is an Indian physicist and industrialist who initiated space research and helped develop nuclear power in India.
Sarabhai was born into a family of industrialists.
He undertook research in cosmic rays under physicist Sir CV Raman at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. In 1945 he continued his research in Cambridge to pursue a doctorate and wrote a thesis, “Cosmic Ray Investigations in Tropical Latitudes,”.
The range and breadth of Sarabhai’s interests were remarkable. In spite of his intense involvement with scientific research, he took active interest in industry, business, and development issues. 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 Ahmadabad 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. Carrying forward Bhabha’s work in the field of nuclear research, Sarabhai was largely responsible for the establishment and development of India’s nuclear power plants. He laid the foundations for the indigenous development of nuclear technology for defense purposes.
Dedicated to the use of all aspects of science and technology in general and to space applications in particular as “levers of development,” Sarabhai initiated programs to take education to remote villages through satellite communication and called for the development of satellite-based remote sensing of natural resources.
SPARK Academy is proud to play a role, albeit small, in fostering education & development, pretty much on the lines of what Sarabhai began. Our sister concern NIMka has initiated our Mathematics Laboratories and post-Covid also have quickly transformed our education using online technologies to deliver training to children at their homes.
Sarabhai was awarded two of India’s highest honours, the Padma Bhushan (1966) and the Padma Vibhushan (awarded posthumously in 1972).