father of the Indian space program. r. Vikram Sarabhai is considered as the He was a great institution builder and established or helped to establish a large number of institutions in diverse fields. Sarabhai founded the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in 1947. The PRL is also known as the cradle of space sciences in India.
Achievements of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai
- During WW2, he returned to India, where he undertook research in cosmic rays under physicist Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
- Sarabhai founded the Ahmedabad Textile Industry’s Research Association in 1947 and looked after its affairs until 1956.
- Realizing the need for professional management education in India, Sarabhai was instrumental in setting up the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad in 1962.
- Establishing the Indian National Committee for Space Research in 1962, which was later renamed the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Sarabhai also set up the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station in southern India.
- After the death of physicist Homi Bhabha in 1966, Sarabhai was appointed chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India. He laid the foundations for the indigenous development of nuclear technology for defense purposes.
- Sarabhai was also a pioneer of the pharmaceutical industry in India. It was he who first implemented electronic data processing and operations research techniques in the pharmaceutical industry. He played an important role in making India’s pharmaceutical industry self-reliant and self-manufacture of many drugs and equipment.
- Sarabhai was also a man of deep cultural interests. He was interested in music, photography, archaeology, fine arts and so on. With his wife Mrinalini, he established Darpana, an institution devoted to the performing arts.
- He also initiated the Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) in Kalpakkam and due to his efforts the first Indian satellite, Aryabhata, was put in orbit in 1975 from a Russian cosmodrome.
- Sarabhai was awarded two of India’s highest honours, the Padma Bhushan (1966) and the Padma Vibhushan (awarded posthumously in 1972).