• Post last modified:October 18, 2022
  • Post category:Science
  • Reading time:11 mins read

We all know about the genius of Einstein, but did you know that India gave birth to some of the world’s greatest scientists?

Let’s take a look at 15 Indian scientists, who have made a tremendous contribution to the field of science, mathematics, and engineering.

I’m sure you have at least heard of some of these names. But if not, it’s time for you to learn about them.

List of 15 Indian Scientists And Their Innovations

Sr No.Scientist NameInnovation/Notable Work
1Chandrasekhar Venkata RamanRaman Effect
2Subrahmanyan ChandrasekharChandrasekhar Limit
3Srinivasa RamanujanDiscoveries on Pi, Number Theory, Continued Fractions, Analysis
4Venkatraman RadhakrishnanDeuterium abundance in the galaxy, Astrophysical Raman Masers, OH emission from clouds
5Satyendra Nath BoseBEC Theory (Bose-Einstein Condensate Theory) in collaboration with Albert Einstein
6Har Gobind KhoranaChemically synthesize oligonucleotides (short single strands of synthetic DNA or RNA)
7Homi Jahangir BhabhaFounder of BARC (Bhabha Atomic Research Centre) & Indian Nuclear Program Head
8Vikram SarabhaiKnown as the father of the Indian space program (ISRO)
9Meghnad SahaSaha Ionization Equation
10APJ Abdul KalamDirector of ‘India’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV)’
11Prasanta Chandra MahalanobisThe Mahalanobis Distance
12Birbal SahniFamous for Bennettitales, Pentoxylales, Homoxylon Rajmahalense
13Raj ReddyInvented Voice Recognition AI, the first system was ‘Hearsay I’
14Shreeram Shankar AbhyankarGreat contributions to algebraic geometry
15M. S. SwaminathanDeveloped high-yielding varieties (HYV) of wheat

1. Chandrasekhar Venkata Raman

Chandrasekhar Venkata Raman was an Indian physicist who made groundbreaking contributions to the field of optics.

He is best known for his discovery of the Raman effect, which is a scattering of light that occurs when light interacts with matter. Because of the discovery he earned the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930.

Raman was born in Tamil Nadu, India in 1888. He studied physics at the Presidency College in Chennai and the University of Calcutta. He obtained his PhD from the University of Calcutta in 1917.

On 28 February 1928 he discovered the Raman effect and the day is celebrated annually by the Government of India as the National Science Day. CV Raman is considered as one of the greatest Indian scientists of all-time.

2. Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was an Indian-American astrophysicist who made important contributions to the fields of stellar structure, stellar evolution, and nuclear astrophysics.

He is best known for his theoretical work on the evolution of stars and the process of stellar collapse.

Chandrasekhar was born in Lahore, India, in 1910. He attended Presidency College in Madras, where he studied physics and mathematics. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1933.

After working at the Indian Institute of Science and the University of Chicago, Chandrasekhar joined the faculty of the University of Chicago in 1937.

Chandrasekhar is one among the Indian scientists who won the Nobel prize in physics.

3. Srinivasa Ramanujan

One of the most fascinating mathematicians of the early 20th century was Srinivasa Ramanujan. He made incredible contributions to the field of number theory and analysis, and his work has inspired mathematicians for generations.

Ramanujan was born in 1887 in India. He showed an early interest in mathematics, and despite not having access to formal education, he taught himself advanced topics.

He eventually caught the attention of British mathematician G. H. Hardy, who brought him to England to study at Cambridge University.

Ramanujan made significant contributions to the fields of number theory and analysis. He developed new methods for computing the infinite series for π. Ramanujan is considered as one of the greatest mathematician of all-time. [Reference]

4. Venkatraman Radhakrishnan

Born on 19 may 1929, Venkataraman Radhakrishnan was an Indian aero space scientist and the son of Nobel prize winner Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman. He was also a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

He ended his career as professor emeritus of the Raman Research Institute named after his father in Bangalore, India, of which he had earlier been director from 1972 to 1994.

Venkatraman served on various councils in various capacities including as the vice president of the International Astronomical Union between the year 1988 to 1994.

Radhakrishnan is particularly credited for various works in finding Deuterium abundance in the galaxy, Astrophysical Raman Masers, OH emission from clouds, etc. [Reference]

5. Satyendra Nath Bose

Satyendra Nath Bose was an Indian physicist and mathematician who is best known for his work on quantum mechanics in the early 1920s.

Bose developed a new method of counting particles that was later named after him: the Bose-Einstein statistics.

In 1924, he sent a paper to Albert Einstein entitled “Planck’s Law and the Hypothesis of Light Quanta” which proposed the existence of particles that we now know as photons.

Einstein was so impressed with the paper that he published it without changes in the prestigious German scientific journal Zeitschrift für Physik. [Reference]

6. Har Gobind Khorana

Har Gobind Khurana was 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 showed that the order of nucleotides in nucleic acids, which carry the genetic code of the cells, control the cell’s synthesis of proteins.

Khurana was born in Raipur, India, and earned a B.Sc. from Punjab University in Lahore, Pakistan, in 1945. He then moved to the United States, where he received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Illinois in 1949. [Reference]

7. Homi Jahangir Bhabha

Homi Jahangir Bhabha was an Indian nuclear physicist who is often referred to as the “father of the Indian nuclear program”.

He was born in Mumbai in 1909 and studied at the Indian Institute of Technology, where he earned his degree in physics.

After working in the Indian Atomic Energy Commission for several years, Bhabha founded the Atomic Energy Establishment, Trombay (AEET) which is currently known as  Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in 1951.

He also played a key role in the establishment of the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency. Sadly Bhabha died in an airplane crash in 1966. [Reference]

8. Vikram Sarabhai

Dr. Vikram Sarabhai was an Indian physicist and astronomer who is widely regarded as the father of the Indian space program.

He was born in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, on August 12, 1919, into a affluent family. His father, Ambalal Sarabhai, was a successful textile mill owner and his mother, Sarla Devi, was a homemaker.

Sarabhai received his early education at the local schools in Ahmedabad and later attended St. Xavier’s College, also in Ahmedabad. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from St. Xavier’s in 1940 and his master’s degree in physics from the University of Cambridge.

9. Meghnad Saha

Meghnad Saha was an Indian astrophysicist who developed the Saha ionization equation, used to describe chemical and physical conditions in stars. He also invented the Steady Flow Equation, used in the study of hydrodynamic and astrophysical phenomena.

Saha was born in Dhaka, then part of Bengal Province in British India, on October 6, 1893. He studied at the Presidency College, Calcutta and at the University of Calcutta. He obtained his master’s degree in 1915 and his doctorate in 1920.

Later Saha joined the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore in 1921 as a research scholar. He is considered as one of the greatest Indian scientists. [Reference]

10. APJ Abdul Kalam

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was the 11th President of India, serving from 2002 to 2007. He was born in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, on October 15, 1931, and studied physics and aerospace engineering.

He worked as a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). He was honoured with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in 1997.

Kalam was elected President in 2002 with the support of the ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party. APJ Abdul Kalam is considered as one of greatest scientists in India. [Reference]

11. Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis

Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis was an Indian statistician who made significant contributions to the field of statistics, and is best known for the Mahalanobis distance.

Mahalanobis played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Indian Statistical Institute, and is also considered to be one of the founders of the National Sample Survey.

Born in Calcutta on June 29, 1893, Mahalanobis graduated from Presidency College with a degree in physics.

He then went on to study in England, first at Cambridge University and then at the London School of Economics. It was during his time in England that he developed an interest in statistics. [Reference]

12. Birbal Sahni

Birbal Sahni was an Indian botanist who made contributions to the fields of paleobotany and plant anatomy. He founded the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany in Lucknow.

Birbal Sahni was born on 14th November 1891 in Bhera, Punjab, British India (now in Punjab, Pakistan). His father, Sunder Singh, was a Sanskrit and Persian scholar. Sahni did his schooling in Bhera and then studied at the Government College, Lahore.

He obtained his B.Sc. degree in 1911 and M.Sc. degree in 1913, both in chemistry. He then went to England and joined Professor Seward to work on a Revision of Indian Gondwana plants. [Reference]

13. Raj Reddy

Raj Reddy is an Indian-American computer scientist and a recipient of the Turing Award. He is also a professor at Stanford University and Director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL).

Raj Reddy is widely recognized for his work in artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive science, and is best known for his contributions to the development of the field of AI.

Reddy’s work on AI includes the development of the PROLOG programming language, the creation of the first robot that could navigate autonomously in an unstructured environment, and the development of a system that could understand spoken language. [Reference]

14. Shreeram Shankar Abhyankar

Shreeram Shankar Abhyankar was an Indian mathematician who did pioneering work in algebraic geometry, differential equations and number theory.

S.S Abhyankar was the recipient of the prestigious Fields Medal in 1978, and the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian award, in 2012.

Abhyankar was born in 1930 in the small town of Narsinghpur in Madhya Pradesh, India. His father was a school teacher and his mother a homemaker.

He had three brothers and a sister. Abhyankar showed an early interest in mathematics, and his father encouraged this by buying him mathematical books and puzzles. [Reference]

15. M. S. Swaminathan

M S Swaminathan is a world-renowned Indian agricultural scientist and the father of India’s Green Revolution. He is also one of the architects of India’s White Revolution and considered as India’s one of the greatest scientists.

Swaminathan is a recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award, the World Food Prize, the Borlaug Global Food Security Award, and the Indian Padma Vibhushan.

Swaminathan was born in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, on 7 August 1925. His father was a doctor and his mother was a homemaker.

He contributed basic research related to potato, wheat and rice production, in areas like cytogenetics, ionizing radiation and radiosensitivity. [Reference]

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