Newly sworn in Nagaland Governor, Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya was born on October 8 1931 at Udupi in Karnataka. He studied till matriculation at Christian High School, Udupi. He was the first batch student of Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College, Udupi (1949-51). He did graduation-BA (Hons), B.Com and LLB from Mumbai University.
Acharya was an activist of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) from 1951 to 1977 and held various posts including All India president of ABVP in 1969. In 1975, he was forced to become an underground Sangh worker to fight the Emergency. He was elected as Senate member to the Mumbai University from Commerce Graduate Constituency. Acharya was a member of Academic Council (1988-1991) and Executive Council Member (1981-1991) of Mumbai University.
He was the founder general secretary of Student Experience in Inter-state Living (SEIL) and engaged in SEIL Project from 1967 (exchange of students from North East tribal states and vice versa). He was also the founder and general secretary of the Indian National Fellowship Centre (INFC), an NGO registered in 1975, with an objective to strengthen brotherhood/fellowship and nationalism in North East and their strategic borders area, having branches in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur and Meghalaya.
Acharya became an active political worker during the Emergency in 1977 and was elected as Ward President of Janata Party, Juhu, Mumbai in 1977. In 1980, Acharya became member of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He was elected as the BJP president of North West District in 1987 and in 1989 became the Committee member of Mumbai BJP.
In 1991, he was elected as National Executive Member BJP in-charge of North Eastern States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland. He was also All India National Secretary of the BJP and in-charge of North Eastern states from 1995-2002. In 2002, he was the National Executive Member with the charge of Kerala & Lakshadweep, and in 2005 of Tamil Nadu. Acharya was national in-charge of SC/ST Morcha and co-convenor of Overseas Friends of BJP and National Prabhari of North East India Sampark Cell.
Acharya actively engaged in “My Home is India,” a project of ABVP, where tribal children from North East were invited by Mumbai families for education. Several students lived at his residence for 3 to 10 years (1969-79). He was involved in the activities (since 1975) of Academy for India Tribal Dialects at Rani Ma Gaidinlu Bhavan – a publication wing of INFC and published 10 booklets on tribal nationalist leaders like Rani Ma Gaidinlu (Nagaland), U. Tirot Singh and Jaban Bay (Meghalaya), Dr. Dying Ering and Narottam (Arunachal Pradesh) and also published tribal proverbs, folk-tales and poems.
Acharya was associated with Janata Kalyan Kendra, registered trust in Mumbai, a backward community service oriented organization. He was also associated with a reputed Educational Trust in Mumbai as treasurer, secretary, chairman, president for the last 35 years as a life member of the Trust running educational institutes, schools, and colleges, architecture college, MCVC College, Junior Commence College and Centre for Development and Advanced Computing (CDAC) Institute.
Acharya is widely travelled and has visited many countries like USA, Canada, Europe, Mexico, China, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. He has traveled with educated youth for 25 years all over India and visited North Eastern strategic border areas of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura nearly 100 times. He has also visited strategic border areas like Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Ladakh and many other parts of India.
Acharya is married to Kavita Acharya and has three sons and one daughter (all married) and eight grand children.