Homi Jehangir Bhabha & Vikram Sarabhai


    In Context

    • Recently, the SonyLiv series ‘Rocket Boys’, which focuses on the lives of Indian scientists Homi J Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai, premiered. 
      • Homi J Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai had their mark contributions in creating landmark scientific programmes and institutions in a newly-independent India.

    Homi Jehangir Bhabha 

    • Early life:
      • Homi Jehangir Bhabha was born on October 30, 1909, to a wealthy Parsi family from Mumbai. 
      • In 1927, Bhabha began his studies at Cambridge University, studying mechanical engineering; later on he studied theoretical physics and received a doctorate degree in nuclear physics from the University of Cambridge in 1934.
    • Contributions:
      • Homi Jehangir Bhabha is mostly known as the chief architect of India’s nuclear programme. 
      • He was the first Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India.
      • Starting his nuclear physics career in Britain, Bhabha had returned to India for his annual vacation before the start of World War II in September 1939. War prompted him to remain in India and he accepted a post of reader in physics at the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru, headed by Nobel laureate C.V. Raman.
      • It was under his direction that the scientists of India made their way into making an atomic bomb and the first atomic reactor was operated in Mumbai in 1956. Bhabha also led the first UN Conference held for the purpose of Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy in Geneva, 1955.
      • For the benefit of the nation, Dr Bhabha established the Atomic Energy Establishment, Trombay (AEET) in January 1954 for a multidisciplinary research program essential for the ambitious nuclear program of India. After the sad demise of Bhabha in 1966, AEET was renamed Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).
    • Awards & Honours:
      • He was an associate of various societies of science including the American National Academy of Sciences.
      • He was awarded the Adams Prize (1942) 
      • He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1954, the third-highest civilian award in India.
      • He was also nominated for the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1951 and 1953–1956.

    About Dr. Vikram Sarabhai

    • Early Life:
      • Born in Ahmedabad in 1919, Sarabhai was instrumental in forming India’s future in astronomy
    • Contributions:
      • Dr. Vikram Sarabhai is considered as the father of India’s space program.
      • He was a great institution builder and established or helped to establish a large number of institutions in diverse fields. 
      • He was instrumental in establishing the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad. 
      • In 1947, he founded the Ahmedabad Textile Industry’s Research Association, and looked after its affairs until 1956. 
      • After Russia’s Sputnik launch, he managed to convince the Indian government of the need for India to have its own space program. For this he established the Indian National Committee for Space Research in 1962, which was later renamed the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
      • He along with other Ahmedabad-based industrialists played a major role in the creation of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
      • He had worked on India’s first satellite ‘Aryabhata’.
      • After the death of physicist Homi Bhabha in 1966, Sarabhai was appointed chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India.
    • Awards and Honours:
      • He received the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in 1962, Padma Bhushan in 1966 and was conferred the Padma Vibhushan posthumously in 1972.
      • In 1973, a crater on the moon was named after him.
      • Lander of Chandrayaan 2, India’s 2nd mission to the moon is named ‘Vikram’ to honour late Dr. Vikram Sarabhai.

    Source: IE