Ram Gopal Rastogi was born in 1929. He received BSc (1947) and MSc (Physics) (1949) degrees from Allahabad University and did his PhD (1956) from Gujarat University while working under the supervision of KR Ramanathan.
He started his career as Lecturer in Physics at Saugar University in 1949. He was postdoctoral research fellow at National Research Council, Canada and at High Altitude Observatory. He was guest worker at Central Radio Propagation Laboratory, Colorado during1960-61. He joined Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad in 1961 and was there till 1980. He was a Senior Research Associate at Air Force Geophysics Laboratory prior joining Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG) as a Director where he served between 1980-89. At present he is INSA Visiting Scientist at PRL.Prof. Rastogi took charge of the Ionospheric Division of PRL (1961) and organized various ionospheric experiments to transform PRL into a leading radio research centre in the world.
He was the first to identify the controlling role of the magnetic latitude on the development of low latitude ionospheric anomaly where he confirmed that the equatorial electrojet current is weakest in India and strongest in Peru, inversely related to the strength of background magnetic field.
He developed locally the VHF polarimeters to record Faraday rotation of radio beacons and installed these at a number of universities in India. He was the first to show that the counter equatorial electrojet and the disappearance of ionospheric E-region irregularities are due to the reversal of the equatorial electric field.
He with Professor VL Patel showed that sudden reversal of the interplanetary magnetic field causes immediate impulse in the electric field in the equatorial ionosphere. He extensively described the features of the equatorial electrojet during magnetic storms opening up new area of space weather relationship.
He has supervised 24 PhD students and published more than 400 research papers in reputed intentional journals.
Prof. Rastogi installed the first Vertical Ionospheric Sounder Station at Ahmedabad in 1953. He also established the Ionospheric Research Center at Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Site in 1963.
At Ootacamund the NOAA ATS-6 beacon signal recorder was installed by him which still remains the only experiment of its kind in the world for recording the total electron content in the ionosphere and scintillations within the whole Equatorial F Layer Anomaly Region. While at IIG, he established its four regional centers and also collaborated with some universities in Australia, USA, Japan and Hong Kong. Under his Directorship IIG organized two international schools on Ionosphere and Geomagnetism,at Pune in1985 and at Triest, Italy in 1987.
Professor Rastogi was conferred the Hari Om Ashram Prerit Gokuldas Bombhadi Research Award in Physics by Gujarat University.
He was recipient of NASA Award for ATS-S Radio Beacon Programme (1977), NASA Award for MAGSAT Programme (1982), USSR Academy of Sciences Commemoration Medal for Research Contribution in Geophysics, Japanese Geophysical Society Commemoration Medal for Contribution in Geomagnetism and Ionosphere and Professor Kalapati Ramakrishna Ramanathan Medal by INSA (2002). He was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad.