Vibha , Aug 12, 2017
Vijnana Bharathi pays humble tributes to renowned scientist, Dr Yash Pal, 90, who passed away on July 24th, 2017. He belonged to an era of scientists who espoused the ‘Make In India’ concept decades ago. Professor Yash Pal was known for his contributions to the study of cosmic rays, as well as for being an institution-builder. In his later years, he became one of the leading science communicators of the country. He introduced the first cable and satellite television broadcast for the world in the 1970’s. Prof Yash Pal was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1976 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2013. He was the founder director of ISRO’s Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad. He started his career at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), later remained chairman of the University Grants Commission from 1986 to 1991. Apart from his great achievement in the field of Science, he wrote a major report which strongly favoured reducing the burden of books in children’s school bags. During his tenure as UGC chairman, he advocated the setting up of Inter-University Centres funded by the UGC, on the model of the Nuclear Science Centre (now Inter-University Accelerator Centre), New Delhi. Institutions such as the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) emerged from this vision. In 2013, Professor Yash Pal was given the country’s second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan.