Daulat Singh Kothari obtained his PhD (1933) degree from the University of Cambridge, UK. He was awarded DSc (hc) from eight universities. His specialization was in astrophysics, statistical mechanics and philosophy. He held the positions of Reader/Professor, University of Delhi (1934-73); First Scientific Adviser to Minister of Defence (1948-61); Chairman, Education Commission (1964-66) and University Grants Commission (1961-73); Chairman, National Commission on Scientific and Technical Terminology, Government of India. He was Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (1981-93) and Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Delhi.
Academic and Research Achievements: Kothari's significant research achievements relate to the theory of white dwarf stars and transport phenomena in a degenerate electron gas; ionization of matter by pressure ( cold body cannot have a radius larger than Jupiter's) application of partition theory of numbers to statistical mechanics; energy generation in cold proton gas; formation of neutrons in degenerate stars; and theory of fragmentation of large masses into stars.
Other Contributions: Kothari was the chief architect of the National Policy on Education adopted by Indian Parliament in 1968. The policy was based on the recommendations of Education Commission which he chaired. He was Editor of INSA Publications (1961-62). Kothari was recognized world over not only for his contributions to astrophysics, but for his active role in the promotion of science in general and the interplay between science and philosophy. As physicist philosopher he made lasting contributions to the understanding of physical phenomena, their implications for man, and the future of mankind. In the autumn of his life, Kothari explored the relationship between science and religion, and the concepts of non-violence and peace.
Awards and Honours: Kothari was a recipient of SS Bhatnagar Medal of INSA (1966); Padma Vibhushan (1973); and the Meghnad Saha Medal of INSA (1978). He was a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; a Foreign Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, and President of INSA (1973-74).
The Indian National Science Academy has instituted the 'Daulat Singh Kothari Memorial Lecture' in his honour.