Today’s Doodle, illustrated by Mumbai-based guest artist Pavan Rajurkar, celebrates the 100th birthday of award-winning Indian physicist, industrialist, and innovator Vikram Sarabhai, remembered by many as the father of India’s space programme.
Beyond his interest in cosmic rays, rockets, and satellites, Dr Sarabhai believed in using science and technology as “levers of development.”
Born in the city of Ahmadabad on this day in 1919, Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai attended Gujarat College before travelling to England to earn his doctorate at Cambridge.
“There are some who question the relevance of space activities in a developing nation,” said Dr Sarabhai following the launch of Russia’s Sputnik satellite. “To us, there is no ambiguity of purpose? We must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies to the real problems of man and society.”
Dr Sarabhai established the Indian National Committee for Space Research in 1962, later renamed the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). This led to the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station in southern India, which had its first successful launch on November 21st, 1963. His dream of an Indian satellite was realized when Aryabhata went into orbit in 1975.
He also founded many important institutions in his homeland, such as the Physical Research
Laboratory (when he was just 28 years old), the Indian Institute of Management, and the Center for Environmental Planning and Technology.
He also served as chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Commission.
Dr Sarabhai’s commitment to science education led to the Community Science Center in Ahmedabad, which now bears his name. A crater on the moon was named in his honour in 1973.
Earlier this summer 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.
The Indian Space Research Organisation is to conduct a year-long programme in the form of exhibitions, competitions for school children, journalism awards and speeches by eminent personalities to commemorate the birth centenary of its founder father Dr Sarabhai.
The programme will be conducted across as many as 100 cities all over India commencing from today and ending on August 12, 2020. (UNI)