A. V. Balasubramanian obtained his M.Sc., degree in Chemistry from Bangalore University and did a Post M.Sc., diploma in Molecular Biophysics from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. Later he studied Physiology and Biophysics at the State University of New York at Stonybrook. Since 1982 he has been involved in work relating to various aspects of Traditional Indian Sciences and Technologies and trying to explore their current relevance and potential. In 1995 he founded the Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems, (CIKS) an institution devoted to exploring the contemporary relevance and applications of Indian Knowledge Systems, particularly in the area of sustainable agriculture.
In CIKS he has been involved in the production of educational and training material on various aspects of Sustainable Agriculture as well as research on this topic drawing upon indigenous knowledge wisdom and practices. More recently he has also been involved in helping farmers to set up a large number of producer companies through which various activities relating to the production and marketing of organic produce are carried out as well as services for farmers are offered. He has been a member of several committees of the Government of India (Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Rural Development and Ministry of Human Resources Development) as well as on the Editorial Board of several Magazines and Journals (such as the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine). Besides agriculture he also has an active interest in other areas of Indian knowledge systems including – indigenous health and yoga as well as the epistemology of traditional knowledge systems. For his contributions in the area of indigenous traditions of Sciences and Technologies he was the recipient of an honorary doctorate awarded by the Gandhigram Rural University, Gandhigram, Dindigul district, Tamil Nadu in 2010.
He is one of the Founding Trustee of CIKS and currently Director of the Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems.
Popularly known as "The Spider Woman", Viji did some landmark research on the use of the spider Heteropoda venatoria (The giant crab spider ) as a controller of the household pest the cockroach. Realising the need to effectively utilize her research for common good, she started exploring possibilities for using spiders as bio-control agents as an alernative to chemical pesticides.
Her work at CIKS focuses on the use of effective indigenous agricultural practices, especially non-chemical pest control methods and helping farmers to take up organic farming.
She has published several papers, books and manuals on a variety of topics over the years. Her simple, user-friendly style has come in for universal praise.