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How did Vikram Sarabhai lift India as a Nation?
Vikram Sarabhai is one of the greatest visionaries India has ever had. He was a physicist, scientist, astronomer and industrialist who founded the Indian space research organisation (ISRO) and several pioneered research institutes in India. Let us take a closer look at his inspirational life and achievements that helped our nation thrive in science and technology.
Vikram Sarabhai's Life
Vikram Sarabhai was born into a wealthy family in Ahmedabad, Gujurat. His father, Ambalal Sarabhai, was an industrialist and his mother, Sarada Devi, was a social worker. Both his parents participated actively in the Indian freedom movement, which significantly affected his worldview as he grew.
He attended the Gujarat college of arts and science after matriculation and then enrolled at the University of Cambridge. He completed his doctorate at Cambridge University, during which his interest in space science sparked. He returned to India and thought about starting a space programme in India. When he was 28, he established the physical research laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad in 1947. Sarabhai didn’t stop after this and started the space application centre in Ahmedabad. Teachers from the best schools in Nalagarh will tell you in detail about what is done in space centres, such as designing space instruments, etc.
India’s first launching station
Vikram Sarabhai wanted to set up a launching station in India; his dream was supported by Dr Homi Jehangar Bhabha, known to be the architect of atomic energy. The first launching station was established at Thumba along Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. India began its space journey with a US rocket on 21st November 1963 at the launching station.
How ISRO started?
One of the greatest achievements of Vikram Sarabhai is the establishment of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
After the Russian Sputnik launch, Sarabhai felt that India also needs a space agency. He convinced the government to start a space programme in India, and after that Indian National committee for space and research (INCOSPAR) came into existence. In 1969, INCOSPAR became ISRO and after that government of India established a space commission and DOS ( Department of Space) under which ISRO works. ISRO is still managed by the department of space.
There are countless achievements of ISRO from then till now- Staring from Aryabhata to SLV-1, PSLV, Chandrayaan-1, Mars orbital mission, GSLV and Mission Shakti; India has achieved milestones in space technology which many developed countries have failed to accomplish. Thanks to the efforts and initiatives of our great scientists, such as Vikram Sarabhai, K Sivan and many more.
India’s first satellite-Aryabhata
Aryabhata was the first satellite built by India; It was named after the prominent Indian Mathematician and astronomer of the 5th century CE. India launched the satellite with the help of the Soviet Union ( Now Russia) on 7th October 1957. The satellite was assembled in Banglore and launched from a soviet union launch vehicle or rocket. It was reported that a team of scientists was appointed by Vikram Sarabhai to develop the satellite in India. Top CBSE schools in Baddi will tell you more about the satellites launched by India from 1975 till now.
The legacy of Vikram Sarabhai
Vikram Sarabhai was awarded the two highest civilian honours- Padma Bhushan in 1966 and Padma Vibhushan Award in 1972. Along with these, he was also awarded the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar award in 1962.
ISRO facility for rocket development is named after him- Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. The recently launched Chandrayan-2 lander was named “Vikram” to honour his contributions. On 12th August 2020, ISRO posted a picture of a crater on the moon and named it “Sarabhai crater” on his birth anniversary.
Vikram’s contribution to DRDO
After Homi Bhabha's death on January 24, 1966, Sarabhai became chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India. He continued the work of Homi Bhabha and laid the foundation of several nuclear power plants in India. He also initiated the development of nuclear technology in India for defence purposes.
The defence research and development organisation (DRDO) was established in the year 1958. Initially, it had ten laboratories but now it has more than fifty laboratories that develop defence technologies. It covers a wide range of disciplines, such as electronics systems, aeronautics, missiles, simulation and many more.
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Some other achievements of Vikram Sarabhai
- Laid the foundation of the Indian Institute of Management (IIMA) in Ahmedabad.
- Set up the Ahmedabad Textile industry research association (ATIRA).
- Establish the first market research organisation in India- Operation Research Group.
- Founded the Darpan academy of performing arts with his wife Mrinalin Sarabhai, and many more institutes in India.
The Bottom line:
Dr Vikram Sarabhai's contributions to the field of science and technology are remarkable. It was his vision and commitment that made India self-reliant in space technology. He was a scientist, innovator and industrialist who dared to transform his ideas into reality. He was a man who built institutions that helped in the economic, technological and social upliftment of the country.