He has over four decades of teaching experience which even taught environmental exposure (rural exposure or living with people), immersing them in observing the rural ways of life. He was the first to coin the term ‘majority world’ in place of the derogatory term ‘developing world’. He has been invited to various national and international forums, being the keynote speaker at the Second IAUD conference 2006, Kyoto, and the third IAUD conference 2010 at Hamamatsu. The most significant international meeting organised by him was the ‘UNIDO-ICSID meeting on Design for Development’, the first of its kind meeting held in a developing country.
He is a published author with many helpful design books to his credit. These include books such as ‘Thinking Design’, ‘Design Quotes’ and some sections in ‘Britannica Encyclopedia’, ‘Universal Design Handbook’, ‘Teaching Universal Design’, ‘The Idea of Design: Arthaya’, ‘Design and development in South and South-East Asia’, and ‘Quality through Industrial Design’. His article on bullock cart design was prescribed as a core course for secondary schools throughout India by the National Council of Educational Research and Training.
He is a recipient of the honorary fellowship of the Society of Industrial Designers of India and an invited member of the advisory board of ‘Design Issues”, U.S.A. Four of his inventions have been patented by NID. NID has also won the first ICSID - Philips award (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design) for its outstanding achievement in Industrial Design. One of the seven projects which won this award was Prof. Balaram’s. He has won numerous awards, including the Ron Mace international award for Universal Design, the Helen Keller award for outstanding contribution for people with disabilities, and the UNIDO-ICSID award for Design for Development.