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10 Nobel Prize Winners from India You Should Know

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Nobel Prize is a global recognition for individuals who have come up with something amazing for the society and mankind and that stand different from mere achievements.

Nobel Foundation administers this international award for the great persons who excel in the field of physics, literature, economic studies, medicine and physiology, chemistry and peace.

A set of six annual international awards is bestowed for the categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions.

Alfred Nobel is the founder of the Nobel Prize and it is been awarded every year since 1901.

This is renowned as the most prestigious honors that is been given to the greatest individuals for the corresponding fields.

If you look back at the awards being given since 1901, 12 Indians were proud to receive the prize at different times.

Here we can have a look at the Best Nobel Prize winners from India you should know.

1. Rabindranath Tagore

nobel prize winners from india

  • Field: The Nobel Prize in Literature
  • Year: 1913

He was the first Indian to receive Nobel Prize and he got this honor for “Geetanjali” a collection of his poems.

Rabindranath Tagore was born on 7 May 1861 in Kolkata. He is known for reshaping Bengali literature and music with Contextual Modernism.

He introduced the use of colloquial language and several novel proses and verse forms.

When he achieved this honor in 1913, he became the first ever non-European to receive this great recognition.

He is known for his excellence in various fields including the roles as writer, playwright, essayist, song composer, and painter.

His fresh, profoundly sensitive, and amazingly beautiful verse bagged him the award.

He composed the National anthems of India ‘Jana Gana Mana’ and Bangladesh ‘Amar Shonar Bangla’.

Moreover, National Anthem of Sri Lanka is, in fact, said to be composed after getting inspired by his poetry.

During 2004, his Nobel Prize and some other belongings got stolen from Visva-Bharati University. Later the same year, the Swedish Academy presented two replicas of his prize to University, one made of bronze and one made of gold.

2. CV Raman

Nobel Prize Winners from India

  • Field: The Nobel Prize in Physics
  • Year: 1930

CV Raman is a renowned Indian scientist who got this recognition for his ‘Raman Effect‘ related to light.

He was born in the former Madras Province in India on 7 November 1888.

He is globally known for his ground-breaking work in the field of light scattering.

Apart from the Nobel Prize, he was also honored with India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna.

Raman also received several honorary doctorates and memberships of scientific societies during his lifetime.

He received the Lenin Peace Prize in 1957 and got Franklin Medal in 1941.

He also made enormous contributions to musical instruments, vibration, sound, ultrasonics, photoelectricity, diffraction, colloidal particles, magnetron, X-ray diffraction, and dielectrics.

Interestingly, he booked his tickets early in July to collect the Nobel Prize well before the prize got announced in November.

He was the first ever Asian scientist to receive the Nobel Prize.

3. Mother Teresa

Nobel Prize Winners from India

  • Field: The Nobel Prize in Peace
  • Year: 1979

Mother Teresa was recognized with this honor for her selfless contribution and service through her Charitable Mission “Nirmal Hriday” at Calcutta.

She was born as a Yugoslavian nun who later became an Indian citizen. Her service was truly inspiring for the youth and people dying in destitute and suffering from Leprosy got heavily benefitted by the comprehensive work of her trust.

She was born on 26 August 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia.

Apart from this great recognition, she also received a lot of awards and honors throughout her selfless life.

To name a few, she received Order of the Smile, Padma Shri, Golden Honour of the Nation, Bharat Ratna and Order of Merit.

She founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1950 that comprised of 4,500 nuns and they were active in 133 countries.

Her ideology inspired several youths which said “By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian, By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus.”

4. Amartya Sen

nobel prize winners from india

  • Field: The Nobel Prize in Economic Studies
  • Year: 1998

Amartya Sen is an Indian Professor in Economics and philosopher who received the honor for Economics in 1998 for his work in Economic Theory related to development, poverty, democracy and social welfare.

He was recognized with over 90 honorary degrees from several universities around the globe.

To name a few, he received the Adam Smith Prize in 1954, Bharat Ratna in 1999, Leontief Prize in 2000 and latest is Bodley Medal in 2019.

He was born on 3 November 1933 in Manikganj, Bengal. He made immense contributions in diverse areas including economic theories of famines, welfare economics, economic and social justice, social choice theory. Interestingly, Rabindranath Tagore gave Amartya Sen his name.

He also wrote a lot of books that talked on diverse areas that matter a lot to the society. His popular books include Choice of Techniques, On Economic Inequality, Poverty and Famines, and Freedom, Rationality, and Social Choice.

To add to his golden feathers, Sen was ranked number 14 in the ‘Greatest Bengali of all time’ poll by BBC.

5. Kailash Satyarthi

nobel prize winners from india

  • Field: The Nobel Prize in Peace
  • Year: 2014

Kailash Satyarthi is renowned as India’s Child rights activist who shared the recognition for the year with Pakistan’s activist Malala Yousafzai.

He was born on 11 January, 1954 in Vidisha.

He is the founder of many campaigns and foundations like Bachpan Bachao Andolan, Global Campaign for Education, Global March Against Child Labour, Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation, and GoodWeave International.

He is also renowned for his great books like Will for Children, The Light of the Same Sun and Every Child Matters.

According to latest reports, his team has liberated more than 87,000 children in the country from slavery, child labor, and trafficking.

His 80,000 km-long march across 103 countries received global exposure which protested against worst forms of child labor.

He was even a member of a UNESCO body that proposed the goal of providing “Education for All”.

To add to his list of honor, he got featured in LinkedIn’s Power Profiles List in 2017 & 2018 and was among Fortune magazine’s ‘World’s Greatest Leaders’ in 2015.

Also Read: 10 Great Personalities Who are an inspiration to children

6. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan

nobel prize winners from india

  • Field: The Nobel Prize for Chemistry
  • Year: 2009

Venkatraman Ramakrishnan is a renowned Indo-American who shared the honor for Chemistry in the year 2009.

The prize was shared with Ada Yonath of Israel and a co-American Thomas Steitz for mapping ribosomes.

He is a structural biologist by profession who was born on 1952 in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu. Both his parents were scientists and it was not a surprise when he mastered this field.

To add to his recognition, he was elected as the President of the Royal Society.

He is even an Honorary Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford. Since the late 90s, he served as a group leader at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, UK.

His most cited papers were published in the areas of Nature, Science, and Cell.

He is globally recognized for determining the atomic structure of the 30S ribosomal subunit. Other than the Nobel Prize, he received Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine in 2007, Knight Bachelor in 2012 and Padma Vibhushan in 2010.

7. Dr. Hargobind Khorana

nobel prize winners from india

  • Field: The Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology
  • Year: 1968

Dr. Hargobind Khorana got this recognition for Medicine for his study of the Human Genetic Code and its role in Protein Synthesis.

In the same year, he was also awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University. He has a Doctorate in Chemistry who was born on 9 January 1922 in Raipur.

He worked as faculties of three recognized universities in North America and was honored with the National Medal of Science in 1987 after becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States.

In addition to Nobel Prize, he was honored with several other recognitions which include Gairdner Foundation International Award in 1980, Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research, Padma Vibhushan and Willard Gibbs Award in 1974.

He got globally noticed when Indo-US Science and Technology Forum in union created the Khorana Program with the goal of developing a seamless community of industrialists, scientists, and social entrepreneurs in India and the United States.

8. Subramanian Chandrashekar

Subramanian Chandrashekar

  • Field: The Nobel Prize for Physics
  • Year: 1983

Subramanian Chandrashekar is a prominent Indian Astro-Physicist who achieved this recognition for his theory on white dwarf starslimitation renowned as ‘Chandrasekhar Limit‘.

His excellence in the field didn’t come by surprise as he is the son of the elder brother of Sir C.V. Raman. He was born on 19 October 1910 in Lahore, Punjab and completed his studies from University of Cambridge and Trinity College.

He worked as a professor for a long time in University of Chicago and later took the role of editor of The Astrophysical Journal from 1952 to 1971.

In addition to Nobel Prize, he was honored with FRS in 1944, Adams Prize in 1948, Padma Vibhushan, Heineman Prize, Copley Medal in 1984 and a lot more.

He worked at the Ballistic Research Laboratory at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland during the time of World War 2.

Some of his famous publications include Principles of Stellar Dynamics, Hydrodynamic and Hydromagnetic Stability, An Introduction to the Study of Stellar Structure and Radiative Transfer.

9. S. Naipaul

S. Naipaul

  • Field: The Nobel Prize in Literature
  • Year: 2001

S. Naipaul was born on 17 August 1932 in Chaguanas but he is of Indian origin as his grandparents earlier emigrated from India to work in Trinidad’s cocoa plantations.

He was a Novelist, travel writer, and essayist by profession. Some of his amazing works from fiction and non-fiction categories include A House for Mr. Biswas, In a Free State, A Bend in the River, A Turn in the South, India: A Million Mutinies Now, Half a Life and The Enigma of Arrival.

He moved to India, the land of his ancestors during 1962 after marriage when he wrote the book ‘An Area of Darkness’ and a monthly “Letter from London” for The Illustrated Weekly of India.

While he got Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001, he was earlier awarded Booker Prize in 1971. He completed his education from University College, Oxford and he moved to London where he started writing amazing books. He was awarded the Trinity Cross in 1990.

10. Rudyard Kipling

. Rudyard Kipling

  • Field: The Nobel Prize for Literature
  • Year: 1907

Rudyard Kipling was born on 30 December 1865 in Mumbai and was an English journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist by profession.

His most famous works came under diverse categories including short story, children’s literature, novel, poetry, science fiction, and travel literature.

Some of his famous works are The Jungle Book, Just So Stories, Kim, Captains Courageous, “If—”, “Gunga Din” and “The White Man’s Burden”.

In his early days, he contributed to local newspapers like the Civil and Military Gazette in Lahore and The Pioneer in Allahabad.

He traveled through several Asian countries, the United States and then to Africa and many of his write-ups were inspired by incidents in his journey.

Kipling wrote several pamphlets and poems during the First World War that enthusiastically supported the country’s war aims.

More than 50 of his unpublished poems were published by an American Scholar which got released during 2013.

A crater on the planet Mercury was approved by the International Astronomical Union to name after Kipling.

Conclusion

These amazing personalities are truly inspiring for the younger generation to give out their best in the areas of their interest.

The nation will always be proud of these great individuals who strived hard to help the country’s flag hoist high.

Some names that stand out in the history of Nobel Prize are Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo and Mahatma Gandhi. While the former was nominated for the achievement in Literature in 1943 and again for Peace in 1950, the latter got nominated thrice for Peace Prize.

Also Read: 30 Most Influential College Professors on Twitter

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