List of Indian Nobel laureates

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Rabindranath Tagore was the first person of Indian origin and also first Asian to be awarded with the Nobel Prize. He received the prize for Literature in 1913.

The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed on "those who conferred the greatest benefit on mankind" in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, Peace and Economics.[1][2] Instituted by Alfred Nobel's last will, which specified that his fortune be used to create a series of prizes, now known as the Nobel Prizes. They are widely recognized as one of the most prestigious honors awarded in the aforementioned fields.

A total of 835 individuals (791 men and 44 women) and 21 organizations were awarded the Nobel Prize, some more than once. Among the total recipients, 12 are Indians (5 Indian citizens and 7 of Indian origin or residency). Rabindranath Tagore was the first Indian citizen to be awarded and Mother Teresa is the only woman in the list.[3] Notably, Sri Aurobindo was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1943 and for the Nobel Prize in Peace in 1950.[4]

On 1 December 1999, the Norwegian Nobel Committee confirmed that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was nominated for the Peace Prize thrice (in 1937–39, 1947 and a few days before he was assassinated in January 1948).[5] In 2006, Geir Lundestad, Secretary of Norwegian Nobel Committee 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".[6][7][8]


Indian citizens[edit]

The following are the Nobel laureates who were Indian citizens[A] at the time they were awarded the Nobel Prize.[10]

Year Laureate Subject Rationale
1913 Rabindranath Tagore in 1909.jpg Rabindranath Tagore Literature Awarded "because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West."[11]
1930 Sir CV Raman.JPG C. V. Raman Physics "For his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the effect named after him."[12]
1979 MotherTeresa 094.jpg Mother Teresa
(born in Skopje, Ottoman Empire)
Peace "For work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitutes a threat to peace."[13]
1998 Amartya Sen NIH.jpg Amartya Sen Economic studies "For his contributions to welfare economics."[14]
2014 Kailash Satyarthi March 2015.jpg Kailash Satyarthi Peace Awarded jointly to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai – "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education."[15]

Overseas citizens of Indian origin[edit]

The following are Nobel laureates born in British India or who are of Indian origin but subsequently non-citizens of India; however, they are still often included in lists of Indian Nobel laureates.

Year Laureate Country Subject Rationale
1968 Har Gobind Khorana nobel.jpg Har Gobind Khorana
(born in Raipur, British India)
 United States Physiology or Medicine Awarded along with Robert W. Holley and Marshall W. Nirenberg – "for their interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis."[16]
1983 Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
(born in Lahore, British India)
 United States Physics "For his theoretical studies of the physical processes of importance to the structure and evolution of the stars."[17]
2009 Nobel Prize 2009-Press Conference KVA-08.jpg Venkatraman Ramakrishnan
(born in Chidambaram, India)
 United Kingdom /  United States Chemistry "For studies of the structure and function of the ribosome."[18]


The following are Nobel laureates with Indian linkages – those foreigners who were born in India, those who are of Indian ancestry and those who were residents in India when they became recipients of the Nobel Prize.

Year Laureate Country Subject Rationale
1902 Ronald Ross.jpg Ronald Ross
(born in Almora, British India)
 United Kingdom Physiology or Medicine "For his work on malaria, by which he has shown how it enters the organism and thereby has laid the foundation for successful research on this disease and methods of combating it."[19]
1907 Rudyard Kipling, by Elliott & Fry (cropped).jpg Rudyard Kipling
(born in Bombay, British India)
 United Kingdom Literature "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."[20]
1989 Dalailama1 20121014 4639.jpg 14th Dalai Lama
(born in Taktser, Republic of China)
 India Peace "In his struggle for the liberation of Tibet [he] consistently has opposed the use of violence. He has instead advocated peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect in order to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of his people."[21]
2001 VS Naipal 2016 Dhaka.jpg V. S. Naipaul
(born in Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago)
 United Kingdom Literature "For having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories."[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Per Indian nationality law, article 9 of Indian Constitution says that a person who voluntarily acquires citizenship of any other country is no longer an Indian citizen. Also, according to The Passports Act, a person has to surrender his Indian passport; it is a punishable offense under the act if he fails to surrender the passport. Hence, citizenship exclusively includes the jus sanguinis (citizenship by right of blood).[9]


  1. ^ "Nobel Prizes-Britannica". Britannica. Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  2. ^ "Things About the Nobel Prizes". Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "From 1913 to 2014: Indian Nobel Prize winners". The Hindu. The Hindu Group. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  4. ^ Rajinder Singh (Sep 2012). "Aurobindo Gosh's Nobel nomination". Rajinder Singh. p. 442. Retrieved July 12, 2016. 
  5. ^ Levinovitz, Agneta Wallin (2001). Levinovitz. pp. 181–186. 
  6. ^ Tønnesson, Øyvind (1 December 1999). "Mahatma Gandhi, the Missing Laureate". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  7. ^ Abrams, Irwin (2001). Irving Abrams. Irving Abrams. pp. 147–148. 
  8. ^ "Gandhi and Nobel". Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  9. ^ "Indian Citizenship". Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  10. ^ P. J. George (10 October 2014). "List of laureates". The Hindu. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "Rabindranath Tagore". Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  12. ^ "C V Raman". Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  13. ^ "Mother Teresa Agnes". Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  14. ^ "Amartya Sen". Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  15. ^ "The Nobel Peace Prize 2014". Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  16. ^ "H. Gobind Khorana". Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  17. ^ "Subramanyan Chandrasekhar". Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  18. ^ "Venkatraman Ramakrishnan". Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  19. ^ "Ronald Ross". Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  20. ^ "Rudyard Kipling". Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  21. ^ "Dalai Lama 14th". Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  22. ^ "Nobel Prize in Literature 2001". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2008-10-17.