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Eminent Scientists - India


Abdul Kalam, Dr A.P.J.: is credited with advancement of missile technology in India. He was honoured with Bharat Ratna award on November 26, 1997. He is known as “father of India’s Missile Technology”. Elected 11th President of India.

Dr Anil Kakodkar is a very distinguished nuclear scientist of India. He is presently the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India (AECI) as well as the Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Atomic Energy.

Aryabhatta: (A.D. 476-520) after whom India’s first scientific satellite has been named, was a great Indian astronomer and mathematician. Among his important contributions are the recognition of the importance of the mov ement of the earth round the sun, determination of the physical parameters of various celestial bodies, such as diameter of the earth and the moon. He laid the foundations of algebra and was responsible for pointing out importance of “zero”.

Bhagvantam, Dr S.: is an eminent Indian scientist who has made a rich contribution to research in radio astronomy and cosmic rays. He has published more than 150 research papers and several books. He retired in October 1969 as the Scientific Adviser to the Ministry of Defence, and Director General of the Defence Research Development Organisation. He is an old-time associate of Sir C.V. Raman.

Bhaskaracharya: Born in A.D. 1114, he was almost the last great Hindu mathematician and astronomer until modern times. He wrote Sidhanta-Siromani in 1150  which consisted of two mathematical and two astronomical parts. Bhaskara anticipated the modern theory on the convention of signs (minus by minus makes plus, minus by plus makes minus). He also anticipated Kepler’s method for determining the surface and volume of sphere.

Bhatnagar, Dr Shanti Swarup: (1895-1955) great Indian scientist. He was Director of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (C.S.I.R.). A chain of National Laboratories has been established in the country due to his able organisation and unbounded energy.

Birbal Sahni was a renowned paleobotanist of India, who studied the fossils of the Indian subcontinent. Also a great geologist, Sahni is credited for establishing the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany at Lucknow in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Born on 14 November in the year 1891 at Behra in the Saharanpur District of West Punjab, Birbal was the third son of Ishwar Devi and Prof.

Bose, Sir J.C.: (1858-1937) Eminent Indian physicist and Botanist; founder of Bose Research Institute, Calcutta. Inventor of crescograph which is used to magnify movements made by plants.
Bose, S.N.: Eminent Indian scientist who won fame by expounding the Bose-Einstein theory, which is concerned in detection of a group of nuclear particles—named after him ‘Boson’ in recognition of his contribution to the subject; contributed to Plank’s law. Professor of physics, Calcutta University; nominated member to the Council of States. Awarded Padma Vibhushan in 1954. He died on February 4, 1974.

Chandrasekhar, Dr Subramanian: He was a scientist of Indian origin settled in the U.S.A., who shared the 1983  Nobel Prize for physics with an American, William Fowler. He was one of the most outstanding astrophysicist of the world.
His theory of stellar evolution—the birth and death of stars—is more than 30 years old. When he first propounded his finding that old stars just collapse and disappear in the light of denser stars of low light, the world’s top-flight astronomers laughed at him and rejected his theory. A disappointed Dr Chandrasekhar left Trinity, Cambridge, to pursue his research in the University of Chicago. Over the next two decades the “Chandrasekhar Limit” became an intrinsic part of text-books on advanced astrophysics. Global recognition and awards poured in, and the 1983 Nobel Prize tops a remarkable career spanning almost half a century.

Charak: (c.A.D. 80-180) was a court physician to Kushan king Kanishka. His writings are invaluable in the study of Hindu medicine.

Dhanvantri: a great physician during the reign of Chandragupta Vikramaditya (375-413 A.D.).

Dhawan, Prof Satish: He is former Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Under his dynamic leadership India entered Space Age by launching “Aryabhata”, a scientific satellite, into space on April 19, 1975.

Ganapathi Thanikaimoni, a successful botanist of his days, is remembered till date for his widespread contribution in the field of palynology. His researches and projects not only helped India to make its presence felt on the world stage of botany, it also furthered public relations between two countries.

Gopalasamudram Narayana Iyer Ramachandran, popularly referred to as G. N. Ramachandran surely must be included in the list of one of the best scientists that 20th century India had produced. The best known work of G. N. Ramachandran till date is the Ramachandran plot, which the scientist had conceived along with Viswanathan Sasisekharan, to understand the structure of peptides.

Harish-Chandra, for those who quiver at the thought of calculations and numerical deductions, unless when counting money, mathematics can be the equivalent of hell on earth. And for such 'math atheists' a mathematician like Harish Chandra can very well seem like a mirage.

Har Gobind Khorana is an American molecular biologist born on 9 January 1922 to an Indian Punjabi couple. For his work on the interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in the year 1968.

Homi Bhabha, whose full name was Homi Jehnagir Bhabha, was a famous Indian atomic scientist. In Independent India, Homi Jehnagir Bhabha, with the support of Jawaharlal Nehru, laid the foundation of a scientific establishment and was responsible for the creation of two premier institutions, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.

Khorana Hargobind: who shared with two others the 1968 Nobel Prize for Medicine is an Indian by birth and an American by domicile. He deciphered the genetic code and later created an artificial gene.

Krishnan, Dr K.S.: (born 1898) collaborated with Sir C.V. Raman in the discovery of “Raman Effect”. President, Indian Science Congress, 1949; delegate to several international scientific conferences; Director, National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi.

Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao was one of the greatest physicists of 20th century India. His work in spectroscopy led to the development of the Nuclear Quadrupole Resonance in Physics. Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao is also known for his long association with the Andhra University in which he served as professor of Physics and subsequently,

Meghnad Saha was born on October 6, 1893 in Sheoratali, a village in the District of Dacca, now in Bangladesh. He was the fifth child of his parents, Sri Jagannath Saha and Smt. Bhubaneshwari Devi. His father was a grocer in the village. Meghnad Saha had his early schooling in the primary school of the village.

Sir M. Visvesvaraya was born on September 15, 1860 in Muddenahalli village in the Kolar district of the erstwhile princely state of Mysore (present day Karnataka). His father Srinivasa Sastry was a Sanskrit scholar and Ayurvedic practitioner. His mother Venkachamma was a religious lady. He lost his father when he was only 15 years old.

Nagarjuna: the renowned chemist of Buddhist era whose works are mostly preserved in  China and Tibet. A great Philosopher and Chemist. He makes a mention of crucibles, distillation stills, sublimation, colouring process, alloying of metals, extraction of copper and use of many metallic oxides in medicines. About chemistry he said, “As long as the science of chemistry prevails, let hunger, pain and poverty not torment men.”

Nag-Chowdhury, B.D.: an eminent Indian nuclear physicist, known all over the world.

Narlikar, J.V.: Indian scientist; co-author of Hoyle-Narlikar Theory of continuous creation. The theory of which he is co-author has been hailed as supplying some important missing links in Einstein’s theory of Relativity. The new theory of gravitation propounded by both the scientists, Narlikar and Hoyle, shows that gravitation is always attractive and there is no gravitational repulsions.

Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis. Economic census, population census, agricultural surveys and various other large scale and in depth samples and surveys that have been admired the world over for their scope and accuracy owes its popularity and worldwide acceptance to the grit, determination and genius of one man, Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis.

Raman, Sir C.V.: (1888-1970) Eminent Indian Scientist (F.R.S.) National Professor of Physics and founder Director of Raman Research Institute, Bangalore. He was awarded Nobel Prize for his discovery of ‘Raman Effect’ (Feb 28, 1928). His work on study of crystal structure is of unique importance. Feb 28 is celebrated every year as National Science Day.

Ramanujan, Srinivas: (1887-1920) Indian mathematician who contributed to the theory of numbers, theory of partitions, and the theory of continued fractions.

Ramsay, Sir William: (1852-1916) English chemist who discovered helium and later on neon, argon in collaboration with Rayleigh and others. He was awarded Nobel Prize in 1904.
Rao, Prof U. Ramachandra: is the Director of Indian Scientific Satellite Project (ISSP) at Peenya near Bangalore.

Ray, Sir P.C.: (1861-1944) founder of Indian Chemical Society and Bengal Chemical and Pharmaceutical Works Ltd., and author of ‘Hindu Chemistry’. His work about nitrous acid and its salts deserves special mention.

Saha, Dr Meghnad: (1893-1956) late Palit Prof of Physics, University College of Science and Technology, Calcutta University—well known for his researches in nuclear physics, cosmic rays, spectrum analysis and other branches of theoretical physics.

Sarabhai, Dr Vikram A.: former Chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Commission and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) died on December 30, 1971. Dr Sarabhai was an eminent physicist mainly interested in the astrophysical implications of Cosmic Ray Time Variations.

Satyendra Nath Bose was an outstanding Indian physicist. He is known for his work in Quantum Physics. He is famous for "Bose-Einstein Theory" and a kind of particle in atom has been named after his name as Boson.

Sen, P.K. (Dr): is the Indian surgeon who performed Asia’s first heart transplant operation in Mumbai.

Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar was a distinguished Indian scientist. He was born on 21 February 1894 at Shahpur, which is located in Pakistan in present times. His father passed away sometime after the birth of Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar. As such, he spent his childhood days with his maternal grandfather who was an engineer and it was here that he developed an interest in science and engineering.

Susruta: was a fourth century Hindu surgeon and physician. He wrote an important  book on medicine and also a thesis on the medical properties of garlic.

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century. He did commendable work in astrophysics, physics and applied mathematics. Chandrasekhar was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1983.

Varahmihira: (505-587) was a distinguished Indian astronomer, mathematician and philosopher. He was one of the nine gems of the court of king Vikramaditya.

Indian born American, Venkataraman Ramakrishnan is a senior scientist in the Structural Division at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, in Cambridge, England. This great scholar has worked in various fields of biology during the earlier part of his career. However, Venkat along with Thomas A. 

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