Google has honoured the 100th birthday of Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai, one of India's greatest scientists and regarded as the father of India's space programme, with a doodle today.
The award-winning physicist was born in Gujarat's Ahmedabad on August 12, 1919. Mumbai-based artist Pavan Rajurkar has illustrated the doodle.
Considered the 'father of India's space programme', he was an instrumental figure in the establishment of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). He was selected by former PM Jawaharlal Nehru, to set up the Indian National Committee for Space Research in 1962, which was later renamed ISRO.
Coming from an industrial family, Vikram Sarabhai had graduated from Gujarat Arts and Science College, before earning his doctorate from Cambridge University.
Just 28 years aged then, Vikram Sarabhai returned from Cambridge in 1947, the year India became independent and convinced charitable trusts controlled by his family and friends to invest in a research institution called Physical Research Laboratory in his hometown.
After watching the successful launch of Russia's Sputnik in October 1957, Dr Vikram Sarabhai managed to persuade the Indian government of the need and importance of such space programmes in the country as well. Thus under his chairmanship, ISRO was launched.
"There are some who question the relevance of space activities in a developing nation. To us, there is no ambiguity of purpose. We must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies to the real problems of man and society," Dr Sarabhai had said, commenting on the need for a space programme in India.
The noted scientist was honoured with Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in 1962 and later with one of the country's highest civilian awards Padma Bhushan in 1966 and the Padma Vibhushan (posthumously) in 1972. Moreover, to honour Dr Sarabhai, a crater on the moon was named after him posthumously in 1973.
Additionally, the lander of India's second manned moon mission, Chandrayaan-2, has been named 'Vikram' after him and is scheduled to touch the lunar surface by September.
Edited by Rupa Burman Roy