Vikram Sarabhai Centenary Programme

Why in News

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) are conducting various events at national level in a year long programme to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai.

Key Points

  • The celebrations began on 12 August, 2019 in Ahmedabad, where Sarabhai was born on the same day in 1919. He also led the establishment of the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in the city in 1947.
  • The celebrations would conclude exactly a year later, i.e. on 12 August, 2020 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala where he had set up the first rocket launching station of India.
  • ISRO has recently announced the ‘Vikram Sarabhai Journalism Award in Space Science, Technology and Research’, as part of the centenary year celebrations of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, the father of Indian space programme.

Department of Atomic Energy

  • The Indian Atomic Energy Commission was first set up in August 1948 in the Department of Scientific Research.
  • The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) was set up on August 3, 1954, under the direct charge of the Prime Minister.
  • Subsequently, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was brought under the Department of Atomic Energy.
  • The Secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Atomic Energy is ex-officio Chairman of the Commission.
  • DAE has been engaged in the development of nuclear power technology, applications of radiation technologies in the fields of agriculture, medicine, industry and basic research.

Vikram Sarabhai

  • Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai, (born August 12, 1919, Ahmadabad, India—died December 30, 1971, Kovalam), was an Indian physicist and industrialist who initiated space research and helped develop nuclear power in India.
  • Remembered as the founding father of the Indian space programme, Sarabhai set up the Physical Research laboratory in his hometown in Ahmedabad in 1947 which was a precursor to the ISRO.
  • After the death of physicist Homi Bhabha in 1966, Sarabhai was appointed the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India.
  • Sarabhai was awarded two of India’s highest honours, the Padma Bhushan (1966) and the Padma Vibhushan (awarded posthumously in 1972).