Akshay Deoras was born in 1994 in Nagpur, a city in the central part of India. He completed his schooling from Somalwar High School and Junior College, Nikalas branch. Akshay’s teachers remember him for his keen interest in science and consistent academic performance. He was a student representative for two academic years and actively participated in many public speaking competitions as well as a few olympiads. For his outstanding performance in the Professor Maths contest, the National Education Society conferred the title of “Prof. (of) Maths” upon him in February 2003. While in year 12, Akshay was awarded the Nikalas Star Prize by his school for exceptional performance during 13 years of schooling, a record that remains unbroken till date.
Born to a family of professional badminton players, Akshay was naturally inclined to play the sport throughout his school days which built a competitive spirit in him. He also participated in a few badminton tournaments at the district level.
Akshay has been mesmerized by space shuttles, thunderstorms, and the Indian monsoon since a young age. He recalls watching NASA’s space shuttle missions and the television series Storm Chasers as a teenager, which introduced him to the technical side of space sciences and meteorology. Sky gazing through a telescope left a deep impact on his mind about the solar system. Akshay published his first blog on astronomy and astrophysics in 2008 when he was just 14. At the same time, he started learning meteorology using online resources and published his first weather blog in 2009. In early stages, he used to issue monsoon forecasts on social media and share the same with his family members and some farmers in the region.
A person getting good grades in India often pursues a typical career path as per the Indian norm. The society expected Akshay to do the same, but his passion for natural sciences had grown so much by the time that he did not even think of following the crowd for a second. Akshay had published over 800 blogs by that time, yet his atypical career plans took many by surprise, who even tried to convince him to follow the norm. However, his firm determination was enough to get him enrolled in a Bachelor of Science (BSc) programme in Nagpur in 2012. His baccalaureate education was supported by the Government of India’s INSPIRE Scholarship for Higher Education, which is awarded to the top 1% students in Year 12 board examinations who pursue an education in basic and natural sciences.
In a very short span, Akshay’s weather forecasts caught the attention of executives of leading newspapers like Tarun Bharat. He took up this challenging role and started disseminating his weather forecasts through regular newspaper columns – first of its kind in India. These trends setting weather forecasts were extremely popular and had a mass readership. With high responsibility roles in several organizations, he has got hands-on experience in not only meteorology but also leadership, strategic planning, and disaster management. During his stint as an intern at the Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi, he worked on creating climate security in India by proposing a revamp to weather forecasting in India. His association with the Government of Maharashtra as an independent meteorological advisor played an instrumental role in saving lives and crop damage from high-impact weather events such as severe thunderstorms and flooding.
Seeing how the weather impacts the society from a close range during his forecasting work, Akshay chose meteorology over astronomy as a professional career. He headed to the University of Leeds, the United Kingdom in 2016 for pursuing a Master of Research in Climate and Atmospheric Science. He joined a Ph.D. program at the Department of Meteorology, the University of Reading, the United Kingdom in 2018.
Over the years, Akshay’s weather forecasts and views on meteorological aspects have featured in several newspapers, news websites, radio interviews, and magazines. His abilities have been appreciated through awards such as the Young Achievers Award by Lokmat Media Group in 2012 and the Late B. Mardikar memorial award in 2015.
Akshay is an active researcher and likes to explore the variability of the Indian monsoon. He has been invited to present his research work in several national and international conferences on myriad topics under tropical meteorology, sustainability,climate change, and radio astronomy. Akshay is also a public speaker and has been invited to present his views in several panel discussions and public lectures on astronomy, meteorology, and the education system.