Dr. R.P. Asthana (Raghunath Prasad Asthana) was born at Gorakhpur (U. P.) on February 20, 1906 He received his early education at various places in U. P. and obtained M. Sc. degree in Botany from the University of Allahabad in 1930 and Ph. D. and D.I.C. from the University of London in 1932.
On his return from London, Dr. Asthana joined the Department of Botany, Allahabad University for a short period and left in 1935 to take up an appointment in the Agra College as Assistant Professor of Botany. From 1941-46, he was Mycologist to Government of Central Provinces and Professor of Plant Pathology, College of Agriculture, Nagpur and was Principal from 1956 till his retirement from service in 1961. He was also Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Nagpur University as also Member of its Academic and Executive Councils. After his retirement from Government Service, Dr. Asthana continued his researches in the Department of Botany, Allahabad University, with the financial assistance of ICAR. At the same time he maintained his interest in teaching as Hony. Director and Professor of Plant Pathology, K.A. College of Agriculture, Allahabad.
Dr. Asthana was connected with several scientific societies. He was Vice-President and the Editor-in-Chief of Indian Phytopathological Society, Fellow of Linnean Society, Indian Botanical Society, Indian Academy of Sciences and IPS. He was a member of Plant Diseases Committee of ICAR and Technical Advisor to State Public Service Commission, Nagpur and to Union Public Service Commission, New Delhi.
Apart from the persuit of Plant Pathology as a career, Asthana had varied interests in social and cultural activities.
Asthana published more than 45 scientific papers in his subject both in Indian as well as foreign journals and made a rich contribution to our knowledge of plant diseases and their control.
Dr. Raghunath Prasad Asthana expired at Allahabad on July 24. 1965.