luis Bush, Lorry Lutz, Partnering in Ministry: The Direction of World Evangelism, Inter-Varsity Press, Downers Grove, p.110.[7]
  9. ^ a b Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Technical Report 1958–1959, New Delhi, 1958, p.249.[8]
  10. ^ a b List of Subjects in Arts and Sciences in which Research was carried out in the Universities and Research Institutions from June 1954 to May 1958, The Inter-University board of India, New Delhi, 1958, [9]
  11. ^ M. Preeti, G. Ramadass, Total magnetic investigations for structural mapping in gas show area in the Tadipatri Region, South Western margin of the Cuddapah Basins in International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development, Volume 3, Issue 7, July 2016, p.276-283.[10]
  12. ^ C. Peter Wagner, Praying with Power, Destiny Image Publishers Inc., Shippensburg, 1997.[11]
  13. ^ a b c d National Council of Churches Review, Volume 107, 1987, p.332.[12]
  14. ^ Kay Marshall Strom, The Second-Half Adventure: Don't Just Retire--Use Your Time, Skills, and Resources to change the World, Moody Publishers, Chicago, 2009, pp.94-95.[13]
  15. ^ a b Roger Hedlund, Quest for Identity: India's Churches of Indigenous Origin: the "Little Tradition" in Indian Christianity, MIIS/ISPCK, Chennai/New Delhi, 2000, p.207.[14]
  16. ^ M. Ezra Sargunam (Compiled), Mission Mandate: A Compendium on the Perspective of Missions in India, Mission India, Chennai, 2000.[15]
  17. ^ a b P. Solomon Raj, The New Wine-skins: The Story of the Indigenous Missions in Coastal Andhra Pradesh, India, ISPCK/MIIS, New Delhi/Chennai, 2003.[16]
  18. ^ Antonius Kroot, History of the Telugu Christians, Mill Hill St. Joseph's Society, Trichinapalli, 1910. [17]
  19. ^ Mahadevan’ Students and Admirers Association, List of Members
  20. ^ Preeti M, Ramadass G, Total magnetic investigations for structural mapping in gas show area in the Tadipatri Region, South Western margin of the Cuddapah Basins, International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development, Volume 3, Issue 7, July 2016, pp.276-283.[18]
  21. ^ Journal of the Indian Academy of Geoscience, Volume 14, 1972
  22. ^ Robert S. White and Jeffrey K. Greenberg, Religious faith as a motivation in using geosciences to develop a sustainable future in Gregory R. Wessel, Jeffrey K. Greenberg (Edited), Geoscience for the Public Good and Global Development: Toward a Sustainable Future, The Geological Society of America, Special Paper 520, Boulder, 2016, p.29.[19]
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i Gadde Peda Rattaiah, Organisations processes and changing power relations a study of UNDP aided project area Kurnool district (A.P.), Unpublished doctoral dissertation submitted to University of Hyderabad, 2012.[20]
  24. ^ Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, APNA-Andhra Pradesh NGOs Alliance.[21]
  25. ^ Andhra Pradesh State AIDS Control Society, AP TI-NGOs List
  26. ^ National AIDS Control Organisation, Audit Report, 2010
  27. ^ a b Jeffrey K. Greenberg, Daniel Hefley, et al., The Many Educational Facets of Development Cooperation Between a Kosovan Village and Earth Scientists, Journal of Geoscience Education, Volume 60, 2012, pp.201–211.[22]
  28. ^ NGO Darpan, Mission to Encourage Rural Development in Backward Areas (MERIBA)[23]
  29. ^ a b The Good News Today, Volume 8, Number 9, September 2009
  30. ^ NGO Darpan, Peoples Research Organization for Grassroot Environmental Scientific Services.[24]
  31. ^ PROGRESS
  32. ^ a b National Institute of Hydrology, Annual Report 2014-2015, 2015, p.122.[25]
  33. ^ R. R. Prasad, K. M. Nair, Integrated hydrogeological investigations and multipronged water conservation in selected watershed of Achankovil river basin, Report of PROGRESS, Hyderabad, 2004. Cited by D. Padmalal, K. Maya, Sand Mining: Environmental Impacts and Selected Case Studies, Springer Dordrecht, Heidelberg, 2014, p.55.[26]
  34. ^ Panchayati raj information resource book, Foundation for Research in Community Health, Bombay, 1996, p.55.[27]
  35. ^ Forests, Trees, and People Newsletter, Issues 8-18, 1990, p.50
  36. ^ Afforestation and Wastelands Development: Some Success Stories, Regional Centre, National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, 1994.[28]
  37. ^ Journal of Tropical Forestry, Volume 12, Issue 1, 1996, pp.48-50
  38. ^ Indian Science Abstracts, Volume 33, 1997, p.111
  39. ^ Journal of Tropical Forestry, Volumes 11-12, 1995
  40. ^ Report of the UGC Committee on Inter-University Centre on Rural Development, 2007, p.124.[29]
  41. ^ F. Hrangkhuma, Sebastian C. H. Kim, The Church in India: Its Mission Tomorrow, ISPCK, New Delhi, 1996, p.138. [30]
  42. ^ NGO Darpan, Training in Evangelism Needs and Technology
  43. ^ TENT, History
  44. ^ TENT, Board
Academic offices
Preceded by
C. Leelanandam
Head of the Department of Geology,
Osmania University, Hyderabad

Succeeded by
G. Shankaranarayana
Preceded by
A. D. Karve,
Prof. Bal Dattatreya Tilak Endowment Lecture,
Indian National Science Academy,
New Delhi

Succeeded by
K. J. Ranadive,
  1. ^ a b c Indian National Science Academy, Recipients. [31] Archived 16 September 2016 at the Wayback Machine.