(EMINENT SCIENTISTS AND SCHOLARS OF MODERN INDIA)‘s Article is in three part.
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EMINENT SCIENTISTS AND SCHOLARS OF MODERN INDIA-Part 3 ,
Venkatraman ’Venki’Ramakrishnan was born in 1952. He is an Indian-American and British structural biologist of Indian origin. Presently, he is the President of the Royal Society. He won the Nobel Prize in 2009 in Chemistry with Ada Yonath and Thomas A. Steitz, ‘for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome’. His work for the ‘determination of the atomic structure of the 30S ribosomal subunit’is appreciated internationally. Through neutron diffraction, he mapped the arrangement of proteins in the 30S subunit and also showed X-ray structures of individual components and their RNA complexes, contributing to the understanding of how chromatin is organised, structure of linker histones and their role in higher order folding.
Verghese Kurien is known as the Father of the ‘White Revolution’in India. He is the person behind the ‘Operation Flood’ which was the largest agricultural dairy development programme in the world. It made India the top- ranked milk producer in the world. India’s largest food brand Amul cooperative was established with his help. He also made India self-sufficient in edible oil taking on a powerful, entrenched and violently resistant oil supplying lobby. He is one of the greatest supporter of the co-operative movement in the world. His work helped in the upliftment of millions of people out of poverty in India as well as outside India.
He was born on 2 August 1861 in Bengal. He was a renowned chemist who set up the first chemical factory in India as ‘Bengal Chemical and Pharmaceutical Works Ltd. in 1901’ with the aim to make chemicals at much cheaper rates by using local raw materials.
He was born in Kolkata on 1 January 1894, and was a Bengali-Indian physicist and mathematician, who is best known for his work with Albert Einstein on the ‘Bose–Einstein statistics’that has application in information retrieval in present time. He also worked on boson also called God Particles, which revolutionize the modern physics. The name boson was given after his name and Bose is known as the father of the God Particle. Bose also wrote a paper on ‘Quantum Radiation Law’.
He is a well-known Indian scientist in the field of chemistry. He was the first Director- General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), and is also known as the ‘father of research laboratories’. He was also the first Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC). His biggest and significant contributions were in the field of magneto-chemistry; for the study of chemical reactions, he applied magnetism. He invented Bhatnagar–Mathur Magnetic Interference Balance jointly with K.N. Mathur in 1928, for measuring magnetic properties. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1954.
He was an astrophysicist born in October 1910. He discovered and concluded that massive stars can collapse under their own gravity to reach enormous or even infinite densities. Now these collapsed stars are referred as neutron stars and black holes. It was accepted 30 years later that the ultimate fate of the stars depended on their masses. Small and dense stars go on to become white dwarfs whereas larger stars, after a supernova, can become neutron stars or black holes. He was awarded the Noble Prize in physics in 1983 for ‘theoretical studies of the physical process of importance to the structure and evolution of stars’, sharing the prize with William Fowler. NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory is named after him.
In 1919, he received his doctorate from the London University for his research in the field of palaeobotany. His works include comprehensive studies on Indian Conifers and exploring the wealth of fossil plants from Rajmahal Hills. He attracted worldwide attention by instituting a new plant group ‘Pentoxyleae’. The continental drift theory is supported by his palaeobotanical studies.
Salim Moizuddin Abdul Ali was a prominent Indian ornithologist as well as a naturalist. He is known as the ‘birdman of India’, because he was among the first few Indians who conducted systematic bird surveys across India while also writing several bird books that helped in popularising ornithology in India. He became the main figure behind the Bombay Natural History Society after 1947. He won the Padma Bhushan in 1958 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1976. With his help, an economic ornithology unit was established in the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR).
Y. Subbarao was an Indian biochemist who discovered the function of adenosine triphosphate as an energy source in the cell, and later developed methotrexate for the treatment of cancer. Most of his career was spent in the United States. Despite his isolation of ATP, Subbarao was denied tenure at Harvard, though he later went on to lead some of America’s most important medical research centres during World War II. Subbarao died in the United States. He is also credited with the first synthesis of the chemical compounds folic acid and methotrexate. He also discovered the basis for hetrazan, which was used by the World Health Organisation against filariasis.
Professor Kashyap, called Father of Indian Bryology was born in Punjab in 1882. He did his M.Sc. degree in Botany from Punjab and went to Cambridge University for further studies. He was the first Secretary of Indian Botanical Society and the President of Indian Science Congress in 1932. Kashyap is known mainly for his work on Bryophyta but he also made contributions in the work on Pteridophyta. Two of his books which gained a worldwide recognition and respect are ‘Liverworts of Western Himalayas and Punjab Plains’Part I (1929) (S.R. Kashyap) and Part II (1932) (Kashyap and Chopra). He made discoveries in some new genera and many new species of Bryophyta. His theory of Retrogressive Evolution in Liverworts (Marchantiales) has achieved a worldwide acceptance by bryologists.
Professor K.C. Mehta was born in Amritsar in 1892 and specialised in the field of Plant Pathology. He is famous for his research regarding the recurrence of rust in the plains in India. Obtaining his M.Sc. degree in 1914, he was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Botany at Agra College in 1915. In 1920, he went to Cambridge University where he was working on the black rust of cereals. He was awarded Ph.D. degree from Cambridge University in 1922. In 1941, he was awarded D.Sc. degree by Cambridge University. On the basis of his researches on recurrence of black rust in the plains of India he concluded that the infection (uredospore) spreads from Himalayas in the North and Nilgiri and Pulney Hills in the South. He presided over the session of Indian Botanical Society in 1939.
A.K. Sharma was born in 1924. His specialisations were in the fields of Cytogenetics, Cytochemistry and Cell Biology. His contributions in these fields included new techniques for studying the physical and chemical nature of chromosomes, adopted all over the world for plant, animal and human systems, the latest technique being orcein banding for repetitive DNA. Repeat DNA analysis is a measure of genetic diversity, which is a new concept of speciation in asexual organisms. Clarification of the chemical nature of plant chromosomes was done through techniques that induced division in adult nuclei through certain metabolic precursor for studying chromosomes in relation to differentiation.
Reorientation of angiosperm taxonomy was a new concept of dynamism of structure and behaviour of chromosomes in plant, animal and human systems that used embryo irradiation and in-vitro cultures for generating variability by applying the concept of dynamic DNA. The tissue culture as a means for gene variability and conservation endangered species. Sharma has shown that the chemical composition of chromosomes varies during organogenesis, differentiation and reproduction, with the basic genetic skeleton being maintained. He received the Padma Bhushan in 1983.
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