The Nobel Prize is an honor which is among the highest privileges which can be presented to anyone for any work of excellence. It is presented to those who have significantly contributed in six particular fields which are Nobel Prize for Physics, the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the Nobel Prize for Peace and also the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences. The Nobel Prize was named after its founder Alfred Nobel. In 1895, Nobel declared for all of his wealth to be given an award to those working for the development of the above fields.

Over the years many Indians have worked hard and received Nobel Prizes for their contribution in various fields such as in Literature, Physics, Mathematics, Peace, Chemistry. Some of these men are remembered even today with the utmost respect and honor. They contributed to the nation’s and the world’s development. The timeline of these awards has been from 1913 to 2014. All these people have made a significant contribution in their fields. India is also the first Asian country to have a citizen of their’s receive the Nobel Prize and has continued to do so.

If you wish to know more about some of these most notable Nobel Prize winners, we have compiled a list of 8 Popular Nobel Winners in India:

1. Rabindranath Tagore – The Nobel Prize in Literature 1913

Rabindranath Tagore's Portrait

Rabindranath Tagore is a man often interpreted as one of the greatest writers, song composers, painters and much more. He was bestowed the prestigious award “because of his deeply delicate, vivid and elegant poetry, by which, with absolute skill, he has made his poetic insight, manifested in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West”. In 1913, he became the first Asian and also the first non-European to have won the Nobel Prize. Tagore has composed the national anthems such as India’s ‘Jana Gana Mana’ and Bangladesh’s ‘Amar Shonar Bangla’. Also his poetry seems to be the inspiration behind Sri Lanka’s National Anthem.

2. CV Raman – The Nobel Prize in Physics 1930

Sir CV Raman when he was young

Sir CV Raman is a name every kid in the nation knows. He was bestowed the prestigious award “For his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the effect named after him”. He discovered the ‘Raman Effect’ – the phenomenon of in which the rays which are deflected see a change in wavelength. Though, it is said that Raman was sure that he’ll win this award in 1928 and 1929 but was disappointed and for the 1930 Nobel awards, he had already booked his tickets before the announcement.

3. Mother Teresa – The Nobel Peace Prize 1979

Beautiful portrait of Mother Teresa

“For work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitutes a threat to peace”, Mother Teresa was awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize. She was born in the Republic of Macedonia but arrived in India when she was 19 and started her apprentice in Darjeeling. All her life she worked as a Roman Catholic nun in which she worked as a missionary serving for the betterment of the poor. In 1979, she was given this prize and the Roman Church also canonized her after 19 years of her death.

4. Amartya Sen – The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1998

AmartyaSen after giving lecture

“For his contributions to welfare economics”, Amartya Sen was bestowed with the Nobel Prize in Economic Studies. He was given this prize in 1998. This was all because of his various contributions in the economic theories of famines, welfare economics, economic and social justice, social choice theory, and various other measures he took for the well-being of citizens in developing countries. Memorial Prize (1998), Bharat Ratna (1999) and Johan Skytte Prize (2017) are some of the other prestigious prizes awarded to his work.

5. Kailash Satyarthi – The Nobel Peace Prize 2014

present photo of Kailash Satyarthi

Today, Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai are two names which are held with great respect. They both jointly received the Nobel Prize in 2014, “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of children to education”. Bachpan Bachao Andolan, Global March Against Child Labour, and Good Weave International are some of his major contributions as a child activist. Harvard’s University’s ‘Humanitarian of the Year’ award in 2015, Defenders of Democracy Award (US) in 2009, and Gold medal of the Italian Senate in 2007 are some other important awards given to him.

6. Har Gobind Khorana – The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1968

Youthful image of Har Gobind Khorana

In 1968, Har Gobind Khorana was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. He won the award along with Marshall W. Nirenberg and Robert W. Holley. He was an Indian-born American biochemist. They won this prize “for their interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis”. The work by the three of them proved that the process of synthesis of protein in the cells is controlled by nucleotide which are present in nucleic acids (which are called the genetic code carrier of the cell).

7. Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar – The Nobel Prize in Physics 1983

Nephew of CV Raman, Chandrasekhar

The next name on this list of prestigious names is of the nephew of Sir CV Raman, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar. He won The Nobel Prize in Physics “for his theoretical studies of the physical processes of importance to the structure and evolution of the stars”, in 1983. Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was born in India but ultimately moved to the US. The physical process required for the evolution of stars was established by his discoveries. He also founded the Chandrasekhar limit, which is the upper limit of a white dwarf’s mass.

8. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan – The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2009

Present picture of Ramakrishnan

“For studies of the structure and function of the ribosome”, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan was granted the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He was awarded the prize along with Thomas A. Steitz and Ada E. Yonath, in 2009. Ramakrishnan is an American-British structural biologist who has an Indian origin. Presently, he serves as the President of the Royal Society. Along with Nobel Prize he has been awarded many prestigious awards such as Padma Vibhusha, Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine, Guggenheim Fellowship for Natural Science, and many more.

Shreya Singh

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