Celebration of the true spirit of Rajasthan can be witnessed during the innumerable festivals organized here throughout the year. These festivals are splendid opportunities for tourists to experience the life and culture of Rajasthan, as these festivals are a unique blend of the socio-cultural elements. There are festivals held across the state of Rajasthan that are celebrated both on cultural and religious occasions. Men wearing bright red turbans and women adorned with vibrantly colored lehangas and odhnis exhibit a colorful look and reveal the joyous spirit and passion of the people of Rajasthan towards life. During these festivals, the entire Rajasthan takes part in making them a grand event. People from the trading community, different tribal people, and different types of artists bring life to these festivals with their participation. These festivals offer something unique to everyone according to their tastes.
The festivals provide an opportunity to the people of Rajasthan to take a break from the mundane routine life and unite together to be a part of celebrating life in a distinctive Rajasthani way. The desert land comes alive with the splash of colors dashed across the state with the organizing of these festivals. What’s more, these festivals also give the visitors a peek into the royal life of the former rulers of Rajasthan. To add on, Rajasthan has now become a hub of cultural tourism and so have the festivals which are an integral part of the tour to Rajasthan. A number of colorful festivals involving elephants, camel races, music, and dance performances are organized for tourists and visitors. Some of the most recognized festivals of Rajasthan include Mewar Festival, Marwar Festival, Teej Festival, Desert Festival, Gangaur Festival, Kajli Teej Festival, and Bikaner Camel Festival. These festivals play a host to thousands of people every year who make it a point to be present here not just from India but across the globe.
Gangaur is a colourful and the one of the most important festivals of the people of Rajasthan and is observed throughout the state with great fervour and devotion by womenfolk who worship Gauri, the consort of Lord Shiva during March–April. It is the celebration of spring, harvest and marital fidelity. Gana is a synonym for Lord Shiva and Gaur which stands for Gauri or Parvati who symbolizes Saubhagya (marital bliss). The unmarried women worship her for being blessed good husband, while married women do so for the welfare, health and long life of their husbands and happy married life.
The festival commences on the first day of chaitra, the day following Holi and continues for 16 days. For a newly-wedded girl, it is binding to observe the full course of 18 days of the festival that succeeds her marriage. Even unmarried girls fast for the full period of the 18 days and eat only one meal a day. Festivity consummates on 3rd day of Shukla Paksha of Chaitra Month.Fairs (Gangaur Melas) are held throughout the 18 day period. Numerous folklores are associated with Gangaur which makes this festival deeply ingrained into the hearts of Rajasthan, and parts of Madhya Pradesh, Haryana & Gujarat.
Images of Isar and [Parvati |Gauri] are made of clay for the festival. In some Rajput families, permanent wooden images are painted afresh every year by reputed painters called matherans on the eve of festival. A distinct difference between the idols of Teej and Gangaur is that the Idol will have a canopy during the Teej Festival while the Gangaur idol would not have a canopy.
The ladies decorate their hands and feet by drawing designs with Mehndi (myrtle paste). The figures drawn range from the Sun, Moon and the starts to simple flowers or geometrical designs. Ghudlias are earthen pots with numerous holes all around and a lamp lit inside them. On the evening of the 7th day after Holi, unmarried girls go around singing songs of ghudlia carrying the pots with a burning lamp inside, on their heads. On their way, they collect small presents of cash, sweets, jiggery (“gur”), ghee, oil etc. this continues for 10 days i.e. up to the conclusion of the Gangaur festival when the girls break their pots and throw the debris into the well or a tank and enjoys a feast with the collection made.
The festival reaches its climax during the last three days. The images of Gauri and Isar are dressed in new garments especially made for the occasion. Unmarried girls and married women decorate the images and make them look like living figures.
At an auspicious hour in the afternoon, a procession is taken out to a garden, bawdi or johad or well with the images of Isar and Gauri, placed on the heads of married women. Songs are sung about the departure of Gauri to her husband’s house. The procession comes back after offering water to the first two days. On the final day, she faces in the same direction as Isar and the procession concludes in the consignment of the all images in the waters of a tank or a well. The women bid farewell to Gauri and turn their eyes and the Gangaur festival comes to an end.
The Gangaur of Jaipur is famous in all over the world. In Jaipur, a sweet dish called a ghewar is characteristic of the Gangaur festival. People buy ghewar to eat and distribute it among their friends and relatives. A procession, with the image of Gauri, commences from the Zanani-Deodhi of the City Palace. It then passes through Tripolia Bazaar, Chhoti Chaupar, Gangauri Bazaar, Chaugan stadium and finally converge near the Talkatora. People from all walks of life come to witness the procession.
Teej is the festival of swings. It marks the advent of the monsoon month of Shravan (August). The monsoon rains fall on the parched land and the pleasing scent of the wet soil rises into the air. Swings are hung from trees and women dressed in green clothes sing songs in celebration of the advent of the monsoon. This festival is dedicated to the Goddess Parvati, commemorating her union with Lord Shiva. Goddess Parvati is worshipped by seekers of conjugal bliss and happiness. An elaborate procession is taken out in Jaipur for two consecutive days on the festive occasion which is watched by people in large numbers. The Teej idol is covered with a canopy whereas the Gangaur idol is open. The traditional “ghevar” sweet is also associated with the festival.
- Pushkar Fair
The Pushkar Fair, or Pushkar ka Mela, is the annual five-day camel and livestock fair, held in the town of Pushkar near Ajmer city. It is one of the world’s largest camel fairs, and apart from buying and selling of livestock it has become an important tourist attraction and its highlights have become competitions such as the “matka phod“, “longest moustache”, and “bridal competition” are the main draws for this fair which attracts thousands of tourists. In recent years the fair has also included an exhibition cricket match between the local Pushkar club and a team of random foreign tourists.
Thousands of people go to the banks of the Pushkar Lake where the fair takes place. Men buy and sell their livestock, which includes camels, cows, sheep and goats. The women go to the stalls, full of bracelets, clothes, textiles and fabrics. A camel race starts off the festival, with music, songs and exhibitions to follow.
It is celebrated for five days from the Kartik ekadashi to Kartik Poornima, the full moon day (the 15th) of Kartik (October–November) in the Hindu calendar. The full moon day is the main day and the day, according to legend, when the Hindu god Brahma sprung up the Pushkar Lake, thus numerous people swim in its sacred waters. For the year 2014 it will be celebrated on October 31-November 6.
- Urs Festival, Ajmer
The Urs festival is an annual festival held at Ajmer (a city in Rajasthan), which commemorates the death anniversary of the Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti, (founder of the Chishtiya Sufi order in India). It is held over six days and features night-long dhikr/zikr qawwali singing. The anniversary is celebrated in the seventh month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Thousands of pilgrims visit the shrine from all over India and abroad.
The Urs of Moinuddin Chishti started in 1212 A.D. It is celebrated every year in the first week of Islamic month of Rajab, on seeing the moon of Rajab, the seventh month of the Islamic calendar. Drums are beaten to herald the commencement of the annual ceremony.
The word Urs is derived from “uroos”, which means “ultimate meeting of an individual with God”. It is said that Moinuddin Chishti spent the last six days of his life in seclusion in a Huzra (room meant for prayers), and on the sixth day of Rajab he died.
The sixth day of the Urs is regarded as the most special and auspicious. It is called “Chhati Sharif”. It is celebrated on the 6th Rajab between 10:00 A.M. and 1:30 p.m. inside the Mazaar Sharif. Shijra is read by duty bound Khadims of Moinuddin Chishti, and then there is Fariyad (prayers).
Just before the Qu’l (conclusion of Chhati Sharif), Badhaawa (a poem of praise) is sung at the main entrance of the shrine by Qawwals.
Badhaawa is a recitation accompanied only by clapping; no musical instrument is played. It was composed by Syed Behlol Chishty, an ancestor of the present day Khadim community. After its recitation, the ceremony of the Qu’l comes to an end, and Fatiha is recited. The end of the ceremony is marked by firing a cannon at 1:30 p.m.
- Winter Festival at Mount Abu, Rajasthan
The Winter Festival at Mount Abu, Rajasthan is held annually from 29–31 December. The festival is jointly organised by the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation and the Municipal Board of Mount Abu.
Mount Abu, situated at an altitude of 1,219 m above sea level, is the only hill station in Rajasthan.
The Winter Festival features traditional dancing, concerts, fairs, and a fireworks display; participants include folk artists from majorly Rajasthan and also from Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. The festival opens with a procession to Nakki Lake.
Other attractions of the festival include stage performance of Sufi Kathak and folk dances such as Daph, Ghoomar and Gair, and entertainments such as kite-flying, hot air ballooning, cricket, gilli danda, poetry reading and music performances.
- Desert Festival, Jaisalmer
This is a 3 days festival held in January or February each year during which the otherwise barren land of Jaisalmer comes to life and displays some cherished moments of its illustrious past and affluent culture. Traditional dances backed by high-pitched music create an out-of-this-world environment. The Turban Tying Competition and Mr. Desert contest give a totally distinct touch to the festival.
The famous Gair dancers and the traditional fire dancers leave the crowd enchanted and asking for more. The festival ends with a trip to the sand dunes where you can enjoy the pleasure of a camel ride while viewing dancers and musicians displaying their skills. It will be a time that you will cherish for years to come.
Future of Indian High Speed Rail
PM Modi is all set to embark on his first Japan visit as the PM tomorrow and the high speed bullet train project will be high on his agenda for discussions. The modern high speed bullet trains first originated in Japan in 1964. Japan is India’s biggest bilateral economic donor. Japan assisted India during the setting up of the Delhi Metro system. Therefore, ties between Japan and India extend beyond being ceremonial to being built on the foundation of concrete partnerships. Japan and India have the potential to create a more concrete partnership based on mutual trust and friendship. Friendship between Japan and India is all set to surge to a new higher level. The future is here now!
It is well known that projects such as: metro trains (MRTS-Mass Rapid Transit System), LRTS (Light Rapid Transit System), monorails, dedicated bus corridors, etc.; are in design, construction or feasibility study phase in numerous cities in India. It is therefore only reasonable that India must have high speed transit systems between the cities as well to make inter-city and inter-state transportation quick and safe.
Recently there were reports that India may opt for Maglev bullet trains (Magnetic Levitation) for the high speed rail network being planned for the country. This is a commendable decision given that India has an excellent opportunity to leapfrog into the next generation of bullet train technology simply because it does not have to replace any existing high speed network, problems that the developed nations in the world are facing. Maglev trains travel at higher speeds than conventional bullet trains due to reduced friction. The Maglev train typically gets lifted a few inches above the track when it races to its destination, thereby eliminating contact between the train and the tracks. It is a method of propulsion that uses magnetic levitation to propel vehicles with magnets rather than with wheels, axles and bearings.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is carrying out a joint study with India on the 534-km Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train corridor, is expected to submit its second report in November. Currently, the JICA and French railway are involved in the feasibility study of the Rs. 62,000 crore Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project. While the French report will focus on the project’s business development model, JICA’s study will cover alignment, scheduling, tariff, technology, traffic, funding pattern, environment and social impact, passenger profile, number of station among other aspects. A sum of Rs. 100 crore has been allocated in the Rail Budget for preparatory work of the bullet train project. The nations, France, Italy, China and Japan are competing to partner with India for the implementation of the project but China and Japan are the frontrunners in this race. While China is promoting low cost as its USP, Japan is pushing its higher safety records.
The argument that India is not yet ready to embrace high speed rail is irrational, misplaced and politically motivated. While it is admissible that not all will be able to afford travelling in a bullet train in the initial years, the consequent indirect benefits that will start to trickle in the near future far outweigh the costs associated with the building of this crucial infrastructure:-
- Economic Impact
First of all, when Japan had planned the construction of bullet train network after World War II, there were similar arguments against it as we are now having in India. Japan’s per capita GNP back then was also very similar to what it is in India right now. Not only did the bullet trains become profitable in 3 years’ time in Japan, they made journey between important cities so quick that it transformed the economic scenario of Japan. The Japanese “Shinkansen”(bullet train) has had a significant effect on Japan’s business, economy, society, environment and culture. The time savings alone from switching from a conventional to a high-speed network have been estimated at 400 million hours, an economic impact of ¥500 billion per year.
Shinkansen connectivity has rejuvenated rural towns and villages that would otherwise be too distant from major cities. They have made remote Japanese towns and villages accessible — stimulating rural economies. They have also dramatically improved city life. In Tokyo you’re never far away from snow, beach and onsen.
You can well imagine how a similar network for India could infuse the much needed investment in our village economies making them far more accessible and nearer to cities than today. It could bring far more villages and towns in the ambit of the “satellite towns” concept. Yoshiyuki Kasai, Chairman of the Central Japan Railway Company says that India does not have the choice but it has to build the high-speed railway system to achieve higher growth rate. According to him, “High-speed railway makes travel time between cities shorter by several hours. Due to this, different cities are integrated into a single economic lifezone. The long-term economic and social impact of such systems will be huge.”
- Promoting manufacturing and utilizing the demographic dividend– India’s transition to “world’s back-office” has helped only the educated and skilled youth of the country. India needs to change itself into “world’s manufacturer” to provide job opportunities to the biggest youth population in the world. India is in an advantage position to take up the leadership position in manufacturing at the cost of China for next 20–30 years, because of India’s demographic dividend which is available for next 20 years or so, before it turns into demographic liability. But, India has plains in interior of India where it can set up large-scale manufacturing bases without causing much environmental degradation. India needs to build infrastructure to connect interior of India to seaports through mega infrastructure projects. High Speed Rail is one of such projects which can accelerate India’s growth rate
- India’s double-digit GDP growth– “Investment cycle” created by the High Speed rail will result in India making a major jump to the double-digit growth rate. Indian economy will be converted from Social sector focused Expenditure based economy with 4–5% growth rate and low value jobs to the Investment based double digit growth rate economy with high-value jobs helping India to effectively use the Demographic Dividend for next 30 years, before it turns into a Demographic Liability without major pension reforms.
- Poverty alleviation-India’s expenditure-based poverty alleviation has been a failure against the investment-based growth. GDP through job generation against the one-time subsidy payouts have helped India to uplift record number of people out of poverty, year after year. As seen in Japan, HSR lines bring along with them investment and prosperity.
- Job generation– Micro, small, medium and large-scale industries will benefit by the HSR. A company manufacturing nut and bolts to the company working on high tech steel will all get benefited, taking India’s manufacturing share to 25% of the GDP. It all depends on the government’s domestic content, technology transfer and competitive-bidding policies.
- Corporate muscle-flexing– Investment in this sector will result in genesis of companies with unmatchable know-how and money power, which will go on to acquire companies and invest in this sector across the world. India’s investment in airports, space, petroleum, telecommunication, renewable energy etc. have created companies, mainly in private sector which have gone international and acquired companies worldwide:- e.g. GMR (Istanbul and Mactan-Cebu), GVK (Bali airport), Airtel (Africa), Indian Oil, ISRO, ONGC Videsh, Suzlon (5th-largest in the world).
- Tourism– Access to the eastern and north-eastern states (Meghalaya, Assam, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, West Bengal and Odisha), Kashmir and South Indian states will be hours of travel from days. Foreign and domestic tourists can cover more places in the same time, thus bringing wealth to more places. Tourism may emerge as a major source of Income, if enabling environment is created.
- Efficiency- The delay time per train per year of the Japanese Shinkansen is only 6 seconds! Enough said!!
Personally, I am more for the Japanese “Shinkansen” than the lower cost Chinese version of it, due to Shinkansen’s best safety record in the world for high speed railways. Low cost is just a short term advantage while higher level of safety is a long term profitable bet according to me. Japanese bullet trains (Shinkansen) have the best safety record on the planet: beating conventional trains, automobiles and flying. They have served 7 billion passengers without a single passenger fatality due to a derailment or collision.
Japan was the first country to introduce an extensive bullet train system (1964). Since then, only one passenger has died as the result of an accident (involving the doors of a train). Trains now have a variety of systems and procedures to prevent this from happening again. The Shinkansen’s near-perfect safety record is remarkable considering that Japan is the most seismically active country in the world.
Shinkansens are wired into Japan’s earthquake early warning system. In most cases, a Shinkansen has time to brake before an earthquake arrives. While its automatic train control (ATC) keeps tabs on the distance to a train running in front and stops itself if necessary, the new Center-Fastened Brake Disc has high braking performance. The new braking system is also called an earthquake-triggered brake. When electric power is cut by an earthquake, the braking system detects it and automatically starts functioning. It also increases braking force applied to the disc by 15%. When the Great East Japan Earthquake hit in March 2011, 10 Shinkansen trains were speeding on a stretch hit hard between Fukushima and Iwate prefectures, including five trains running at 270 km/h. But all the trains were able to make an emergency stop and none of them derailed or rolled over. Another feature of the current Shinkansen is a fixed-speed travel device that automatically speeds up or slows down the train taking into consideration changing land conditions ahead on the line. The device stores in itself all data about steepness, bends and tunnels waiting down the line, calculates their impact on the running of a train and generates signals giving proper speed instructions. In normal times, Shinkansen trains are driven manually without the fixed-speed travel device online. But when the timetable is disrupted in bad weather, the device is switched on, allowing recovery from train delays much faster than before.
India needs bullet trains with similar systems as the northern plains lie on the mid-continental earthquake belt and so are prone to earthquakes.
Globally too, bullet trains have beaten other modes of transportation as the safest bet to travel.
Bullet trains will bring the much needed and additional dimension of safety in Indian Railways, especially when the country witnessed several severe train accidents in the previous year due to increasing passenger load, obsolete safety mechanisms and lack of coordination.
- Environmental Impact
Bullet trains produce much less air pollution than automobiles, planes and conventional trains. Traveling the Tokyo-Osaka line by Shinkansen produces only around 16% of the carbon dioxide of the equivalent journey by car, a saving of 15,000 tons of environmentally degrading carbon dioxide per year.
Long-distance travel (air and rail) will move away from petroleum-based inflationary fuel to the electricity, whose real cost of production is decreasing and is non-inflationary, as India is one of the biggest producer of renewable energy in the world.
- Rail Diplomacy
Like China, India too can have a chance at strengthening her economic and strategic partnerships with the neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar by building high speed rail links for transportation across the border. This can lead to cross border integration in all aspects: cultural, economic, tourism, security, etc. International tourist circuits in South Asia on similar lines of European tourist circuits could be formed.
- National Integration
India has multiple cultures and languages, as the rivers, mountains and forests have hindered the people to people contact. This has an impact even now as regionalism and communalism have an upper hand in national politics rather than patriotism. High speed railways will change that as India will move to a single identity and culture, similar to what happened in Japan after the introduction of bullet trains.
Here are some pictures from my travel in China:-
—> Yeah, that’s me 😀
—>The speedometer inside the bullet train showing travel speed of 285 kmph!!
—>No, this is not an airport, it is a railway station!!
- Author of several treatises on mathematics and astronomy, some of which are lost.
- Aryabhatiya, a compendium of mathematics and astronomy. Covers arithmetic, algebra, plane trigonometry, and spherical trigonometry. It also contains continued fractions, quadratic equations, sums-of-power series, and a table of sines.
- Arya-siddhanta, a lost work on astronomical computations.
- Used place value system.
- Used Zero
Approximation of pi (π)
- Calculated Area of a Triangle
- Aryabhata correctly insisted that the earth rotates about its axis daily, and that the apparent movement of the stars is a relative motion caused by the rotation of the earth, contrary to the then-prevailing view, that the sky rotated. This is indicated in the first chapter of the Aryabhatiya, where he gives the number of rotations of the earth in a yuga, and made more explicit in his gola chapter.
- Solar and lunar eclipses were scientifically explained by Aryabhata. He states that the Moon and planets shine by reflected sunlight. Instead of the prevailing cosmogony in which eclipses were caused by pseudo-planetary demons Rahu and Ketu, he explains eclipses in terms of shadows cast by and falling on Earth.
- Some of his results are cited by Al-Khwarizmi and in the 10th century Al-Biruni stated that Aryabhata’s followers believed that the Earth rotated on its axis.
- His definitions of sine (jya), cosine (kojya), versine (utkrama-jya), and inverse sine (otkram jya) influenced the birth of trigonometry. He was also the first to specify sine and versine (1 − cos x) tables, in 3.75° intervals from 0° to 90°, to an accuracy of 4 decimal places. In fact, modern names “sine” and “cosine” are mistranscriptions of the words jya and kojya as introduced by Aryabhata. As mentioned, they were translated as jiba and kojiba in Arabic.
- Aryabhatta Knowledge University (AKU), Patna has been established by Government of Bihar for the development and management of educational infrastructure related to technical, medical, management and allied professional education in his honour.
- India’s first satellite Aryabhata and the lunar crater Aryabhata are named in his honour. An Institute for conducting research in astronomy, astrophysics and atmospheric sciences is the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) near Nainital, India. The inter-school Aryabhata Maths Competition is also named after him, as is Bacillus aryabhata, a species of bacteria discovered by ISRO scientists in 2009.
- One of the principal contributors to the ancient art and science of Ayurveda, a system of medicine and lifestyle developed in ancient India. He is referred to as the Father of Medicine.
- He is the author of Charaka Samhita, one of the two foundational text of Ayurveda, the other being Sushruta Samhita. For two millennia it remained a standard work on the subject and was translated into many foreign languages, including Arabic and Latin.
- He seems to have been an early proponent of prevention is better than cure doctrine. The following statement is attributed to Acharya Charaka: “A physician who fails to enter the body of a patient with the lamp of knowledge and understanding can never treat diseases. He should first study all the factors, including environment, which influence a patient’s disease, and then prescribe treatment. It is more important to prevent the occurrence of disease than to seek a cure.”
- Charaka was the first physician to present the concept of digestion, metabolism and immunity.
- Charaka knew the fundamentals of genetics. For instance, he knew the factors determining the sex of a child. A genetic defect in a child, like lameness or blindness, he said, was not due to any defect in the mother or the father, but in the ovum or sperm of the parents (an accepted fact today).
- Charaka studied the anatomy of the human body and various organs. He gave 360 as the total number of bones, including teeth, present in the human body. He wrongly believed that the heart had one cavity, but he was right when he considered it to be a controlling centre. He claimed that the heart was connected to the entire body through 13 main channels. Apart from these channels, there were countless other ones of varying sizes which supplied not only nutrients to various tissues but also provided passage to waste products. He also claimed that any obstruction in the main channels led to a disease or deformity in the body.
- The Sushruta Samhita (सुश्रुत संहिता) is a Sanskrit redaction text on surgery. The original text however is lost and modifications and edited versions are currently available.
- The text discusses surgical techniques of making incisions, probing, extraction of foreign bodies, alkali and thermal cauterization, tooth extraction, excisions, and trocars for draining abscess draining hydrocele and ascitic fluid, the removal of the prostate gland, urethral stricture dilatation, vesiculolithotomy, hernia surgery, caesarian section, management of haemorrhoids, fistulae, laparotomy and management of intestinal obstruction, perforated intestines, and accidental perforation of the abdomen with protrusion of omentum and the principles of fracture management, viz., traction, manipulation, appositions and stabilization including some measures of rehabilitation and fitting of prosthetics. It enumerates six types of dislocations, twelve varieties of fractures, and classification of the bones and their reaction to the injuries, and gives a classification of eye diseases including cataract surgery.
- The text was translated to Arabic as Kitab-i-Susrud in the eighth century.
- The earliest known mention of Sushruta is from the Bower Manuscript, which is dated to the 4th or 5th century, where Sushruta is listed as one of the ten sages residing in the Himalayas. It is thus not entirely certain that Sushruta is a historical figure, but most scholars tend to allow for the possibility that he was.[clarification needed] Later Ayurvedic texts present him a son of Vishvamitra or a descendant of Dhanvantari, the physician of the gods in Hindu mythology.
- Bhaskaracharya( Bhaskar II)
- Was an Indian mathematician and astronomer. He was born in Bijapur in modern Karnataka.
- Bhāskara and his works represent a significant contribution to mathematical and astronomical knowledge in the 12th century.
- He has been called the greatest mathematician of medieval India.
- Bhāskara’s work on calculus predates Newton and Leibniz by over half a millennium. He is particularly known in the discovery of the principles of differential calculus and its application to astronomical problems and computations. While Newton and Leibniz have been credited with differential and integral calculus, there is strong evidence to suggest that Bhāskara was a pioneer in some of the principles of differential calculus. He was perhaps the first to conceive the differential coefficient and differential calculus.
- He was born in 1036 of the Śaka era (1114 CE), and that he composed the Siddhānta Śiromaṇī when he was 36 years old. He also wrote another work called the Karaṇa-kutūhala when he was 69 (in 1183). His works show the influence of Brahmagupta, Sridhara, Mahāvīra, Padmanābha and other predecessors.
- The Siddhānta Śiromaṇī discusses zero, infinity, positive and negative numbers, and indeterminate equations. In particular, he also solved the case that was to elude Fermat and his European contemporaries centuries later. In the third section Grahagaṇita, while treating the motion of planets, he considered their instantaneous speeds. He arrived at the approximation:
- for close to , or in modern notation:
- Some of Bhaskara’s contributions to mathematics include the following: A proof of the Pythagorean theorem, solutions of quadratic, cubic and quartic indeterminate equations, conceived differential calculus, after discovering the derivative and differential coefficient, calculated the derivatives of trigonometric functions and formulae, properties of zero (including division, and rules of operations with zero), the time that is required for the Earth to orbit the Sun, as 365.2588 days which is the same as in Suryasiddhanta (The modern accepted measurement is 365.2563 days, a difference of just 3.5 minutes).
- Bhaskara II conceived the modern mathematical convention that when a finite number is divided by zero, the result is infinity. In his book Lilavati, he reasons: “In this quantity also which has zero as its divisor there is no change even when many [quantities] have entered into it or come out [of it], just as at the time of destruction and creation when throngs of creatures enter into and come out of [him, there is no change in] the infinite and unchanging [Vishnu]”.
- Bhaskar I
- Inventor of ZERO (0).
- First to write numbers in the Hindu decimal system with a circle for the zero.
- An Indian astronomer, mathematician, and astrologer who lived in Ujjain.
- He is considered to be one of the nine jewels (Navaratnas) of the court of legendary ruler Yashodharman Vikramaditya of Malwa.
- He was the first one to mention in his work Pañcasiddhāntikā that the ayanamsa, or the shifting of the equinox, is 50.32 seconds.
- Another important contribution of Varahamihira is the encyclopedic Brihat-Samhita. It covers wide ranging subjects of human interest, including astrology, planetary movements, eclipses, rainfall, clouds, architecture, growth of crops, manufacture of perfume, matrimony, domestic relations, gems, pearls, and rituals. The volume expounds on gemstone evaluation criterion found in the Garuda Purana, and elaborates on the sacred Nine Pearls from the same text. It contains 106 chapters and is known as the “great compilation”.
- Among Varahamihira’s contribution to physics is his statement that reflection is caused by the back-scattering of particles and refraction (the change of direction of a light ray as it moves from one medium into another) by the ability of the particles to penetrate inner spaces of the material, much like fluids that move through porous objects.
- He was among the first mathematicians to discover a version of what is now known as the Pascal’s triangle. He used it to calculate the binomial coefficients.
Varahamihira’s mathematical work included the discovery of the trigonometric formulas:-
Varahamihira improved the accuracy of the sine tables of Aryabhata I.
- One of the most important Buddhist philosophers after Gautama Buddha. Along with his disciple Āryadeva, he is considered to be the founder of the Madhyamaka school of Mahāyāna Buddhism.
- He is traditionally supposed to have written several treatises on rasayana alchemy as well as serving a term as the head of Nālandā University.
- Nagarjuna also taught the idea of relativity; in the Ratnāvalī, he gives the example that shortness exists only in relation to the idea of length. The determination of a thing or object is only possible in relation to other things or objects, especially by way of contrast. He held that the relationship between the ideas of “short” and “long” is not due to intrinsic nature (svabhāva). This idea is also found in the Pali Nikāyas and Chinese Āgamas, in which the idea of relativity is expressed similarly: “That which is the element of light … is seen to exist on account of [in relation to] darkness; that which is the element of good is seen to exist on account of bad; that which is the element of space is seen to exist on account of form.”
- Nagarjuna was also a practitioner of Ayurveda, or traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine. First described in the Sanskrit medical treatise entitled Sushruta Samhita (of which he was the compiler of the redaction), many of his conceptualizations, such as his descriptions of the circulatory system and blood tissue (described asrakta dhātu) and his pioneering work on the therapeutic value of specially treated minerals knowns as bhasmas, which earned him the title of the “father of iatrochemistry(chemical medicine)”.
- Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya
- A notable Indian engineer, scholar, statesman and the Diwan of Mysore during 1912 to 1918.
- He was a recipient of the Indian Republic’s highest honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1955.
- He was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Indian Empire (KCIE) by King George V for his contributions to the public good.
- Every year, 15th September is celebrated as Engineer’s Day in India in his memory. He is held in high regard as a pre-eminent engineer of India.
- He was the chief designer of the flood protection system for the city of Hyderabad in Telangana, as well as the chief engineer responsible for the construction of the Krishna Raja Sagara dam in Mandya.
- He was instrumental in developing a system to protect Visakhapatnam port from sea erosion.
- Upon graduating as an engineer, Visvesvaraya took up a job with the Public Works Department (PWD) of Mumbai and was later invited to join the Indian Irrigation Commission.
- Visvesvaraya supervised the construction of the KRS Dam across the Kaveri River from concept to inauguration. This dam created the biggest reservoir in Asia when it was built.
- Rightly called the “Father of modern Mysore state” (now Karnataka).
- He was known for sincerity, time management and dedication to a cause.
- During his period of service with the Government of Mysore state, he was responsible for the founding of, (under the Patronage of Mysore Government), the Mysore Soap Factory, the Parasitoide Laboratory, the Mysore Iron & Steel Works (now known as Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Limited) in Bhadravathi, the Sri Jayachamarajendra Polytechnic Institute, the Bangalore Agricultural University, the State Bank of Mysore, The Century Club, Mysore Chambers of Commerce and numerous other industrial ventures. He encouraged private investment in industry during his tenure as Diwan of Mysore. He was instrumental in charting out the plan for road construction between Tirumala and Tirupati.
- In 1906–07, the Government of India sent him to Aden (in Middle East) to study water supply and drainage system and the project prepared by him was implemented in Aden successfully.
- In India, numerous engineering colleges have been named in his honour.
- Salim Ali
- An Indian ornithologist and naturalist.
- Referred to as the “Birdman of India”.
- Was among the first Indians to conduct systematic bird surveys across India and his bird books helped develop ornithology.
- He became the key figure behind the Bombay Natural History Society after 1947 and used his personal influence to garner government support for the organisation, create the Bharatpur bird sanctuary (Keoladeo National Park) and prevent the destruction of what is now the Silent Valley National Park.
- He was awarded India’s second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan in 1976.
- Dr. Ali had considerable influence in conservation related issues in post-independence India.
- Har Gobind Khurana
- An Indian-American biochemist who shared the 1968 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Marshall W. Nirenberg and Robert W. Holley for research that helped to show how the order of nucleotides in nucleic acids, which carry the genetic code of the cell, control the cell’s synthesis of proteins.
- He served as MIT’s Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Biology and Chemistry, Emeritus and was a member of the Board of Scientific Governors at The Scripps Research Institute.
- The University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Government of India (DBT Department of Biotechnology), and the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum jointly created the Khorana Program in 2007. The mission of the Khorana Program is to build a seamless community of scientists, industrialists, and social entrepreneurs in the United States and India. The program is focused on three objectives: Providing graduate and undergraduate students with a transformative research experience, engaging partners in rural development and food, security, and facilitating public-private partnerships between the U.S. and India. In 2009, Khorana was hosted by the Khorana Program and honored at the 33rd Steenbock Symposium in Madison, Wisconsin.
- Khorana was the first scientist to chemically synthesize oligonucleotides.
- APJ Abdul Kalam
- An Indian scientist and administrator who served as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007.
- Worked as an Aerospace engineer with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
- Kalam is popularly known as the Missile Man of India for his work on the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology.
- He played a pivotal organizational, technical and political role in India’s Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998, the first since the original nuclear test by India in 1974.
- He is currently a visiting professor at Indian Institute of Management Shillong, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad and Indian Institute of Management Indore, honorary fellow of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Chancellor of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology Thiruvananthapuram, a professor of Aerospace Engineering at Anna University (Chennai), JSS University (Mysore) and an adjunct/visiting faculty at many other academic and research institutions across India.
- Kalam advocated plans to develop India into a developed nation by 2020 in his book India 2020.
- He has received several prestigious awards, including the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour.
- Kalam is known for his motivational speeches and interaction with the student community in India. He launched his mission for the youth of the nation in 2011 called the What Can I Give Movement with a central theme to defeat corruption in India.
- Birbal Sahani
- An Indian paleobotanist who studied the fossils of the Indian subcontinent, was also a geologist who took an interest in archaeology.
- Founded the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany in Lucknow, India.
- The Hindu described Sahni as the “Pioneer of palaeobotany” (in India)
- CNR Rao
- He is an Indian chemist who has worked mainly in solid-state and structural chemistry.
- He currently serves as the Head of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India.
- Rao has honorary doctorates from 60 universities from around the world.
- He has authored around 1,500 research papers and 45 scientific books.
- He is the recipient of most of the major scientific awards, and is member of all major scientific organisations.
- He was conferred the Bharat Ratna in 2014.
- C.V. Raman
- Was an Indian physicist whose ground breaking work in the field of light scattering earned him the 1930 Nobel Prize for Physics.
- He discovered that, when light traverses a transparent material, some of the deflected light changes in wavelength. This phenomenon is now called Raman scattering and is the result of the Raman effect.
- In 1954, he was honoured with the highest civilian award in India, the Bharat Ratna.
- India celebrates National Science Day on 28th February of every year to commemorate the discovery of the Raman effect in 1928.
- Homi Bhabha
- Was an Indian nuclear physicist,founding director, and professor of physics at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
- Known as “father of Indian nuclear programme”
- Was the founding director of two well-known research institutions, namely the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and the Trombay Atomic Energy Establishment (now named after him); both sites were the cornerstone of Indian development of nuclear weapons which Bhabha also supervised as its director.
- Bhabha played a key role in convincing the Congress Party’s senior leaders, most notable Jawaharlal Nehru who later served as India’s first Prime Minister, to start the ambitious nuclear programme. As part of this vision, Bhabha established the Cosmic Ray Research Unit at the institute, began to work on the theory of the movement of point particles, while independently conduct research on nuclear weapons in 1944.
- Bhabha gained international prominence after deriving a correct expression for the probability of scattering positrons by electrons, a process now known as Bhabha scattering. His major contribution included his work on Compton scattering, R-process, and furthermore the advancement of nuclear physics
- He was awarded Padma Bhushan by Government of India in 1954.
- He later served as the member of the Indian Cabinet’s Scientific Advisory Committee and provided the pivotal role to Vikram Sarabhai to set up the Indian National Committee for Space Research.
- He is credited with formulating the country’s strategy in the field of nuclear power to focus on extracting power from the country’s vast thorium reserves rather than its meagre uranium reserves. This thorium focused strategy was in marked contrast to all other countries in the world. The approach proposed by Bhabha to achieve this strategic objective became India’s three stage nuclear power programme.
- As a result of Bhabha’s vision, India has the most technically ambitious and innovative nuclear energy program in the world. The extent and functionality of its nuclear experimental facilities are matched only by those in Russia and are far ahead of what is left in the US.
- After his death, the Atomic Energy Establishment at Bombay was renamed as the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in his honour.
- Jagadish Chandra Bose
- A Bengali polymath, physicist, biologist, botanist, archaeologist, as well as an early writer of science fiction.
- He pioneered the investigation of radio and microwave optics, made very significant contributions to plant science, and laid the foundations of experimental science in the Indian subcontinent.
- The inventor of “Wireless Telecommunications”.
- IEEE named him one of the fathers of radio science.
- He is also considered the father of Bengali science fiction.
- He also invented the crescograph.
- A crater on the moon has been named in his honour.
- He made remarkable progress in his research of remote wireless signalling and was the first to use semiconductor junctions to detect radio signals. However, instead of trying to gain commercial benefit from this invention, Bose made his inventions public in order to allow others to further develop his research.
- Bose subsequently made a number of pioneering discoveries in plant physiology. He used his own invention, the crescograph, to measure plant response to various stimuli, and thereby scientifically proved parallelism between animal and plant tissues. Although Bose filed for a patent for one of his inventions due to peer pressure, his reluctance to any form of patenting was well known. To facilitate his research, he constructed automatic recorders capable of registering extremely slight movements; these instruments produced some striking results, such as Bose’s demonstration of an apparent power of feeling in plants, exemplified by the quivering of injured plants.
- His books include Response in the Living and Non-Living (1902) and The Nervous Mechanism of Plants (1926).
- Bose’s place in history has now been re-evaluated, and he is credited with the invention of the first wireless detection device and the discovery of millimetre length electromagnetic waves and considered a pioneer in the field of biophysics.
- Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman
- Well known for his contribution to Unani medicine.
- He founded Ibn Sina Academy of Medieval Medicine and Sciences in 2000.
- Author of 45 books and several papers on different aspects of Unani, he also owns one of the largest collection of books on Unani medicine.
- The Government of India conferred him with Padma Shri award in 2006 for his contribution in the field of Unani Medicine.
- Meghnad Saha
- Was a Indian astrophysicist best known for his development of the Saha equation, used to describe chemical and physical conditions in stars.
- His best-known work concerned the thermal ionisation of elements.
- Saha equation: This equation is one of the basic tools for interpretation of the spectra of stars in astrophysics. By studying the spectra of various stars, one can find their temperature and from that, using Saha’s equation, determine the ionisation state of the various elements making up the star.
- Saha was the chief architect of river planning in India and prepared the original plan for the Damodar Valley Project.
- Saha also invented an instrument to measure the weight and pressure of solar rays and helped to build several scientific institutions, such as the Physics Department in Allahabad University and the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Calcutta.
- Panchanan Maheshwari
- A prominent Indian botanist and Fellow of the Royal Society, noted chiefly for his invention of the technique of test-tube fertilization of angiosperms.
- He was second Indian Botanist to be awarded F.R.S. by Royal Society of London in 1965.
- This invention has allowed the creation of new hybrid plants that could not previously be crossbred naturally.
- Prafulla Chandra Ray
- Was an Indian chemist, educator and entrepreneur.
- The Royal Society of Chemistry honoured his life and work with the first ever Chemical Landmark Plaque outside Europe. He was the founder of Bengal Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals, India’s first pharmaceutical company.
- He is the author of A History of Hindu Chemistry from the Earliest Times to the Middle of Sixteenth Century (1902).
- P.C. Mahalanobis
- Was an Indian scientist and applied statistician.
- He is best remembered for the Mahalanobis distance, a statistical measure.
- He made pioneering studies in anthropometry in India.
- He founded the Indian Statistical Institute, and contributed to the design of large-scale sample surveys.
- In later life, Mahalanobis was a member of the planning commission contributed prominently to newly independent India’s five-year plans starting from the second. In the second five-year plan he emphasised industrialisation on the basis of a two-sector model. His variant of Wassily Leontief’s Input-output model, the Mahalanobis model, was employed in the Second Five Year Plan, which worked towards the rapid industrialisation of India and with other colleagues at his institute, he played a key role in the development of a statistical infrastructure.
- Was the Secretary and Director of the Indian Statistical Institute and as the Honorary Statistical Advisor to the Cabinet of the Government of India.
- Awarded Padma Vibhushan in 1968.
- R.A. Mashelkar
- He is the former Director General of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), a chain of 38 publicly funded industrial research and development institutions in India.
- In the post-liberalized India, Mashelkar has played an important role in shaping India’s science and technology policies. He was a member of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister and also of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet set up by successive governments. He chaired twelve committees established to examine a variety of issues including higher education, national fuel policy, the drug regulatory system and the agriculture research system.
- Mashelkar has made some path-breaking contributions in transport phenomena in and thermodynamics of swelling, superswelling and shrinking polymers, modelling of polymerisation reactors, and engineering analysis of Non-Newtonian flows.
- Mashelkar has received over fifty awards and honorary doctorates and is a member of numerous scientific bodies and committees. The President of India honoured Mashelkar with Padma Shri (1991) and with Padma Bhushan (2000), which are two of the highest civilian honours in recognition of his contribution to nation building. On 25 January 2014, he was awarded Padma Vibhushan, 2nd highest civilian honour of India by the President of India.
- Raja Ramanna
- Was an Indian nuclear scientist, best known for his leadership directing the research integral for the development of Indian nuclear programme in its early stages. Having started and joined the nuclear programme in 1964, Ramanna worked under Homi Jehangir Bhabha, and later directed this program in 1967. Ramanna expanded and supervised the scientific research on nuclear weapons and was the first directing officer of the small team of scientists that supervised and carried out the test of the nuclear device, under a codename Smiling Buddha, in 1974.
- Ramanna associated and directed the India’s nuclear weapons for more than 4 decades, and also initiate industrial defense programmes for the Indian Armed Forces. Because of his directing role and leadership for the developing the Indian nuclear programme for 4 decades, Ramanna is often considered as the “Father of the Indian nuclear programme”, and also was a recipient of highest Indian civil decorations for honoring his services to build the nuclear programme.
- He is remembered as a leading figure in the development of nuclear physics.In 1990, Ramanna was made Union minister of State for defence in 1990 by V.P. Singh administration. He was a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha from 1997 to 2003. Dr. Ramanna was closely associated with the I.I.T. Bombay, having been Chairman of the Board of Governors for three consecutive terms from 1975 to 1984. In 2000, Ramanna was also the first director of National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore.
- Was awarded Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan.
- Satyendra Nath Bose
- Was an Bengali physicist specialising in mathematical physics.
- He is best known for his work on quantum mechanics in the early 1920s, providing the foundation for Bose–Einstein statistics and the theory of the Bose–Einstein condensate.
- A Fellow of the Royal Society, the Government of India awarded him India’s second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan in 1954.
- The class of particles that obey Bose–Einstein statistics, bosons, was named after him by Paul Dirac.
- A self-taught scholar and a polyglot, he had a wide range of interests in varied fields including physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, mineralogy, philosophy, arts, literature and music. He served on many research and development committees in independent India.
- Bose’s work stood at the transition between the ‘old quantum theory’ of Planck, Bohr and Einstein and the new quantum mechanics of Schrodinger, Heisenberg, Born, Dirac and others.
- Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar
- Was a well-known Indian scientist, a professor of chemistry for over 19 years.
- He was the first director-general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), and he is revered as the “father of research laboratories”.
- He was also the first Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC).
- To honour his name and achievements, CSIR instituted an award Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology, since 1958 for outstanding scientists who made significant contributions in various branches of science.
- Bhatnagar’s first industrial problem was developing the process for converting bagasse (peelings of sugarcane) into food-cake for cattle. This was done for Sir Ganga Ram, the Grand Old Man of Punjab. He also solved industrial problems for Delhi Cloth Mills, J.K. Mills Ltd. of Kanpur, Ganesh Flour Mills Ltd. of Layallapur, Tata Oil Mills Ltd. of Bombay, and Steel Brothers & Co. Ltd. of London.
- His major innovation was improving the procedure for drilling crude oil. The Attock Oil Company at Rawalpindi (representative of Messers Steel Brothers & Co London) had confronted a peculiar problem, wherein the mud used for drilling operation got hardened upon contact with the saline water, thereby clogging the drill holes. Bhatnagar realised that this problem could be solved by colloidal chemistry. He added an Indian gum, which had the remarkable property of lowering the viscosity of the mud suspension and of increasing at the same time its stability against the flocculating action of electrolytes. M/s Steel Brothers was so pleased that they offered Bhatnagar a sum of Rs. 1,50,000/- for research work on any subject related to petroleum. The company placed the fund through the university and it was used to establish the Department of Petroleum Research under the guidance of Bhatnagar. Investigations carried out under this collaborative scheme included deodourisation of waxes, increasing flame height of kerosene and utilisation of waste products in vegetable oil and mineral oil industries. Acknowledging the commercial success of the research, the company increased the fund, and extended the period from five years to ten years.
- Bhatnagar persistently refused personal monetary benefit from his research fundings, and instead advocated for strengthening research facilities at the university. His sacrifices drew wide attention.
- Bhatnagar wrote jointly with K.N. Mathur Physical Principles and Applications of Magnetochemistry which is considered as a standard work on the subject.
- Bhatnagar played a significant part along with Homi Jehangir Bhabha, Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, Vikram Sarabhai and others in building of India’s post-independence science and technology infrastructure and policies. Prime Minister Nehru was a proponent of scientific development, and after India’s independence in 1947, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) was set up under the chairmanship of Dr. Bhatnagar. He became its first Director-General, and by his works he is largely remembered for having established various chemical laboratories in India. He established a total twelve national laboratories such as Central Food Processing Technological Institute, Mysore, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, the National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi, the National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur, the Central Fuel Institute, Dhanbad, just to name a few. While at CSIR, he mentored a number of promising young scientists of the time who were working in the very productive climate in those days at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS) in Kolkata, including Syamadas Chatterjee, Santilal Banerjee (MSc Gold Medalist- Dacca University and a DSc from the US) who later moved to the National Physical Laboratory in Delhi at Bhatnagar’s urging), Asutosh Mookherjee etc.
- In independent India, he was the President of the Indian Chemical Society, National Institute of Sciences of India and the Indian National Science Congress. He was awarded Padma Bhushan by the government of India in 1954.
- Srinivasa Ramanujan
- Was an Indian mathematician and autodidact who, with almost no formal training in pure mathematics, made extraordinary contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions.
- Living in India with no access to the larger mathematical community, which was centred in Europe at the time, Ramanujan developed his own mathematical research in isolation. As a result, he rediscovered known theorems in addition to producing new work. Ramanujan was said to be a natural genius by the English mathematician G. H. Hardy, in the same league as mathematicians such as Euler and Gauss.
- During his short life, Ramanujan independently compiled nearly 3900 results (mostly identities and equations).
- He stated results that were both original and highly unconventional, such as the Ramanujan prime and the Ramanujan theta function, and these have inspired a vast amount of further research.
- In December 2011, in recognition of his contribution to mathematics, the Government of India declared that Ramanujan’s birth date (22 December) would be celebrated every year as National Mathematics Day and declared 2012 the National Mathematics Year.
- He often said, “An equation for me has no meaning, unless it represents a thought of God.”
- The number 1729 is known as the Hardy–Ramanujan number. He said “it is a very interesting number; it is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways.” The two different ways are:
- 1729 = 13 + 123 = 93 + 103.
- Subrahmanyam Chandrashekhar
- Was an Indian astrophysicist who, with William A. Fowler, was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize for Physics for his mathematical theory of black holes, which was a key discovery that led to the currently accepted theory on the later evolutionary stages of massive stars.
- The Chandrasekhar limit is named after him.
- He worked in various areas, including stellar structure, theory of white dwarfs, stellar dynamics, theory of radiative transfer, quantum theory of the negative ion of Hydrogen, hydrodynamic and hydromagnetic stability, equilibrium and the stability of ellipsoidal figures of equilibrium, general relativity, mathematical theory of black holes and theory of colliding gravitational waves.
- Chandrasekhar’s most notable work was the astrophysical Chandrasekhar limit. The limit describes the maximum mass of a white dwarf star, ~1.44 solar masses, or equivalently, the minimum mass which must be exceeded for a star to ultimately collapse into a neutron star or black hole (following a supernova). The limit was first calculated by Chandrasekhar in 1930 during his maiden voyage from India to Cambridge, England for his graduate studies.
- In 1999, NASA named the third of its four “Great Observatories” after Chandrasekhar. This followed a naming contest which attracted 6,000 entries from fifty states and sixty-one countries. The Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched and deployed by Space Shuttle Columbia on July 23, 1999.
- The Chandrasekhar number, an important dimensionless number of magnetohydrodynamics, is named after him.
- The asteroid 1958 Chandra is also named after Chandrasekhar.
- T.R. Seshadri
- Professor Seshadri along with his collaborators published about 1100 original research papers as well as multiple books in chemistry in natural products.
- His primary line of research was the organic chemistry of natural products which play an important role in drugs, insecticides and anti-oxidants.
- His research on hundreds of plants led to the discovery of many new chemical compounds.
- He was also considered an expert in the chemistry of lichens, a fungus-like growth.
- He not only discovered new compounds in them, but also studied the damage they caused to trees and ways to prevent such damage.
- Professor Seshadri was elected a ‘Fellow of the Royal Society of London (FRS)’ in 1960.
- He was also the President of the Indian Chemical Society and of the Indian Pharmaceutical Congress before being elected the General President of the Indian Science Congress.
- Among the awards he received were the ‘Bhatnagar Medal’ of the National Institute of Sciences of India, the ‘Padma Bhushan’ in 1963 from the Government of India and the ‘Honorary Doctorate’ from Andhra University.
- Vikram Sarabhai
- Was an Indian physicist.
- Known as the father of India’s space programme.
- The establishment of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was one of his greatest achievements. He successfully convinced the government of the importance of a space programme for a developing country like India after the Russian Sputnik launch.
- Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha, widely regarded as the father of India’s nuclear science program, supported Dr. Sarabhai in setting up the first rocket launching station in India. This center was established at Thumba near Thiruvananthapuram on the coast of the Arabian Sea, primarily because of its proximity to the equator. After a remarkable effort in setting up the infrastructure, personnel, communication links, and launch pads, the inaugural flight was launched on November 21, 1963 with a sodium vapour payload.
- As a result of Dr. Sarabhai’s dialogue with NASA in 1966, the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) was launched during July 1975 – July 1976 (when Dr.Sarabhai was no more). Dr. Sarabhai started a project for the fabrication and launch of an Indian satellite. As a result, the first Indian satellite, Aryabhata, was put in orbit in 1975 from a Russian Cosmodrome.
- Dr. Sarabhai was very interested in science education and founded a Community Science Centre at Ahmedabad in 1966. Today, the centre is called the Vikram A. Sarabhai Community Science Centre.
- Along with other Ahmedabad-based industrialists, he played a major role in setting up of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
- In 1973, the International Astronomical Union decided that a lunar crater Bessel A in the Sea of Serenity will be known as the Sarabhai crater.
- Was awarded the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan.
- Satish Dhawan
- Was an Indian aerospace engineer
- Widely regarded as father of experimental fluid dynamics research in India.
- Dhawan was one of the most eminent researchers in the field of turbulence and boundary layers, leading the successful and ingenious development of Indian space programme. He succeeded Vikram Sarabhai, the founder of the Indian space programme, as Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 1972.
- Dhawan carried out pioneering experiments in rural education, remote sensing and satellite communications. His efforts led to operational systems like INSAT, a telecommunications satellite; IRS, the Indian Remote Sensing satellite; and the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), that placed India in the league of space faring nations.
- Received the awards:
- Padma Vibhushan (India’s second highest civilian honour), 1981
- Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration, 1999
- Distinguished Alumnus Award, Indian Institute of Science
- Distinguished Alumnus Award, California Insititute of Technology, 1969