Govind Swarup, one of the pioneers of radio astronomy, came back from Stanford University in 1963 and joined TIFR, a new institute set up by Homi Bhabha. He was in the best of surroundings, but there was no equipment in TIFR to practise radio astronomy. Swarup spent several months trying to think of what to do, and, in a moment of inspiration, decided to build a large radio telescope. It was a daring decision because the telescope he planned was four times bigger than the biggest existing radio telescope in the world.
It was a challenging project because India had no history of making radio telescopes. Swarup developed a team with his own students and built the telescope at Ooty, thereby kicking off Indian radio astronomy. Two decades later, he built another array of radio telescopes near Pune. These two telescopes launched radio astronomy in the country and made India one of the leading nations in the world on the subject.
Joining us this Saturday at 5pm IST to expand further on how to build a scientifically and technologically strong modern nation with limited means and resources, is Hari Pulakkat, editor of Shaastra Magazine.
This session is an excerpt from his book titled Space. Life. Matter. and its fascinating narrative captures the story of the struggles and triumphs of leaders of science and the world-class institutions they founded.
Please note: Only the first 500 participants will be able to join the session, as there are limited spots available.