Search giant Google on Monday honoured Indian scientist and founding father of India's space programme ISRO Vikram Sarabhai on his 100th birth anniversary. Google dedicated a doodle in memory of Dr. Sarabhai who was always considered a great institution builder who established several institutions across different fields.
"Today’s Doodle, illustrated by Mumbai-based guest artist Pavan Rajurkar, celebrates the 100th birthday of award-winning Indian physicist, industrialist, and innovator Vikram Sarabhai, remembered by many as the father of India’s space program. Beyond his personal interest in cosmic rays, rockets, and satellites, Dr. Sarabhai believed in using science and technology as “levers of development," Google said.
President Ram Nath Kovind also paid his respects to Dr. Sarabhai, hailing him as the "father of India's space programme."
"Remembering Dr Vikram Sarabhai on his birth centenary. Considered the father of our space programme, Dr Sarabhai was a stalwart of Indian science. He built several institutions; mentored & inspired generations of scientists. We cherish his services and his legacy," President Kovind said on Twitter.
Born in August 12, 1919, Dr. Sarabhai was always considered a great institution builder who established or helped to establish several institutions across different fields.
At the age of 28, Dr. Sarabhai founded the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad. The PRL was also known as the cradle of space sciences in India.
Sarabhai also became Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and he also had a very important role to play in the creation of IIM Ahemdabad.
In 1966, Dr. Sarabhai founded a Community Science Centre at Ahmedabad as he was very interested in science education. Today, the Centre is known as the Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Centre
One of the greatest achievements of Dr. Sarabhai was the establishment of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). After the Russian Sputnik launch in the late 50s, Sarabhai successfully managed to convince the government about the importance of a space program for a developing country like India.
Dr. Sarabhai emphasized the importance of a space program in his famous 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."
Widely regarded as the father of India's nuclear science program, Indian physicist Dr. Homi Bhabha helped Dr. Sarabhai in setting up the first rocket launching station at Thumba near Thiruvananthapuram and the inaugural flight was launched in November 1963.
Dr. Sarabhai had a dialogue with NASA in 1966 as a result of which the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) was launched during July 1975 - July 1976. Thanks to Sarabhai's efforts, the first Indian satellite, Aryabhata, was put in orbit in 1975 from a Russian Cosmodrome.
Dr. Sarabhai passed away on December 30, 1971 at the age of 52.