Prof. Yashpal was one of India's most respected scientist. He made significant contributions to the field of science and was also a popular science communicator. He was instrumental in establishing institutions that were key to India's space programme. He remained the chairman of the University Grants Commission from 1986 to 1991. In 2013, he was awarded India's second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan.
Born as Yash Pal Singh in 1926 in Jhang, now in Pakistan, he was raised in Kaithal, Haryana. He did his master's degree in Physics from Panjab University in 1949, and PhD in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1958. Starting his career at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Yash Pal later remained chairman of the University Grants Commission from 1986 to 1991. Also hailed by many as a higher education reformer he was member of various committees set up by the government. The veteran scientist was also Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (2007-2012). He was known for his in depth knowledge on various areas pf Physics including cosmic rays, high-energy physics, astrophysics and development, among others.
Professor Yashpal became a household name by hosting ‘Turning Point’, a popular science show on Doordarshan. A scientist of international repute, he was instrumental in establishing institutions that were key to India's space programme. Professor Yashpal was recipient of many awards and honors including Padma Vibhushan(2013).
He died due to old age related illnesses on 24 July 2017 in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. Condoling his death, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter, “Pained by Professor Yash Pal’s demise. We have lost a brilliant scientist & academician who made a lasting contribution to Indian education.”
An icon of science and education reform his death is a major loss to the nation.
(FOLLOWER OF YASH PAL SINGH)
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