Govind Swarup passes away; all you need to know about Father of India’s Radio Astronomy


FACTS | Sept 08, 2020:

Father of India's Radio Astronomy, Dr Govind Swarup passed away on Monday at Pune. He was 91.

He was admitted to a local hospital due to ill health a few days ago. Dr Swarup is known for his many important research contributions in several areas of astronomy and astrophysics.

Senior Scientist Dr Raghunath Mashelkar has condoled the death of Dr Swarup. He said that Dr Swarup was an institution in himself and his work will always remain with us.

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Here's all you need to know about the Father of India's Radio Astronomy

#Govind Swarup was born at Thakurdwara, Uttar Pradesh in 1929. He received BSc degree in 1948 and MSc in Physics in 1950 from the Allahabad University and PhD from Stanford University in 1961. He was awarded Doctor of Engineering (Honoris Causa) from the University of Roorkee in 1987 and Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) from Banaras Hindu University in 1996.

#He was at the National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi (1950–53 and 1955–56), CSIRO, Australia (1953–55), Research Associate at Harvard University (1956–57), Research Assistant at Stanford University (1957–60) and Assistant Professor at Stanford University (1961–63).

#Govind Swarup, a radio astronomer and one of the pioneers of radio astronomy, is known not only for his many important research contributions in several areas of astronomy and astrophysics but also for his outstanding achievements in building ingenious, innovative and powerful observational facilities for front-line research in radio astronomy.

#Initially he joined National Physical laboratory for two years. Returning from Stanford to India in March 1963, he joined TIFR as a Reader at the request of Dr Homi Bhabha. In 1965, he became Associate Professor, Professor in 1970, and Professor of Eminence in 1989. He became Project Director of the GMRT in 1987, Centre Director of the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) of TIFR in 1993 and retired from TIFR in 1994.

#He was the key scientist behind the concept, design and installation of the Ooty Radio Telescope (India) and the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) near Pune. Under his leadership, a strong group in radio astrophysics was built at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research that is 'comparable' to the best in the world.

#Swarup received the Padma Shri, the Bhatnagar award, and the Grote Reber medal. He was a fellow of distinguished academies, including the Fellowship of the Royal Society.

Prof Govind Swarup was married to Bina Swarup and resided in Pune, India. He had one daughter and one son. His daughter Anju Basu is married to Rajiv Basu and his son, Vipin Swarup is married to Natasha Swarup. Prof Swarup had an elder brother in Kanpur, Mr Mahesh Swarup Agarwal, who is an industrialist.