Nobel laureates of India

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The following list includes Nobel laureates of Indian origin.

The Nobel Prize is a prominent annual prize, awarded in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, Peace and Economics.

Indian citizen laureates[edit]

The following are Nobel laureates who were awarded the prize when they held Indian citizenship.[1]

Year Laureates Subject Notes
1913 Rabindranath Tagore[2] Literature First Indian winner.
1930 C. V. Raman[3] Physics Also Knighted.
1968 Har Gobind Khorana[4] Medicine Subsequently acquired U.S citizenship.
1979 Mother Teresa[5] Peace Was Born in Albania.
1983 Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar[6] Physics Subsequently acquired U.S citizenship.
1998 Amartya Sen[7] Economics

Rabindranath Tagore[edit]

Main article: Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore was a Bengali polymath who reshaped his region's literature and music. Author of Gitanjali and its "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse", he became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. In translation his poetry was viewed as spiritual and mercurial; his seemingly mesmeric personality, flowing hair, and otherworldly dress earned him a prophet-like reputation in the West. His "elegant prose and magical poetry" remain largely unknown outside Bengal.He wrote the Indian national anthem. Tagore introduced new prose and verse forms and the use of colloquial language into Bengali literatuorities as long-lost classics. He graduated to his first short stories and dramas—and the aegis of his birth name—by 1877. As a humanist, universalist internationalist, and strident anti-nationalist he denounced the Raj and advocated independence from Britain. As an exponent of the Bengal Renaissance, he advanced a vast canon that comprised paintings, sketches and doodles, hundreds of texts, and some two thousand songs; his legacy endures also in the institution he founded, Visva-Bharati University. Tagore modernised Bengali art by spurning rigid classical forms and resisting linguistic strictures. His novels, stories, songs, dance-dramas, and essays spoke to topics political and personal. Gitanjali (Song Offerings), Rabindranath Tagore was the first non-European and first Asian to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He did so as an Indian subject of the British Empire.

C. V. Raman[edit]

C.V.Raman was born at Thiruvanaikaval, near Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu.

Awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930 for the effect named after him." from Kolkata[8] Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for the year 1930. He had been knighted only the year before and worked extensively on acoustics and light. He was also deeply interested in the physiology of the human eye. A traditionally-dressed man, he headed an institute that is today named after him: the Raman Research Institute, Bangalore.

The roster of Nobel laureates from India before Independence is surprising in its omission of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The Norwegian Nobel Committee confirmed that Gandhi was nominated for the Peace Prize in 1937–39, 1947 and a few days before he was assassinated in January 1948.[9] Later members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee expressed regret that he was not given the prize.[10] Geir Lundestad, Secretary of Norwegian Nobel Committee in 2006 said, "The greatest omission in our 106 year history is undoubtedly that Mahatma Gandhi never received the Nobel Peace prize. Gandhi could do without the Nobel Peace prize. Whether Nobel committee can do without Gandhi is the question".[11] In 1948, the year of Gandhi's death, the Nobel Committee declined to award a prize on the grounds that "there was no suitable living candidate" that year.[10][12]

Hargobind khorana[edit]

Main article: Hargobind khorana
Shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1968 for his '"interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis"'.[13]

Hargobind khorana (1922–2011), a person of Indian origin, shared the 1968 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Robert W. Holley and Marshall W. Nirenberg. He had left India in 1945 and became a naturalised United States citizen in the 1966. He continued to head a laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States, until his death in 2011.

Mother Teresa[edit]

Main article: Mother Teresa
Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 1979 in recognition of her "work in bringing help to suffering humanity."[14]

Mother Teresa's real name was Agnes Gonxhe Bojaxiu (1910–1997) was born in Skopje, then a city in Ottoman Empire.She was a Roman Catholic nun of Albanian origin and Indian citizenship.[15] She founded the international order of "The Missionaries of Charity", whose primary task was to love and care for those persons nobody was prepared to look after. For years in the slums of Kolkata (Calcutta), her work centred on caring for the poor and suffering, among whom she herself died.

Nationals of Independent India have received one Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Science in Memory of Alfred Nobel, namely,

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar[edit]

Chandrasekhar was born in Lahore, Punjab, British India in a Tamil family. His paternal uncle was the Indian physicist and Nobel laureate C. V. Raman.

Chandrasekhar shared the Nobel Prize in Physics 1983 "for his theoretical studies of the physical processes of importance to the structure and evolution of the stars." Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1983 with William Alfred Fowler. Born: 19 October 1910, Lahore, British Raj (now in Pakistan) Died: 21 August 1995, Chicago, IL, USA Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

He determined that star cluster dynamics were similar in nature to the Brownian motion of particles suspended in liquids. From this research he estimated the time it would take for the clusters to have attained the present state of motion. After many years of work, he published a definitive work, The principles of Stellar Dynamics ( 1942). This pattern of working on a particular subject until_publishing a definitive work and moving on to another subject became the hallmark of Chandrashekhar's career. In his famous presentation to the Royal Astronomical Society in 1933, he had stopped short of talking about a complete gravitational collapse of high mass stars, but a such a possibility had already occurred to him. To understand this possibility he concentrated his studies on the general theory of relativity and relativistic astrophysics. This work lead to his monumental publication of The Mathematical Theory of Black Holes in 1983.

Amartya Sen[edit]

Main article: Amartya Sen
Awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences 1998 "for his contributions to welfare economics."[16]

Amartya Sen (born 1933, Kolkata) was the first Indian to receive the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, awarded to him in 1998 for his work on welfare economics. He has made several key contributions to research in this field, such as to the axiomatic theory of social choice; the definitions of welfare and poverty indexes; and the empirical studies of famine. All are linked by his interest in distributional issues and particularly in those most impoverished.[17] Whereas Kenneth Arrow's "impossibility theorem" suggested that it was not possible to aggregate individual choices into a satisfactory choice for society as a whole, Sen showed that societies could find ways to alleviate such a poor outcome.

Other laureates related to India[edit]

The following are Nobel laureates related to India who were awarded the prize.

Year Laureates Subject Notes
1902 Ronald Ross Medicine Indian-born British citizen
1907 Rudyard Kipling Literature Indian-born British citizen
1979 Abdus Salam Physics Indian-born Pakistan citizen
1989 14th Dalai Lama Peace Tibetan religious leader residing in India
2001 V. S. Naipaul Literature Trinidadian born British citizen of Indian descent
2006 Muhammad Yunus Peace Indian-born Bangladesh citizen
2007 Rajendra K. Pachauri Peace Indian citizen and the chairman of Nobel winning IPCC
2009 Venkatraman Ramakrishnan Chemistry Indian-born U.S citizen

Ronald Ross[edit]

Main article: Ronald Ross

Ronald Ross, born in Almora, Uttrakhand, India, in 1857, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1902 for his work on malaria. He received many honours in addition to the Nobel Prize, and was given Honorary Membership of learned societies of most countries of Europe, and of many other continents. He got an honorary M.D. degree in Stockholm in 1910 at the centenary celebration of the Caroline Institute. Whilst his vivacity and single-minded search for truth caused friction with some people, he enjoyed a vast circle of friends in Europe, Asia and America who respected him for his personality as well as for his genius.

Rudyard Kipling[edit]

Main article: Rudyard Kipling
Citation: "in consideration of the power of observation, originality of imagination, virility of ideas and remarkable talent for narration which characterize the creations of this world-famous author"

Rudyard Kipling, born in Mumbai, 1865 (then Bombay in British India), was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1907. He remains the youngest ever recipient of the Literature Nobel Prize and the first English-language writer to receive the Prize. His literary career began with Departmental Ditties (1886), but subsequently he became chiefly known as a writer of short stories. A prolific writer, he achieved fame quickly. Kipling was the poet of the British Empire and its yeoman, the common soldier, whom he glorified in many of his works, in particular Plain Tales from the Hills (1888) and Soldiers Three (1888), collections of short stories with roughly and affectionately drawn soldier portraits. His Barrack Room Ballads (1892) were written for, as much as about, the common soldier. In 1894 appeared his Jungle Book, which became a children's classic all over the world. Kim (1901), the story of Kimball O'Hara and his adventures in the Himalayas, is perhaps his most felicitous work. Other works include the Second Jungle Book (1895), The Seven Seas (1896), Captains Courageous (1897), The Day's Work (1898), Stalky and Co. (1899), Just So Stories (1902), Trafficks and Discoveries (1904), Puck of Pook's Hill (1906), Actions and Reactions (1909), Debits and Credits (1926), Thy Servant a Dog (1930), and Limits and Renewals (1932), Better Be Better than Worst (1933). During the First World War Kipling wrote some propaganda books. His collected poems appeared in 1933.

Venkatraman Ramakrishnan[edit]

Citation: "for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome"[18]

Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, born in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry as a US Citizen.[19]

See also[edit]


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  8. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1930". Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  9. ^ Levinovitz, Agneta Wallin (2001). pp. 181–186.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ a b Tønnesson, Øyvind (1 December 1999). "Mahatma Gandhi, the Missing Laureate". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 17 October 2007. 
  11. ^ Relevance of Gandhian Philosophy in the 21st century
  12. ^ Abrams, Irwin (2001). pp. 147–148.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1968". Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  14. ^ "The Nobel Peace Prize 1979". Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  15. ^ "South Asia | India rejects Mother Teresa claim". BBC News. 2009-10-14. Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  16. ^ "The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1998". Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  17. ^ Press Release: The Sveriges Riesbank (Bank of Sweden) Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, 1998 (14 October 1998).
  18. ^
  19. ^ Science Centric (2009-10-07). "News | The Nobel Prize in chemistry is going to Mr Ramakrishnan, Steitz, Yonath". Science Centric. Retrieved 2012-06-23.