Who was Dr. Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar?
Dr. Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar was India famous academician, former Secretary and Founder Director of prestigious ICAR born in an ordinary family 21st Feb 1894. When he was just eight months old, he lost his father and then he lived with his maternal grandparents who brought him up. A family friend, seeing his talent for learning took him to Lahore for education.
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How Dr. Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar became famous and for what?
He went to England for a research fellowship after completing his Master’s in India. He received his DSc from the University College, London in 1921 under the guidance of Chemist Prof. Frederick G. Donnan. He returned to India after completing his education and became a professor at the Benaras Hindu University. He was knighted in 1941 and the year 1943 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. His main area of research was emulsions, colloids, and industrial chemistry, but his significant contribution was in the field of magnetochemistry. After his day’s work, young Bhatnagar used to spend his spare time in his laboratory. His laboratory was visited by P.C. Ray and Dr. C.V. Raman. Both appreciated his ingenuity.
“Dr. Bhatnagar’s life is an example in itself of the fact that talent cannot go waste and that even a man with an ordinary background can shine in life.”
Lets us reveal some extraordinary achievements made by Dr. Shanti Swaroop and amazing facts of his life:
1] Dr.Shanti’s contribution to the field of Science and Technology
Internationally acclaimed chemist and scientist Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar is more famously known as the ‘father of science and technology’He designed the Bhatnagar-Mathur interference balance, along with physicist R. N. Mathur who was later manufactured by a British firm.
2] The Root of CSIR
The CSIR initiative slowly but steadily grown into a giant tree. Today the 38 CSIR labs researching widely diverse areas as Aerospace, Biotechnology and Chemistry virtually constitute the ABC of Indian scientific research.
3] Dr. Shanti Swaroop became Director General of CSIR
As the Founder Director, and later as Director General, of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), a scientific organization developed by Dr. Shanti Swaroop, he played a key role in promoting scientific research for the industrial revolution in independent India. His research contributed to several areas of chemical sciences.
4] Shanti Swaroop’s pioneer research – Magneto-Chemistry
However, his pioneering research in the field of magneto-chemistry acclaimed throughout the world. Today’s chemical industry is an important part of the Indian economy, and much credit goes to this pioneer for solving the industrial problems.
5] Shanti Swaroop’s coordination with Homi Bhabha
He also played an important part with Homi Jehangir Bhaba, Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, Vikram Sarabhai and others in a building of post-independence science and technology infrastructure and the formulation of India’s science and technology policy.
6] Dr. Shanti Swaroop’s Achievements
Today, the CSIR has grown to become one of the world’s largest networks of scientific laboratories. He created a total of 12 national labs, for example, Central Food Processing Technological Institute, Mysore, the National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi, the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, the Central Fuel Institute, Dhanbad and National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur.
Here it is pertinent to mention the views of Dr. Bhatnagar in his presidential address to the Indian Science Congress at Nagpur in 1945.
.“… science has no future in India unless our agriculture and our industries are fully developed; more food and more health are dependent upon these factors. Scientific and Industrial research thrives best when applied to material benefit.”
7] Last days of Dr. Shanti Swaroop
He took last breath due to a heart attack on 1 January 1955. He achieved a great deal in his eventful 60 years. He left an indelible imprint on pure science. He believed in the application of science to help solve the country’s economic problem. Dr. Bhatnagar was awarded the Padma Vibushan in 1954. The CSIR to honor his memory has established the Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Award for eminent scientists. This award is also presented every year to a reputed mathematician.