To mark the 100th birth anniversary of award-winning innovator and ISRO scientist Vikram Sarabhai, Google Monday dedicated a doodle to him. Considered the Father of the Indian space program, Vikram Sarabhai believed in using science and technology as “levers of development.”
Earlier called the Indian National Committee for Space Research, ISRO was established in 1962 by him.
Born in Ahmadabad in 1919, Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai attended Gujarat College before travelling to England to earn his doctorate at Cambridge.
After his return to India, Sarabhai established the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad. In the early 60s when Dr Sarabhai was tinkering with the launch of sounding rockets from Thumba, in Thiruvananthapuram, it was PRL that became the centre for developing the payloads for those rockets.
After the death of physicist Homi Bhabha in 1966, Sarabhai was appointed the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India. Carrying forward Bhabha’s legacy in the field of nuclear research, Sarabhai was largely responsible for the establishment and development of India’s nuclear power plants.
Sarabhai’s commitment to science led to the Community Science Center in Ahmedabad, which now bears his name. A crater on the moon was also named in his honor in 1973. Earlier this month, the ISRO launched the Chandrayaan-2 mission in hopes of making India the fourth country to land on the moon. The Vikram lander is scheduled to touch down on the lunar surface on September 7th of this year.
In his 24-year-long career, Dr Sarabhai set up 38 institutions across the country in the fields of arts, social sciences, entrepreneurship, and textile industry as well as the physical and experimental sciences.
Apart from scientific research, he took an active interest in industry, business, and development issues. Realizing the need for professional management education in India, Sarabhai was instrumental in setting up the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmadabad in 1962.
Sarabhai received the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in 1962. He was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 1966 and the Padma Vibhushan (posthumously) in 1972.
The illustration has been created by Mumbai-based guest artist Pavan Rajurkar.