Ashwani K. Rai is currently serving as a distinguished professor at the Department of Botany, Institute of Science, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India. He has more than four decades of teaching and research experience. He has published more than hundred original research papers and reviews, and has authored/edited five books. His area of research includes – nitrogen metabolism, carbon fixation and salt tolerance in Cyanobacteria and Azolla. Prof. Rai is a recipient of various fellowships including Matsumae International Foundation Fellowship, Japan (1982); Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, Germany (1983); National Biotechnology Overseas Associateship Award (DBT, New Delhi, 1986); Indo-JSPS Exchange Fellowship (1992, 2011); and Japan Society for Promotion of Science Fellowship, Japan (1993), He is Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI), National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) and Biotech Research Society India (BRSI). He was visiting scientist to Germany, visiting professor to USA and invited professor in Japan. He also served as Head, Department of Botany, Banaras Hindu University and Coordinator, Applied Microbiology, Department of Botany, Banaras Hindu University.