It is Dr Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar’s 126th birth anniversary today, February 21. Dr Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar is widely regarded as the “Father of research laboratories in India”. Dr Shanti Bhatnagar has contributed immensely to India’s success through innumerable contributions in different fields of science. Specialising in physical and colloid chemistry, Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar, along with other greats Homi Bhabha, Prasanta Mahanlanobis, and Vikram Sarabhai, played a significant part in India’s post-independence science and technology infrastructure. Here is a look at Dr Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar’s life and times through some facts about him. Who is Akshay Venkatesh? Know Everything About Indian-Origin Mathematician Who Won The Fields Medal.
- It is a little-known fact that Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar’s father died when he was 8 months old. He stayed with his maternal grandfather, where he got the liking for science and engineering.
- Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar was not only a genius scientist but was also a gifted poet. He donned many hats during his lifetime that of a colloid chemist, academic, and scientific administrator.
- Dr Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar was also the first Director-General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Also, Sir Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar was the first Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC).
- In order to honour his contributions to India’s science and technology infrastructure, the CSIR has instituted the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology for scientists who have contributed significantly in the field of science.
- One of the major innovations that Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar is credited for to develop the process to convert bagasse (peelings of sugarcane) into food-cake for herds and cattle. His other major innovations include improving the procedure for drilling crude oil.
- Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, was a strong advocate of science. He said, “I have always been associated with many prominent figures eminent in other ways, but Dr Bhatnagar was a special combination of many things, added to which was tremendous energy with an enthusiasm to achieve things. The result was he left a record of achievement which was truly remarkable. I can truly say that but for Dr. Bhatnagar, you could not have seen today the chain of national laboratories.”
- Sir Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar was one of the first ones to be elected as Fellows of Indian Academy of Sciences in 1934. He was also appointed as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1936. Also, he was elected as the Fellow of the Royal Society in 1943.
- The government of India accorded the prestigious Padma Bhushan award to Dr Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar in 1954.
Sir Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar was born on February 21, 1894 in Bhera, Punjab. He breathed his last on January 1, 1955, at a young age of 60, due to a heart attack. LatestLY remembers Dr Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar for his contributions in the field of science and wishes his soul rests in peace.