The Greatest Scientists of India By Kunika Khera from Army Institute of Law
With the increasing technological developments and advancements, our country has given birth to a great number of prodigies who have changed the landscape of science not only in India but around the world. These scientists have created and discovered many new machinery and phenomenon adding to the glorious history of technology and science.
C.V. Raman was probably one of the first scientists of India. In 1930, he received the Nobel Prize for formulating the Raman Effect. This phenomenon studied the scattering of light. He discovered that, when light passes through a translucent material, some of the rebounded light changes in wavelength. His last words were “Do not allow the journals of the Academy to die, for they are the sensitive indicators of the quality of Science being done in the country and whether science is taking root in it or not.”[i]
Homi J. Bhabha
Homi J. Bhabha was an atomic scientist that changed the face of science in India. He was responsible for setting up various institutions and organizations for fostering and encouraging new talent. He instituted the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and the Trombay Atomic Energy Establishment (now named after him). Now, dubbed as the father of Indian nuclear programme, he went on to play a very important role in the Quantum Theory.
Visvesvaraya was a great statesman and academician who was one of the main promoters of industrialization in India. The Bharat Ratna awardee went on to develop irrigation systems with great contribution in building of Krishnarajasagar Dam. On 15 September, each year his birthday is celebrated as Engineer’s Day.
Even without any formal training, Srinivasa Ramanujan went on to become one of the greatest mathematicians in the 20th century. His contributions to the number theory, infinite series and continued fractions are recognised worldwide. In Tamil Nadu, 22 December is celebrated as ‘State IT Day’ to commemorate his birthday.
The nephew of C.V. Raman, Chandrashekhar was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physics for his theory of black holes. The Chandrashekhar Limit is named after him. His other works deal with stars and their radiation.
Jagdish Chandra Bose was a physicist, biologist and an archaeologist.[ii] His work revolved around radio and micro optics. He also developed crescograph that measured the response of plants to various stimuli and showed that they could ‘feel’ as well. Apart from his wok in science, he is also a famous Bengali science fiction writer as well.
The Saha Equation is one of the famous theories in the world that seeks to define the thermal ionisation of elements that also help in the study of the interpretation of spectra of stars in astrophysics. He was also the pioneer of river water planning in India. He was the one who set up the Damodar Valley River Project.
Birbal Sahni studied fossils in India and a great geologist and palaeobotanist. He was also elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of London.
Har Gobind Khorana
Khorana won the 1968 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine along with Nirenberg and Holley for his study in genetic code interpretation and its function in protein synthesis. He was also the first man to synthesize an artificial gene in a living cell.
The father of India’s space programme, Vikram Sarabhai helped in establishing Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). He was also awarded Padma Bhushan and later Padma Vibhushan, posthumously. He was also the force behind setting up of various other organizations such as the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) and the Nehru Foundation for Development.
The ‘Bird-Man’ of India is known for his pioneering work in the field of ornithology. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan.
Satyendra Nath Bose
The Bose-Einstein theory is one of the most popular in the world. He had sent his paper regarding ultraviolet catastrophe and radiation to Albert Einstein who translated it into German. A class of particles ‘bosons’ were also named after him by Paul Dirac. Rabindranath Tagore dedicated his book on science Vishay-Parichay to him as well.
APJ Abdul Kalam
APJ Abdul Kalam along with a great President was one of India’s most qualified scientist who started his career by building a small helicopter. He worked as an Aerospace engineer with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). He was the project director of Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III). His work is well known in field of vehicle technology and ballistic missiles. He is fondly called the Missile Man of India as well.
In a short span, these prodigious scientists have helped India in achieving greater heights in the field of science and technology. The infrastructure and opportunities provided in various institutions would continue to foster and develop such talent and help in India advance.
[i]Shreya Pareek, 14 Indian Scientists that Changed the World, http://www.thebetterindia.com/10725/12-indian-scientists-changed-the-world-inspiring/
[ii]Scientist, 15 Famous Indian Scientists, https://www.famousscientists.org/15-famous-indian-scientists-inventions/
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the articles or any other publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Educoncours or its members.