Contribution of Scientists in Independent India

Many of the greatest scientists that independent India has produced are little known, like hidden figures in their own homeland.

Contribution of scientists in Independent India

  • Har Govind Khorana – He was the first person to segregate the DNA PARTS and chains of nucleotides 
  • Salim Ali – He studied birds life, known as bird men of India. He conducted systematic bird surveys across India.
  • Vikram Sarabhai – He started a project for the fabrication and launch of an Indian satellite which led to launch of the first Indian satellite, Aryabhata.
  • Visvesaray – His efficient method of river bed management ,block irrigation system a novel idea to irrigate land.
  • Birbal Sahni- an Indian paleobotanist who studied the fossils of the Indian subcontinent.
  • Amal Kumar Raychaudhuri in cosmology
  • G.N. Ramachandran in protein crystal structures
  • C.K. Majumdar and Dipan Ghosh who extended the quantum Heisenberg spin model
  • E K Janaki Ammal- was a renowned botanist and plant cytologist who made significant contributions to genetics, evolution, phytogeography and ethnobotany.
  • B Vijayalakshmi- she studied relativistic wave equations and their proportions.
  • A Chatterjee- her area of interest was natural products with special reference to the medicinal chemistry
  • Anna Mani- the only woman scientist to work with C.V. Raman, is well known for her work in atmospheric physics and instrumentation.
  • Lalji Singh- worked in the field of DNA fingerprinting technology in India, where he was popularly known as the “Father of Indian DNA fingerprinting”

Why Indian scientists are less publicized?

  • C.N.R. Rao said in context of science leadership, “There is really a crisis of leadership in the country… There is a need to get in some fresh blood.
  1. Bureaucratization of Science institutions
  • The system is run by scientists-turned-bureaucrats, who have absorbed the culture of government.
  • Independent India’s project of building a national science establishment has led to internal standards of judgment: the scientists in power certify each other’s work. Dependent on political patronage for continued funding, these leaders groom loyalists and yes-men rather than cutting-edge researchers
  • This has led to an insider culture, reproducing privileges rather than promoting excellence

    2.Poor innovation standards

  • The two conditions which are required for innovation – guarantees of long-term funding and scientists’ collaboration with each other.
  • Funding varies with the political climate
  • And collaboration is a social process, not an intellectual one


  • Durable institutions and cultures of innovation are not widespread in the Global South.
  • But India is the most successful of all the nations in the Global South, with a more affluent diaspora than virtually any other country.

Question for Answer Writing

Q: Many of the greatest scientists that independent India has produced are little known, like hidden figures in their own homeland. Briefly discuss contributions of such scientists.

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