An esteemed awardee of the noble Padma Shri award in 2002, Ashok Ramchandra Kelkar was a prolific linguist and Marathi writer. He was a scholar, author, translator as well as the editor and founder of the literary journal called Bhasha ani Jeevan. He has received several awards including the International Rockefeller Foundation fellowship. In 2008, he was also awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for his renowned book Rujuvat. Born on 22nd April 1929 in Pune, Ashok Kelkar attended the New English School and went on to study at Ferguson College, from where, he graduated in English and philosophy.
He also attained a Master's degree from Pune Univeristy in English and French literature. In 1958, he took up Linguistics at Lily Institute. Moreover, he attended Cornell University, USA and attained a Ph.D. in Linguistics and Anthropology. During the years 1958 to 1962, he taught Linguistics at the Agra University, followed by being a reader at Pune University. For 22 years of his life, Kelkar taught Linguistics and then became the director of the Centre for Advanced Studies and Linguistics at Deccan College. In the course of his career, he supervised 3 M.Phil and over 20 Ph.D. dissertations to students in India as well as international students. He has also given many popular lectures, held seminars, attended conferences and conducted researches on a national and international level.
After an enormous contribution to the field of linguistics in academics, he finally retired from academics at 1989. In 1982 until 1989, Kelkar found and was the editor of the trimonthly journal Bhaasha ani Jeevan. He also founded the Marathi Abhyas Parishad. One of his notable works titled Prachin Bhartiya Sahitya Mimansa - Ek Aakalan has been translated into the Hindi language that also won a national award. He has received many awards for his works in literature and academic contributions as well. Ashok Kelkar has been responsible for popularizing the study of planned approach to linguistic problems and also the study of language itself. He also played a significant role in promoting the native Indian languages internationally.