Tripos in Natural Sciences – Botany, Chemistry, Geology from Trinity College, Cambridge 1910
Prime Minister of India (1950-64)
General President, Indian Science Congress Association (1947), (Honorary Fellow of several learned societies); Bharat Ratna
As the chief architect of modern India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru symbolized the resurgence of India and her march towards progress. He had an abiding faith in science and technology as instruments of social and economic progress. Immediately after Independence, he embarked upon the mighty task of building the India of today through formulation and execution of a dynamic science policy (“Scientific Policy Resolution”) for the country. He saw science as a great intellectual discipline, which broadened human personality and led to objectivity and broader vision. It was this scientific temper he cherished and valued, and which he strove to inculcate in the people of the country.
If Science and Technology have a firm foundation in the country today, it is mainly due to his efforts. He included scientific research as a new portfolio in the Cabinet of the first National Government formed in August 1947. This portfolio assumed even greater importance by the Prime Minister himself assuming its charge. He was the President of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) after its reorganization in 1948 and was largely responsible for the establishment of a chain of national laboratories and for expanding the activities of CSIR. He also held under his direct charge the Department of Atomic Energy, ever since its inception in 1954.
Pandit Nehru seldom missed an opportunity to be among scientists, whom he always held in great esteem. His visits to the annual sessions of the Indian Science Congress Association had assumed the form of an yearly pilgrimage.
On 19 April, 1948, he laid the foundation stone of the building which now houses the Indian National Science Academy in New Delhi.
The Nehru era was the golden age of science and technology in India. His rich and wonderful legacy will continue to inspire the present and future generations of scientists.
The Indian National Science Academy has instituted the ‘Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary Medal’, ‘Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary Lecture Award’ and Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary Visiting Fellowship’ in his honour.