Govindjee was born on October 24, 1933 in Allahabad, U.P. His father, Visheshwar Prasad, who was an educationist, did not believe in caste and creed and so dropped their family name of Asthana. Thus Govindjee uses only one name.
After taking his B.Sc. and M.Sc. from the University of Allahabad, standing first in the University in the latter, Govindjee left for the USA in 1956.
Today, Govindjee is a Professor Emeritus of Biophysics and Plant Biology in the Departments of Plant Biology, Biochemistry and the Center of Biophysics & Computational Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
In collaboration with his students, Govindjee has explored the mechanism that enables plants to evolve oxygen and has been successful to a large extent. If man is able to understand photosynthesis fully, food production could be easily increased. There will no longer be hunger on earth.