Renowned Indian scientist Padma Vibhushan Professor Yash Pal passed away on Monday in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. He was 90. While the cause of death was not immediately known, he had reportedly recovered from cancer a few years ago. His last rites will take place at 3 pm this afternoon.
A scientist of international repute, Pal was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1976 and India’s second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan, in 2013. In his illustrious career, Pal made significant contributions in the field of science and to the study of cosmic rays, high-energy physics, astrophysics and development, among others.
Pal was also the recipient of several awards including the Indira Gandhi Prize for Popularization of Science in 2000 and The Meghnad Saha Medal in 2006. Pal also served as the Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi from 2007 to 2012.
Pal completed his his PhD in 1958 from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he specialised in high-energy physics, astrophysics, communication, science policy and space technology. He was also Professor, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai; Director, Space Applications, Centre, Ahmedabad (1973-81); Chief Consultant, Planning Commission (1983-84); Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (1984-86) and Chairman, University Grants Commission (1986-91), New Delhi. He also served as president of the Indian Physics Association among several other key positions.