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Dr. Hargobind Khorana

Hargobind Khorana is an Indian- American molecular biologist. In 1968, He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his excellent work on the interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis. This award made him famous in all over the world. He was the citizen of India but he became a naturalized citizen of the United State America in the year 1966, and subsequently received the National Medal of Science. Currently he is living in Cambridge, In United State as a part of the MIT Chemistry faculty.

Hargobind Khorna was born into a poor family on January 9, 1922 in a small village of Raipur, Punjab (now in Pakistan). His father was the village patwari or taxation officer. He completed his secondary education from D A V High School in Multan, now in Pakistan. He obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degree from Punjab University at Lahore. Then he went to England on a Government scholarship and there he obtained a PhD from the University of Liverpool in 1948. Dr. Khorana spent a year in Zurich in 1949 as a post-doctoral fellow at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and returned to India for a brief period in 1949. He returned to England in 1950 and spent two years on a fellowship at Cambridge, and began research on nucleic acids under Sir Alexander Todd and Kenner. His interest in proteins and nucleic acids took root at that time. In 1952, he went to the University of British Columbia, Vancouver on a job offer and there a group began to work in the field of biologically interesting phosphate esters and nucleic acids with the inspiration from Dr. Gordon M. Shrum and Scientific counsel from Dr. Jack Campbell. Khorana married with Esther Elizabeth Sibler in 1952 and they have three children, two daughters Julia Elizabeth, Emily Anne and one son David Roy. When he returned to his native place, he was unable to find academic work in Punjab’s crony-filled colleges. Khorana instead sought a career in Canada and finally the united state.

Dr. Khorana who showed how the genetic code determines all life processes by directing the synthesis of all cell protiens finally unraveled the secret of the DNA code of life. Dr. Khorana won many awards and honors like the Novel Prize for his achievement. Distinguished Service Award, Watumull Foundation, Honolulu, Hawali, American academy of achievement awards, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Padma Vibhushan, Predential Award, J C Bose Medal and Willard Gibbs medal of the chicago section of American Chemical Society. He was also elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, as well as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1971, he became a foreign member of USSR Academy of Sciences and in 1974, an Honorary Fellow of the Indian Chemical Society.

Khorana’s work, which is an most important scientific landmark of the twentieth century, has brought closer the day when synthetic DNA may be introduced into the defective human tissues to bring about their repair or treat mentally retarded people and change them into more intelligent and healthy human beings. His synthesis of RNA, capable of replication in laboratory, is a step towards the creation of life artificially. In fact, the research has opened up a new branch called Genetic Engineering in Science.

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Nobel prize winner Dr. Hargobind Khorana with other scientists

Homi J. Bhabha (1909 - 1966 )

Homi J. Bhabha was the eminent scientist who played a key role in the development of the Indian atomic energy program. He is aslo considered as the father of India's nuclear program. He was born on October 30, 1909 in a Parsi family of Mumbai. He was the son of Jehangir Hormaji Bhabha and Meherbai Framji Panday. His father was a Oxford- educated barrister.

Bhabha received his early education at Bombay’s Cathedral Grammer School and Royal institute of Science. After that he went to the Cambridge, England for further education. he entered in the Caius College for Mechanical engineering. Before India’s independence, Dr Bhabha and Nobel Laureate Sir C V Raman established the Cosmic Ray Research unit at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore in 1939. In 1945, he established the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research at Mumbai with the help of J R D Tata. Bhabha received the blessing of Pandit Nehru for effort in India, towards peaceful development of atomic energy. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society on March 20 1941.

He also established the Atomic Energy Commission of India in 1948. He represented India in International Atomic Energy Forums, and as President of the United Nations Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, in Geneva in 1955. He died in a plane crash near Mont Blanc on January 24, 1966. After the death of bhabha, the Atomic establishment was renamed as the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.

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Jagdish Chandra Bose (1858 - 1937)

Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, generally known as J.C. Bose, occupies a unique position in the history of modern Indian science. He is regarded as India’s first modern scientist. Jagdish Chandra Bose was an Indian physicist who pioneered the investigation of radio and microwave optics. Bose was born on November 30, 1858 in Munshiganj District in Bengal (Now situated in Bangladesh). His father Bhagwan Chandra Bose served the British India Government in various executive and magistrate of Faridpur and it is here Bose’s early childhood was mainly spent.

His family originally hailed from the village Rarikhal, Bikrampur, in the current day Dhaka, Capital of Bangladesh. He started his education in a vernacular school. Then he joined the St. Xavier’s School and college at Calcutta (Kalkata). He passed the Entrance examination (equivalent to school graduation) of Calcutta University in 1875. He received a B.Sc. from Calcutta University in 1879. In January 1882, Bose left London for Cambridge where he took admission in Christ’s College to study natural sciences. His decision to join the Christ’s College was influenced by the fact that his brother -in-law, Ananda Mohan Bose had earlier studied there. Ananda Mohan, who took the Mathematics Tripos in 1874, was Cambridge’s first Indian wrangler in 1884 Bose obtained a Bechelor of Arts with a second class in natural sciences tripos and in the same year he also obtained a Bechelor of Science from the University of London.After completing his education he came back to Kolkatta and was appointed professor of physical science at Presidency College, Calcutta and holds this post till 1915. In 1917 he founded Bose Research Institute and became director of the same institute at Calcutta and remained in the post until his death on November 23, 1937. Jagadish Chandra Bose was one of the pioneers of modern science in India. His research was on the properties of electro-magnetic waves.

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Komaravolu S. Chandrasekharan

Komaravolu S. Chandrasekharan is a famous scientist who worked in the fields of number theory and summability and also was a most successful editor of the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society. He was a founder faculty of School of Mathematics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR).

K. Chandrasekharana was born on November 21, 1920 in Machilipatnam in modern-day Andhra Pradesh. He started his education from District Board School in Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh. Then he joined high School at Bapatla in Guntur. After that he got his M. A. in Mathematics from the Presidency College, Madras and was a Research Scholar in the Department of Mathematics of the University of Madras from 1940 to 1943. At the same year he worked as a part-time Lecturer in the Presidency College and also obtained his Ph D during under Ananda Rau, Who was with Ramanujan in Cambridge.

After getting Ph D, Dr. K. Chandrasekharan went to the Institute for further Study, Princeton, U.S.A. and it was during his stay in Princeton that he was invited by Homi Bhabha to join the School of Mathematics of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR). He worked hard to make the School of Mathematics of TIFR into a centre of excellence recognized worldwide. He established a successful method of recruiting and training of Research Scholars at TIFR. Today also the programme continues with the same lines that he set down. He put to excellent use his contacts with the leading mathematicians of the world, persuading many of them (Like L. Schwartz, a Fields medalist and C.L. Siegel) to visit TIFR and deliver courses of lectures over periods of two months and more. The lecture notes prepared out of these lectures and published by TIFR enjoy a great reputation in the world mathematics community to this day. He left the TIFR in 1965 and went to the Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule Zurich, where he retired in 1988 and is now emeritus. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1959, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in 1963, and the Ramanujan Medal in 1966.

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Dr. K. Kasturirangan (Dr. Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan)

Dr. Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan is a famous scientist of modern India. He is a member of several important scientific academies within India as well as abroad, currently he is an honorable member of Paliament (Rajya Sabha). He was also the Director of ISRO Centre, where he looks after the activities related to the development of new generation spacecraft, Indian National Satellite (INSAT-2) and Indian Remote Sensing Satellites (IRS-1 A & 1 B) as well as scientific satellites.

Krishnaswami Kasturirangan was born on October 24, 1940 at Emakulam, in the state of Kerala, South India. He obtained his B. Sc. degree with Honours from Bambay University in 1961. He also got M. Sc. degrees in Physics from the same university in 1963, and after that he received Doctorate Degree in Experimental High Energy Astronomy in 1971 working at the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad. He has won many awards with his excellent talent. It includes Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in Engineering, Shri Hari Om Ashram Dr.Vikram Sarabhai Prerit Award in Aerospace, M.P.Birla Memorial Award in Astronomy, Shri M.M.Chugani Memorial Award in Applied Science, H.K.Firodia Award in Science Technology, Rathindra Puraskar by Visvabharati, Santiniketan, Dr.M.N.Saha Birth Centenary Medal for outstanding contributions in the field of Space. He has been conferred Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan. He has published more than 200 papers, both in international and national journals in the areas of astronomy, space science, space applications.

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G. N. Ramachandran (1922 - 2001)

G. N. Ramachandran was one of those scientists who have made India proud by their research. His full name was Gopalasamudram Narayana Iyer Ramachandran. He was the first person to propose a triple-helical model for the structure of collagen. He also made other major contributions in biology and physics.

Professor Ramachandran was born on October 8, 1922, in the town of Ernakulam, Kerala, India. He was the son of G.R. Narayana Ayer and Lakshmi Ammal. His father was a Professor of Mathematics at a local college and thus had considerable influence in shaping Ramachandran's interest in mathematics. He obtained his Bachelor degree in science from St. Joseph's College in 1942. He also got a master’s degree in Physics from Madras University with his thesis submitted from Bangalaore (he did not attend any Madras college at that time). He subsequently received his D. Sc. degree in 1947. after that he spent two years at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, where he got his Ph. D. for studies on X-ray diffuse scattering and its application to determination of elastic constants' under the direction of Professor Wiiliam Alfred Wooster, popularly known as W.A. Wooster, a leading crystollagraphy expert in the world.

After completing his Ph.D, he came back to India and joined Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore India in 1949 as an assistant professor of physics. In 1952 he was appointed to Madras University as professor and head of the Department of Physics where he continued his work on crystal physics. Dr. Ramachandran was devastated after the death of his wife Rajalakshmi in the year 1998, and a gradual deterioration in health occurred. During the last few years of his life he suffered a stroke and was affected by Parkinson's disease. Ramachandran died on April 7, 2001, in Chennai, at the age of 78, and left behind him a legacy of scientific discoveries. Leading scientists including Professor Linus Pauling and Sir Francis Crick regarded Professor Ramchandran as a Noble Prize caliber scientist of great reputation.

Important research Contributions:

Discovery of the triple helical structure of the connective tissue protein called collagen.
2) Development of the theory of image reconstruction from shadawgraphs (such as X-radiograms) using the Convolution Technique.
3) Ramachandran received a number of national/international awards.

D. S. Kothari ( Daulat Singh Kothari ) 1906 - 1993

Daulat Singh Kothari was an outstanding scientist and great educationist from India. Generally he was known as D. S. Kothari. His contribution to the whole spectrum of Indian education from elementary school to the university level is well-known. The most important work he did was to establish the defence Science centre to do research in electronic materials, nuclear medicine and ballistic science. He was a very talented personality.

D.S. Kothari
was born on July 6, 1906 at Udaipur, in Rajsthan, India. His father, Shri Fateh Lal Kothari, was a school teacher. His father died in 1918 at the age of 38 years. At that time Kothari was just 12 years old. D. S. Kothari completed his secondary school in 1922 from Maharaja Shivajirao High School of Indore. After his matriculation he came back to Udaipur and entered in the Intermediate College. In his Intermediate Examination, which he passed in 1924, he stood first in the Rajputana Board. He got distinctions in physics, chemistry and Mathematics subject. For his excellent performance in Intermediate Examination, the Maharana of Mewar granted him a monthly scholarship of Rs. 50/- for pursuing higher studies. He passed his B. Sc in 1926 from the Allahabad University. He also passed M. Sc. in 1928 under guidance of great physicist Megh Nad Saha.

In 1934, He started his working career with Delhi University a
s reader, professor and Head of the Physics department. He worked there from 1934 to 1961. The Government of India appointed him as Scientific Advisor to the Ministry of Defence in 1948. He held the same post till 1961 and after that he was appointed as chairperson of University Grants Commission in 1961 where he worked till 1973. D S Kothari was General President of the Indian Science Congress in 1963. He was elected President of Indian National Science Academy in 1973. His notable research on Statistical Thermodynamics and Theory of White Dwarf Stars gave him international reputation. The Padma Bhushan Award was conferred on him in 1962 and the Padma Vibhushan Award in 1973. Daulat Singh kothari died on February 21, 1993. In honour of Kothari the Delhi University has established the D. S. Kothari Centre for Science, Ethics and Education.

Harish Chandra (1923-1983)

Dr. Harish Chandra was one of the outstanding mathematicians of his generation, an algebraist and analyst, and one of those responsible for Transforming Infinite dimensional group re-presentation theory from a modest topic on the periphery of mathematics and physics into a major field central to contemporary mathematics.

Harish Chandra was a renowned physicist and mathematician of India. He was born on October 11, 1923 in Kanpur in North India. His father Chandra Kishor was a civil engineer. Harish Chandra spent his childhood at his maternal grandfather’s home in Kanpur. At an early age, he received his education from a tutor. A tutor was hired, and there were visits from a dancing master and a music master. At the age of nine, he was younger than his schoolmates were, in the seventh class. He completed Christ Church High School at fourteen, and remained in Kanpur for intermediate college, which he finished at sixteen, and then matriculated at the University of Allahabad, where he obtained the B.Sc. in 1941 and the M.Sc. in 1943 at the age of twenty. High-strung and frequently ill, Harish- Chandra was especially vulnerable at the time of examinations, all of which he seemed to take while suffering from some malady, serious or comic, from paratyphoid to measles. This did not prevent him from performing brilliantly. For the M.Sc., when the Physicist C. V. Raman, F R S, examined him he was the first in the state of Uttar Pradesh, receiving 100 % on the written test.

He had learned some mathematics, as far as the calculus, and some science from his father’s textbooks but his introduction to modern science came at the University. He describe many years later how Dirac’s Principles of quantum mechanics, which he had discovered in the University library in 1940, evoked in him the desire to devote his life to theoretical physics. Two years later K.S. Krishnan, F.R.S., an excellent physicist and widely cultivated man, was appointed Professor of Physics in Allahabad. He encouraged Harish Chandra in every possible way, lending him books like Hermann Weyl’s Raum-Zeit-Materie and recommending him as a research student in physics to H.J. Bhabha, at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. The good-natured, gentle Krishnan inspired in Harish-Chandra not only respect but also an affection that never abated. For the boisterous, egoistical Raman and his achievements, he had also, in spite of the difference in their temperaments, a high regard, but his own ascetic nature did not allow him to perceive the virtues accompanying the high living Bhabha’s extravagance.

The south Indian environment would have been foreign to Harish Chandra, but he spent the first six months lodging with old friends from Allahabad, Mrs. H. Kale, who had been his French teacher at the University, and her husband Dr. G.T. Kale, a botanist who had moved to Bangalore to take up duties as librarian at the institute. The eager, serious student was an inviting target for the pranks of their young daughter, Lalitha, but the interruption could not have been entirely unwelcome, for many years later when he returned to India on a visit, she, now strikingly beautiful young women, became his wife. He married Lalitha Kale and had two daughters. Gandhiji’s Quit India movement had been broken in 1942, and from then until the end of the war the independence movement was dormant. So Harish-Chandra’s time in Bangalore was untroubled by politics. Indeed, although his parents had been supporters of Gandhiji, his father adopting the wearing of Khadi, Harish was never more than superficially touched by politics. He had strong views, which he would sometimes vehemently defend, but he was not distracted by them, and was impatient with the hypocrisy and sentimentality, perhaps simply with the welter of emotions, that politic by their very nature entail.

K. S. Krishnan was Harish Chandra’s teacher at Allahabad University; he recommended his name to Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac for research work at Cambridge for his PhD degree. Based on this work and perhaps recommendations from Bhabha as well, Harish Chandra had been accepted by Dirac as a research student. Not long after the war in Europe had ended, He set sail for England, and was on boardship when atomic bomb fell on Hiroshima on August6, 1945. In 1945, Harish Chandra studies for his doctorate degree at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, under Paul Dirac’s supervision. However, he was not quite satisfied with Dirac’s lectures when he realized that Dirac was actually reading from his books. During his days in Cambridge, he started to loose interest in Physics, took more interest in mathematics, and attended the lecture courses of Littlewood and Hall. While attending a lecture by Pauli, he pointed out error in Pauli’s work. Later pauli and Harish Chandra became very close friends. In 1947, he received his doctorate degree for his thesis Infinite irreducible representations of the Lorentz group. In the thesis, he gave a complete classification of the irreducible unitary representations of SL.

Harish Chandra’s career as a physicist was to be brief- two years in Bangalore with Bhabha and two years in Cambridge with P.A.M. Dirac, F.R.S. He himself does not appear to have attached much important to the work done then, but it is of biographical interest and does occupy considerable space in his ‘collected works’. In Bangalore, there were two themes, both reflecting concerns of Bhabha and indirectly Dirac. The first, on which he wrote some papers alone and some with bhabha was classical point particles, their equations of motion, and the fields associated with them. Its origins lie in a 1938 paper by Dirac in which he derived equations of motion for a classical charged point- particle moving in an external field by examining the combined effects of the external field and the field of the particle itself on a small tube surrounding the world line of the paticle. He lets the diameter of the tube go to zero, keeping only the finite part of the energy and momentum communicated to the tube, and obtains equations agreeing with those of the Lorentz theory. Similar ideas can be applied to other point- particles and the associated fields, and Bhabha and Haris-Chandra developed them extensively, especially for neutrons and their classical meson fields. This work found no echo in the literature.

The second theme, relativistic wave equations, especially for particles of higher spin, touches issues that, although somewhat peripheral, remained of concern to mathematical physicists and are still not completely resolved. It deals with problems that in the 1940s were largely algebraic and some of the papers like those on the Dirac matrices and those on the Duffin Kemmer matrices, are purely so. The innate algebraic facility displayed in them, and in the early Princeton papers, was transformed by experience and effort into the powerful technical skill of the papers on representation theory. As it gained in strength, it lost in ease but never in resourcefulness. In Cambridge, his personal contacts with Dirac were infrequent. He attended his lectures at first but dropped out when he discovered that they were almost the same as the book. However, he did attend the weekly colloquium run by Dirac. He found that he was very gentle and kind and yet rather aloof and distant’ and felt that I should not bother him too much and went to see him about once each term.

Harish Chandra accompanied Dirac to Princeton from 1947 to 1948 and worked as this assistant. During his stay at United states, the leading mathematicians Hermann wey1, Emil Artin and Claude Chevalley who were working there had great impact on him. He remained at Princeton for another year even after Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac came back to Cambridge. At Harvard from 1949-50, he was influenced by Oscar Zariski. Harish Chandra was a faculty at the Columbia university from 1950-63, this duration is considered to be the most dynamic period of his career where he worked on representations of semisimple Lie groups. During this period, he worked in many institutions. From 1955-56 he was at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, from 1957-58 as a Guggenheim Fellow in Paris.

Harish Chandra formulated a fundamental theory of representations of Lie groups and Lie algebras. He even extended the concept of a characteristic representation of finite -dimensional of semi simple Lie groups to infinite-dimensional representations of a case and formulated a Weyl’s character formula analogue. Some of his other contributions are the specific determination of the Plancherel measure for semisimple groups, the evaluation of the representations of dicrete series, based on the results of Eisenstein series and in the concept of auto orphic forms, his “philosophy of cusp forms” , including the real lie groups, but also working at the Institute of Advanced Study at Neumann Professor in 1968. Harish Chandra received many eminent awards as AMS Cole Prize in Algebra (1954), Speaker at International Congress (1954), AMS Colloquium Lecturer (1969), Fellow of the Royal Society (1973), Ramanujan Medal from Indian National Science Academy. (1974) Honorary degrees by Delhi University 1973 and Yale University (1981), and Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (United State) 1981. He was participating in a conference in Princeton when he died on Sunday October 16, 1983 due to heart attack.

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