Dr Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar was the Founder Director (and later first Director General) of Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) who is credited with establishing twelve national laboratories in as many years. Dr Bhatnagar played a significant role in building of post independent S & T infrastructure and in the formulation of India’s S & T policies. Dr Bhatnagar concurrently held number of important position in the Government. He was the first Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC). He was Secretary, Ministry of Education and Educational Adviser of Government. He was the first Secretary to Ministry of Natural Resource & Scientific Research and also Secretary of Atomic Energy Commission. He played an instrument role in the establishment of the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) of India. His research contribution in the areas of magneto chemistry and physical chemistry of emulsion were widely recognized. In 1936, Dr Bhatnagar was conferred with Order of British Empire (OBE). He was Knighted in 1941and elected Fellow of Royal Society, London in 1943. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1954 by the President of India.
Dr Bhatnagar passed the Intermediate Examination of the Panjab University in 1913 in the first division and joined Forman Christian College for the BSc degree. After taking the Bachelor’s degree in 1916 he decided to take up his first formal employment as Demonstrator in the Physics and Chemistry Department of the Forman Christian College. Later he became the Senior Demonstrator in the Dyal Singh College. The employment, however, did not hinder Bhatnagar’s efforts in pursuing higher studies. He joined the MSc course in chemistry in the Forman Christian College.
After completing his Master’s degree he went to England to complete his DSc from London University in 1921. Bhatnagar returned to India the same year and joined BHU and later to Panjab University, Lahore in 1928, Bhatnagar jointly invented with Dr N. Mathur an instrument called Bh-M-I-B, which was exhibited at Royal Society, by a company in London.
Dr Bhatnagar provided innovation solution to several industrial problems and persistently refused personal monetary benefit research facilities at universities. Dr Bhatnagar died of heart attack an 1 January 1955.
The prestigious award "Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar (SSB) Prize for Science & Technology" was instituted in his honour.
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