||This article has an unclear citation style. (August 2015)|
12 August 1919|
Ahmedabad, Bombay Presidency, British India
|Died||30 December 1971
Halcyon Castle, Kovalam in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
|Institutions||Indian Space Research Organisation
Physical Research Laboratory
|Alma mater||Gujarat College, University of Cambridge|
|Doctoral advisor||Sir C. V. Raman|
|Known for||Indian space program
Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad
|Notable awards||Padma Bhushan (1966)
Padma Vibhushan (posthumously) (1972)
|Spouse||Mrinalini Sarabhai (Hindi: मृणालिनी साराभाई) (classical dancer)|
- 1 Personal life
- 2 Physical Research Laboratory
- 3 Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Centre
- 4 Indian Space Research Organization
- 5 Indian Space Program
- 6 Darpan Academy for Performing Arts, Ahmedabad
- 7 Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad
- 8 Later life
- 9 Distinguished Positions
- 10 Legacy
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Son of Sheth Ambalal Sarabhai, he came from the famous Sarabhai family of India who were major industrialists committed to the Indian independence movement. Vikram Sarabhai married the classical dancer Mrinalini in 1942. The couple had two children. His daughter Mallika gained prominence as an actress and activist, and his son Kartikeya Sarabhai too became an active person in science. During his lifetime, he practiced Jainism and belonged to the Shrimal Jain community of Ahmedabad.
Physical Research Laboratory
Known as the cradle of space sciences in India, the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) was founded on 11 November 1947 by Vikram Sarabhai. PRL had a modest beginning at his residence, the RETREAT, with research on cosmic rays.
The institute was formally established at the M.G. Science Institute, Ahmedabad, with support from the Karmkshetra Educational Foundation and the Ahmedabad Education Society. Prof. Kalpathi Ramakrishna Ramanathan was the first Director of the institute. The initial focus was research on cosmic rays and the properties of the upper atmosphere. Research areas were expanded to include theoretical physics and radio physics later with grants from the Atomic Energy Commission.
Today PRL is actively involved in research, related to five major fields of science. PRL is also instrumental in the PLANEX planetary science and exploration programme.
Looking at the needs of the country, he persuaded charitable trusts controlled by his family and friends to endow a research institution near his home in Ahmedabad. This led to the creation of the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad on November 11, 1947.
Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Centre
Vikram A. Sarabhai Community Science Centre (VASCSC) established in the 1960s by the eminent space scientist, Vikram A. Sarabhai is working towards popularizing science and mathematics education among students, teachers and the laypublic. Its mandate is to stimulate interest, encourage and expose the principles of science and scientific method and also to improve and find innovative methods of science education.
Indian Space Research Organization
Sarabhai was convinced and envisioned that the resources in space have the potential to address the real problems of man and society. As Director, Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) located in Ahmedabad, Sarabhai convened an army of able and brilliant scientists, anthropologists, communicators and social scientists from all corners of the country to spearhead the Indian space programme.
Indian Space Program
The establishment of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was one of his greatest achievements. He successfully convinced the government of the importance of a space programme for a developing country like India after the Russian Sputnik launch. Dr. Sarabhai emphasized the importance of a space program in his quote:
"There are some who question the relevance of space activities in a developing nation. To us, there is no ambiguity of purpose. We do not have the fantasy of competing with the economically advanced nations in the exploration of the moon or the planets or manned space-flight. "
"But we are convinced that if we are to play a meaningful role nationally, and in the community of nations, we must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies to the real problems of man and society."
Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha, widely regarded as the father of India's nuclear science program, supported Dr. Sarabhai in setting up the first rocket launching station in India. This center was established at Thumba near Thiruvananthapuram on the coast of the Arabian Sea, primarily because of its proximity to the equator. After a remarkable effort in setting up the infrastructure, personnel, communication links, and launch pads, the inaugural flight was launched on November 21, 1963 with a sodium vapour payload.
As a result of Dr. Sarabhai's dialogue with NASA in 1966, the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) was launched during July 1975 - July 1976 (when Dr.Sarabhai was no more).
Dr. Sarabhai started a project for the fabrication and launch of an Indian Satellite. As a result, the first Indian satellite, Aryabhata, was put in orbit in 1975 from a Russian Cosmodrome.
Dr. Sarabhai was very interested in science education and founded a Community Science Centre at Ahmedabad in 1966. Today, the Centre is called the Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Centre.
Darpan Academy for Performing Arts, Ahmedabad
Darpana was established as a dance academy by Mrinalini and Vikram Sarabhai in 1949. For nearly two decades it taught classical dance. With Mrinalini as the lead dancer, and ChatunniPanicker as her partner, the Darpana dance company toured across the world. A few years later the great Kuchipudi guru, c R Acharyelu joined the faculty.
Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad
The decade following independence in 1947 was witness to a surge of innovative ideas to build a fledgling independent nation into a model democratic state committed to growth with equity in the development of its people. The establishment of Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) was the outcome of one such innovative initiative.
Led by Vikram Sarabhai, Shri. Kasturbhai Lalbhai and proactively supported by the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Jivraj Mehta, a group of enlightened individuals set up IIMA. This group ably wove together a coalition of five actors - the governments at the centre and the state, the local industrialists, the Ford Foundation and the Harvard Business School, in a true spirit of public private partnership to establish the Institute.
Sarabhai was visiting Thiruvananthapuram to review the SLV (satellite launch vehicle) design, attend the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Thumba railway station being built to service the newly created Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station.
He emphasized the importance of a space programme:
- "There are some who question the relevance of space activities in a developing nation. To us, there is no ambiguity of purpose. We do not have the fantasy of competing with the economically advanced nations in the exploration of the moon or the planets or manned space-flight."
- "But we are convinced that if we are to play a meaningful role nationally, and in the community of nations, we must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies to the real problems of man and society."
Homi Jehangir Bhabha, widely regarded as the father of India's nuclear science program, supported Sarabhai in setting up the first rocket launching station in India. This center was established at Thumba near Thiruvananthapuram on the coast of the Arabian Sea, primarily because of its proximity to the equator. After a remarkable effort in setting up the infrastructure, personnel, communication links, and launch pads, the inaugural flight was launched on November 21, 1963 with a sodium vapour payload. As a result, the first Indian satellite, Aryabhata, was put in orbit in 1975 from a Russian Cosmodrome.
He led the Sarabhai family's diverse business conglomerate. His interests varied from science to sports to statistics. He set up Operations Research Group (ORG), the first market research organization in the country. Most notable among them are the Nehru Foundation for Development in Ahmedabad, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), which is considered a world class management institute. Also, he helped establish the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), which is doing a commendable job in R&D in physics. Sarabhai set up Ahmedabad Textiles Industrial Research Association (ATIRA), which helped the booming textiles business in Ahmedabad. He also set up the Center for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT). Not stopping with all these, he went ahead and set up the Blind Men Association (BMA) which helps visually-challenged people with the necessary skills and support. Along with his wife Mrinalini Sarabhai, he founded the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts. Other well-known institutions established by him include the Faster Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) in Kalpakkam, Variable Energy Cyclotron Project in Calcutta, Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) in Hyderabad and Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) in Jaduguda, Jharkhand.
- President of the Physics section, Indian Science Congress (1962)
- President of the General Conference of the I.A.E.A., Viennaa (1970)
- Vice-President, Fourth U.N. Conference on 'Peaceful uses of Atomic Energy' (1971)
- The Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, (VSSC), which is the Indian Space Research Organization's lead facility for launch vehicle development located in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), capital of Kerala state, is named in his memory.
- Along with other Ahmedabad-based industrialists, he played a major role in setting up of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
- In 1973, the International Astronomical Union decided that a lunar crater, Bessel A, in the Sea of Serenity will be known as the Sarabhai crater.
-  mapsofindia.com on Vikram Sarabhai
-  iloveindia.com on Vikram Sarabhai
- Vikram Sarabhai: A Life by Amrita Shah, 2007, Penguin Viking ISBN 0-670-99951-2
-  The famous people - Vikram Sarabhai
-  The Visionary- Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai
- "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
- "Jains steal the show with 7 Padmas". the times of India. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
The Jain community has always nurtured exceptional talent whether it is eminent scientist Vikram Sarabhai, who is considered the father of the country's space programme, or poet, thinker and spiritual leader Banarsidas who composed the magnum opus Ardhakathanaka, the first ever autobiography in Hindi literature.
-  ISRO - Genesis Page
-  Darpan Academy History
-  IIMA - Aboutus
- "Vigyan Prasar, Dr. Vikram Sarbhai".
- "ISRO Dr. Vikram Sarabhai".
- Antonín Rükl: Atlas Měsíce, Aventinum (Praha 1991), chapter Bessel, page 74, ISBN 80-85277-10-7 (Czech)
- Crater Sarabhai on Moon Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, IAU, USGS, NASA
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vikram Sarabhai.|
- Interview with biographer Amrita Shah recorded in August 2013
- Great Scientists at freeindia.org
- Hindu Newspaper
M. G. K. Menon