Raja Ramanna Biography
Birth: 28 January 1925, Tiptur, Tumkur, Karnataka
The death: 24 September 2004, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Scope of work: Nuclear scientist was associated with India’s nuclear program for 4 decades
The honor: Padma Shri (1968), Padma Bhushan (1973) and Padma Vibhushan (1975)
Raja Ramanna Biography
The institute: Bhabha Atomic Research Center, Defense Research and Development Organization, International Atomic Energy Agency, Ministry of Defense, National Institute of Advanced Studies
Teaching Institutions: Bishop Cotton Boy’s School Bengaluru, Madras Christian College, University of Mumbai, King’s College London
Raja Ramanna was an Indian nuclear scientist who played an important role in the development of India’s nuclear program. He was involved in India’s nuclear program in 1964 and initially worked under the supervision of renowned nuclear scientist Dr. Homi Jahangir Bhabha and became the director of this program in 1967 after his death. He observed and promoted scientific research related to the development of nuclear weapons. He was also the head of the scientific team that carried out India’s first nuclear test in 1974.
Raja Ramanna operated India’s nuclear program for nearly four decades, due to which he is considered as the ‘father of India’s nuclear program’. The Government of India honored him with high civilian honors such as Padma Shri (1968), Padma Bhushan (1973) and Padma Vibhushan (1975) for his work for the nation.
early life | Raja Ramanna Biography
Raja Ramanna was born on 28 January 1925 in Tumkur, Mysore state, at a place called Tiptur. His father’s name was Ramanna and mother’s name was Rukmini. Child Ramanna showed a keen interest in music in childhood, after which his parents introduced him to traditional Western music. His early education began at the Bishop Cotton Boyz School in Bangalore where he was primarily educated in literature and traditional music. He did his B.Sc in Physics from Madras Christian College. And a BA in ‘Traditional Music’ in 1947. Degree also. After this he enrolled in Bombay University, from where he got M.Sc in Physics. And then in the subject of ‘music’, M. Mus. did.
Subsequently, in 1952 Ramanna received a Commonwealth Scholarship after which he went to England to do his doctorate. He enrolled for a doctorate at King’s College, University of London and completed his doctorate in ‘Atomic Physics’ in 1954. In the United Kingdom, he did his research at Atomic Energy Research Establishment (AERE) where he excelled in ‘Nuclear Fuel Cycle’ and Nuclear Reactor Designing. He had a serious interest in music and during his stay in England he enjoyed European music and read and learned about Western philosophy.
Raja Ramanna’s interest and enthusiasm in western music and civilization continued throughout his life and after returning to India he established himself as a talented piano player. He performed traditional European music at several concerts in India and abroad. In 1956, at the invitation of ‘National College of Arts’ and ‘National Academy of Performing Arts’ of Pakistan, he gave a speech on classical piano and also performed his art.
India’s nuclear program
Dr. Raja Ramanna was one of the most important persons associated with the ‘nuclear program’ of the country started by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. He returned to India after his doctorate from England in 1954 and was appointed to the senior technical team at the Bhabha Atomic Research Center under the leadership of Dr. Homi Jahangir Bhabha. In 1958, he was appointed the Chief Directing Officer of this program. After the tragic death of Dr. Homi Jahangir Bhabha, he was made the head of the program and under his leadership in 1974 India conducted the first nuclear test (Smiling Buddha) after which Raja Ramanna got international fame and Government of India gave him Padma Vibhushan Was honoured.
In 1978, the then President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein proposed to build a nuclear bomb for Iraq in front of King Ramanna, but he rejected the proposal and returned to India.
In the later days of his career, King Ramanna advocated strict policies to prevent nuclear proliferation. He also traveled to Pakistan to attend the ‘International Physics Conference’ and gave a speech on nuclear physics. He contributed significantly to efforts to establish peace between India and Pakistan and also played a leading role in preventing ‘nuclear confrontation’ in the region.
In 1984, he joined the International Atomic Energy Institute and was also the President of the 30th General Session of the IAEA.
Dr. Raja Ramanna Mahmukhi was a rich man of talent. Along with nuclear physics, he also had a keen interest in music and philosophy. He was very good at playing the piano and also performed his art in many functions in India and abroad. Music was very close to his heart and he also wrote a book on the subject – The Structure of Music in Raga and Western Systems (1993). He also wrote another book (autobiography) ‘Years of Pilgrimage’ (1991).
As minister of state
In 1990, Raja Ramanna was made Minister of State for Defense in the VP Singh government. He was also a member of Rajya Sabha from 1997 to 2003. He was also closely associated with the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and was the Chairman of its Board of Directors for three consecutive sessions. In 2000, he was made the first director of the National Institute of Advanced Studies Bangalore.
The Government of India honored King Ramanna from time to time in view of his work done for the country.
- In 1963, he was given the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in the field of Science and Technology.
- In 1968, he was awarded the Padma Shri
- He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1973.
- In 1976, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan
On 24 September 2004, Dr. Raja Ramanna went to the other world. He was 79 years old at the time of his death.
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