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C.V. Raman (Chandrasekhar Venkata Raman) 1888-1970

Dr. C.V. Raman was one of the greatest scientists of India, who was awarded the 1930 Nobel Prize in physics for his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’, which is named after him. Chandrasekhar Venkata Raman, commonly known as C.V. Raman was born on November 7, 1888 at Tiruchirapalli in Tamillandu. His mother tongue was Tamil. He was the second children of Chandrasekhar Iyer and Pravathi Ammal. His father was a lecturer in mathematics and physics. Raman was a very brilliant student right from his childhood.

At an early age, Raman moved to the city of Vishakhapatnam, which is situated in state of Andhra Pradesh, where his father accepted a position at the Mr. A V N College. Raman’s academic brilliance was established at a very young age. At the age of twelve, he finished his matriculation education and entered Mr. A V N College and two year later moved to the prestigious presidency college in Madras (Chennai). When he was the age of fifteen he finished at the head of the class too received B. A. with honours in physics and English. In those days, it was a system of government that students who did well academically were typically sent to abroad (England) for additional studies. Because of Raman’s poor health, he was not allowed to go abroad and he continued his studies at the same college. In 1907, barely seventeen, Raman received his Master degree with honors. He got first position in the University in M.A. In the same year, he married with Lokasundari Ammal and with whom he had one son, Radhakrishnan.

He completed his education in Visakhapatanam and Madras (Chennai). After getting top ranking in the Financial Civil Service competitive Exam, he was appointed as Deputy Accountant general in Calcutta. At the time of his graduation, there were few opportunities for scientists in India. This forced him to accept a position with the Indian Civil Services as an Assistant Accountant General in Calcutta. While there, he was able to sustain his interest in science by working, in his remaining time, in the laboratories of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science. He studied the physics of stringed instruments and Indian drums.

In 1917, he was offered the professor of Physics at the Calcutta University, and he decided to accept this opportunity. After 15 years service at the Calcutta University, he left that job and shifted to Bangalore and became the Director of the Indian Institute of Science, where two years later he continued as a professor of physics. In 1947, the new Government of Independent India appointed him as the first National Professor. He also worked in the field of magnetic attraction and theory of musical instruments. He worked out the theory of transverse vibration of bowed strings, because of superposition velocities. This does a better job in explaining bowed string vibration over Helmholtzs approach.

Professor C V Raman was also the first to investigate the harmonic nature of the sound of the Indian drums such as the tabla and the mridanga. In 1930, for the first time in its history, an Indian scholar, educated entirely in India has received highest honour in science, the ‘Nobel Prize’ in physics. In 1943, he founded ‘Raman Research Institute’, near Bangalore. His discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’ made a very distinctive contribution to Physics. He was also conferred the hishest title of ‘Bharat Ratna’ in 1954. The ‘Raman Effect’ was a demonstration of the ‘Collision’ effect of light bullets (Photons) passing through a transparent medium, whether solid, liquid or gaseous. Raman was also awarded the ‘Lenin Peace Prize’ in 1957. India celebrates National Science day on 28th February every year to commemorate Raman’s discovery.

He retired from the Indian Institute in 1948 and after one year, he established the Raman Research Institute in Bangalore, served as its director and remained active there until his death, at the age of eighty-two. Sir Venkata Raman died on Nevember 21, 1970 at Bangalore, India. We should proud on him.

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C. R. Rao (Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao)

Dr. Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao is the famous scientist of India. Currently he is a Professor emeritus at Penn state University. He was born on 10th September 1920 in Hadagalli, in the state of Karnataka, South India. He was the son of C.D. Naidu and A. Laxmikantamma. Currently he is a Professor emeritus at Penn state University.

C. R. Rao is the son of C.D. Naidu and A. Laxmikantamma. After the retirement of his father, whole family settled down in Vishakapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. From his earliest years, Rao had an interest in mathematics and decided to meke career in mathematics. He studied in schools at Gudur, Nuzvid, Nandigama and Visakhapatnam, in Andhra Pradesh. After completion of high school, he joined the Mrs. A.V.N. College at Vishakapatnam for the Intermediate course. He completed his M.A. in Mathematics from Andhra University with first rank in 1941, and M.S. degree in statistics from Calcutta University with first class in 1943. He married Bhargavi who has two master’s degrees, one from Banaras Hindu University in History and another from the University of Illinois, USA, in Psychology, and a Bachelor’s degree in Teacher’s Training. She worked as a professor of psychology at Jadavpur University, Kolkata for a number of years.

Dr. C. R. Rao started his working career with Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) at Calcutta as a research scholar in1943. He was invited to work on a project at the Museum of Anthropology and Archeology at Cambridge University, UK, which required the statistical methodology developed by P.C. Mahalanobis,the founder of ISI. Based on the work he did, he acquired his Ph.D. in 1948 from Cambridge University with R.A. Fisher, the father of modern statistics, as his thesis advisor. After a few years, in 1965, the university awarded him the prestigious Sc.D. degree based on a peer review of his research contributions to statistics. He left ISI in 1978 and joined the University of Pittsburgh. He worked there for eight year and after that he moved to the Pennsylvania State University as Eberly Professor of Statistics, where he continues to work as the Director of the Center for Multivariate Analysis (CMA).

The C.R. Rao Awarded for statistics was instituted in his honour, to be given once in two years. In 2002, he was awarded the National Medal of Science of the U.S.A. The advance Institute of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science in the Osmania University Campus have been named after him. Times of India declared on dated 31 December 1988 that C. R. as one of the 10 top Scientist of India.

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Birbal Sahni (1891 - 1949 )

Birbal Sahni (1891- 1949) was a world famous palaeobotanist and Indian pale botanist who studied the fossils of the Indian subcontinent. He was the founder of Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, which is situated in Lucknow, India. He was born on 14th November 1891 at Bhera, small town in Saharanpur District, now a part of West Punjab in Pakistan.

He was the son of Ishwar Devi and Lala Ruchi Ram Sahani. His father was a chemistry teacher who was interested in the study of nature. He got his education from Punjab University, Lahore, India. Later on, in 1911 he went to England, where he entered the Emmanuel College at Cambridge. In 1913 Sahni obtained a first class in Part-I of the Natural Sciences Tripos and he completed the Part-II of the Tripos in 1915. After that he studied under Professor A.C. Seward, and got his D.Sc. Degree from Landon University in 1919. After completion of his education Birbal Sahni came back to India and worked as Professor of Botany at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi and Punjab University for about a year. In 1920 he married Savitri Suri, daughter of Sunder Das Suri who was an Inspector of Schools in Punjab. Savitri took an interest in his work and was a constant companion.

Palaeobotany is a subject which requires the knowledge of botany and geology subject. It also require for an daring guts and a physique good enough for trekking on the mountains for collection of rocks that contain plant fossils. Once the rocks have been collected and ground, the abilities of a detective are required to piece together the picture of that ancient plant from the scattered information available in the fossils. From childhood Sahni was interested in these qualities. Birbal Sahni was the first botanist to study extensively the flora of Indian Gondwana. Sahni also explored the Raj Mahal hills in Bihar, which is a treasury of fossils of ancient plants. Here he discovered some new genus of plants.

Birbal Sahni was not only botanist but also geologist. By using simple instruments and his huge knowledge of ancient plants, he estimated the age of some old rocks. He showed to the people that the age of the salt range, now in Pakistan Punjab, is 40 to 60 million years old and not about 100 million years, as believed till then. He found that the Deccan Traps in Madhya Pradesh were of the tertiary period, about 62 million years old. Besides, Sahni took a keen interest in archaeology. One of his investigations led to the discovery of coin moulds in Rohtak in 1936. For his studies on the technique of casting coins in ancient India he was awarded the Nelson Wright Medal of the Numismatic Society of India.

Being a teacher, Sahni first raised the standard of teaching at the Department of Botany. Next he established the Department of Geology. A logical sequence was the establishment of the institute of palaeobotany. It was the first of its kind in the world. Sahni died on the night of 10th April, 1949 within less than a week of the foundation stone laying ceremony of his institute. His wife completed the task he had left undone. The institute is today known as the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany.

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Bhaskara II (1114 - 1185 )

Bhaskara II is a famous mathematician of ancient India. He was born in 1114 A.D. in the city of Bijapur, Karnataka state, India. Peoples also know him as Bhaskaracharya, which means “Bhaskara the Teacher”. His father name was Mahesvara. By profession he was an astrologer, who taught him mathematics, which he later passed on to his son Loksamudra. In many ways, Bhaskaracharya represents the peak of mathematical knowledge in the 12th century. He reached an understanding of the number systems and solving equations, which was not to be achieved in Europe for several centuries.

Bhaskara II became head of the astronomical observatory at Ujjain, which was the leading mathematical centre in India at that time. It also goes to the credit of Varahamihira and Brahmagupta, the top mathematicians who worked there and built up this school of mathematical astronomy. He wrote six books and but a seventh work, which is claimed to be by him, is thought by many historian to be a late forgery. The topics of his six books are geometry, trigonometry, calculus, algebra arithmetic and astronomy. The six works are Lilavati (The Beautiful) on mathematics; Bijaganita (Root Extraction) on algebra; the siddhanta shiromani which is divided into two parts: mathematical astronomy and sphere; the Vasanabhasya of Mitaksara which is Bhaskaracharya’s views on the Siddhantashiromani; the Karanakutuhala (Calculation of Astronomical Wonders) or Brahmatulya in which he simplified the concepts of Siddhantashiromani; and the Vivarana which comments on the Shishyadhividdhidatantra of Lalla. From the mathematical point of view, the first three of these works are the most interesting.

Bhaskara II also wrote Siddhanta Shiromani at the age of 36 in 1150 A.D. This colossal work has divided into four categories Goladhyaya, Ganitadhyaya, Lilavati and Bijaganita and consists of about 1450 verses. Each and every categories of the book consigns of huge number of verses. Each of them can be considered as a separate book, Lilavati has 278 verses, Bijaganita has 213 verses, Ganitadhyaya has 451 verses, and Goladhyaya has 501 verses. He formulated simple ways of calculations from Arithmetic to Astronomy in this book. He wrote Lilavatis an excellent lucid and poetic language. It has been translated in various languages throughout the world. In English, the multiples of 1000 are termed as thousand, million, billion, trillion, quadrillion etc. These terms were named recently in English, but Bhaskaracharya gave the terms for Numbers in multiples of ten, which are as follows:

Eka (1), dasha (10), shata (100), sahastra (1000), ayuta (10000), laksha (100000), prayuta (1,000,000 = million), koti (107), arbuda (108), abja (109=billion), kharva (1010), nikharva (1011), mahapadma (1012=trillion), Shankh (1012), Jaladhi (1014), antya (1015=quadrillion), Madhya (1016) and parardha (1017).

The Siddhanta siromani too enjoyed great popularity. Bhaskara II calculated the equinoctial shadow at any place and the new corrections to be applied to the calculation of the time of sunrise. Bhaskara too accepted the precession of the equinoxes, through later astronomers allowed Bhaskara’s correct theory to be perverted. All this shows beyond doubt that Bhaskara was blessed with a remarkably active brain. Bhaskara’s works have served as reference books in every nook and corner of India. He died in 1185 in Ujjain, India.

Dr. Anil Kakodkar

Dr. Anil Kakodkar is a renowned scientist of India. He was the director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre at Trombay. But currently, he is the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India (AEIC) and also the Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Atomic Energy. Apart from playing a most important role in India’s nuclear tests asserting sovereignty, Dr. Kakodkar is a champion of India’s self-reliance on Thorium as a fuel for nuclear energy. Dr. Anil kakodkar was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian honour, on 26th January 2009.

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Anil Kakodkar was born on 11 November 1943 in the Barawani village, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. He is the son of Mr. P. Kakodkar & Mrs. Kamala Kakodkar. His father and mother were the freedom fighters. He started his primary education in Barawani and also in Khargoan. After this, Anil Kakodkar went away to Bombay for Secondary education. He graduates from the D.G. Ruparel College Mumbai. After that he obtained his Mechanical Engineering degree from Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) in Bambay University in 1963. He also obtained a masters degree in experimental stress analysis from the University of Nottingham in the year 1969. The life history of Anil Kakodkar’s career as nuclear scientist further saw him join the Reactor Engineering Division of the BARC.

Scientist Anil kakodkar also has the credit of being a member of the core team of architects of india’s peaceful nuclear tests which were conducted in 1974 and 1998. He also led the indigenous development of the country’s Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor Technology. Anil Kakodkar’s efforts in the rehabilitation of the two reactors at Kalpakkam and the first unit at Rawatbhatta is noteworthy as were about to close down.

In the year 1996, Anil Kakodkar became the youngest Director of the BARC after Homi Bhabha himself. From the year 2000 onwards, he has been leading the Atomic Energy Commission of India and playing secretary to the Department of Atomic Energy. Dr. Anil Kalkodkar has been playing a crucial part in demanding sovereignty for India’s nuclear tests. In fact, he is known for being a strong advocate of India’s self-reliance by employing Thorium as a fuel for nuclear energy.

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Dr. Mani Bhaumik

Dr. Mani Bhaumik is a famous physicist from India who helped to develop the first excimer laser at the University of the Californis’s famous Northrop Corporation Research and Technology Center (NCRTC). This is the class of laser that would eventually eliminate glasses or contact lenses in many cases requiring vision correction (the procedure takes less than a minute and is going like wildfire today). Dr. Bhaumik was elected by his peers to be a fellow of the American physical society as well as the Institute of Electrical and electronics engineers. Dr. Mani lal Bhaumik is the elder son of the famous Bhumik family. The high-profile physicist, who has been working with excimer laser ray for many years, actually hailed from Midnapore district of west Bengal and was a resident of Mahisadal at Tamluk.

Dr. Bhaumik was born on the mud floor in a poor village in Bengal to a father who was a steadfast Gandhian and a freedom fighter, Mani, suffered the hardships of dictatorial ill-treatment meted out by the British to his family. Mani describes the gruesome realities of the struggle made worse by a killer cyclone in 1943, when dogs feeding on human corpses appeared healthier than any human around. Indeed, when hell is brought earth, the dogs are more likely to survive than the people.

Dr. Mani lal Bhaumik got B. Sc degree from Scottish Church College and an M. Sc. from the University of Calcutta. He won the attention of Satyendra Nath Bose at IIT (co-creator of the Bose-Einstein Statistics) who encouraged his prodigious curiosity. Bhaumik also got Ph.D in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology at Kharagpur. His alma mater, IIT Kharagpur awarded him an honorary D. Sc. Degree for lifetime academic achievement.

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Dr. APJ ABDUL KALAM (15 Oct. 1931 to 27 July 2015 )

Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdin Abdul Kalam served as the 11th president of India from the period 2002 to 2007. He is a man of vision, who is always full of ideas aimed at the development of the country and is often also referred to as the Missile Man of India. People loved and respected Dr. APJ ABDUL KALAM so much during his tenure as President that was popularly called the people’s President.

Abdul Kalam was born on 15 October 1931 at Rameswaram, Dhanushkodi, in the state of Tamil Nadu, to a middle class Tamil Muslim family. He got his degree in “aeronautical engineering” from the Madras Institute of Technology in 1958. After graduation, he joined India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) to work on a hovercraft project. In 1962, Dr. Abdul Kalam moved to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), where he done more successful jobs and most important that his team launched several satellites successfully. He made a significant contribution as Project Director to develop India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III). Something of Kalam’s probable views on certain can be surmised from positions espoused by him in the past. His book India 2020 strongly advocates an action plan to develop India into a knowledge superpower and into a developed view that India ought to take a more assertive stance in international relations; he apparently regards his work on India’s nuclear weapons program as a way to assert India’s place as a future superpower.

Kalam continues to take an active interest in other developments in the field of science and technology as well. He has proposed a research programmed for developing bio-implants. He is a supporter of pen source software over proprietary solutions and believes that the use of open source software on a large scale will bring more people the benefits of Information Technology. Kalam has been the subject of vicious criticism from leftists in the Indian press, praful Bidwai being among his staunchest critics. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam regards his work on India’s nuclear weapons program as a way to assert India’s place as a future superpower. Even during his tenure as president, APJ Kalam took avid interest in the spheres of India’s science and technology. He has even put forward a project plan for establishing bio-implants. He is also an ardent advocate of open source software over proprietary solutions to churn out more profits in the field of information technology in India.

Kalam observes strict personal discipline, practicing vegetarianism, teetotalism and celibacy. Kalam is scholar of Tirukkual, in most of his speeches; he quotes at least one Kural. Kalam has written several inspirational books, most notably his autobiography Wings of fire, aimed at motivating Indian youth. Another of his books guiding Souls: Dialogues on the purpose of Life reveals his spiritual side.

Former President Great Scientist APJ Abdul Kalam, the 'Missile Man' who came to be known as 'People's President' died on Monday after he collapsed during a lecture at the IIM in Shillong on Monday evening 27th July 2015.

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