Important Facts About The Nobel Laureates Of India

About The Nobel Prize

alfred-nobel-nobel-prize
Alfred Nobel

The Nobel Prizes were created by Alfred Nobel. At present the Nobel Prize is bestowed in six fields: physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, peace and economics.

nobel_prizeIn his will, Alfred Nobel dictated that most of his fortune should be used for prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind. 

The statutes of the Nobel Foundation says: “If none of the works under consideration is found to be of the importance indicated in the first paragraph, the prize money shall be reserved until the following year. If, even then, the prize cannot be awarded, the amount shall be added to the Foundation’s restricted funds.”

From 1974, the Statutes of the Nobel Foundation stipulate that a Prize cannot be awarded posthumously, unless death has occurred after the announcement of the Nobel Prize. Before 1974, the Nobel Prize has only been awarded posthumously twice: to Dag Hammarskjöld (Nobel Peace Prize 1961) and Erik Axel Karlfeldt (Nobel Prize in Literature 1931).

Indian Nobel Laureates

nobel-laureates-india
Image: heignotes.

Till now, 12 Indians have been awarded the Nobel Prize (5 Indian citizens and 7 of Indian origin or residency).

The five Indian citizens who have been awarded Nobel Prizes are:

Rabindranath Tagore: Nobel Prize in Literature (1913)

“Because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West.”

C. V. Raman: Nobel Prize in Physics (1930)

“For his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the effect named after him.”

Mother Teresa: Nobel Peace Prize (1979)

“For work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitutes a threat to peace.”

Amartya Sen: Nobel Prize in Economics (1998)

“For his contributions to welfare economics.”

Kailash Satyarthi (jointly awarded with Malala Yousafzai): Nobel Peace Prize (2014)

“For their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”

Har Gobind Khorana (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1968), S. Chandrashekhar (Nobel Prize in Physics, 1983), and Venkatraman Ramakrishnan (Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2009) are of Indian origin but subsequently non-citizens of India. They are still often included in lists of Indian Nobel laureates.

Ronald Ross (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1902), Rudyard Kipling (Nobel Prize in Literature, 1907), The 14th Dalai Lama (Nobel Peace Prize, 1989), and V. S. Naipaul (Nobel Prize in Literature, 2001) are Nobel laureates with Indian linkages– those foreigners who were born in India, those who are of Indian ancestry and those who were residents in India when they became recipients of the Nobel Prize.

Useful Facts:

  1. Rabindranath Tagore is the first Asian and Indian Nobel laureate.
  2. C. V. Raman (Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman) is the first Asian and Indian Nobel laureate in Science. In short, he is the first Asian and Indian scientist to become a Nobel laureate.
  3. Aung San Suu Kyi is the first Asian woman Nobel laureate. (Debatable when we consider the case of Mother Teresa, who became an Indian citizen and was awared the Nobel Peace Price in 1989. Suu Kyi was awarded the Prize in 1991).
  4. Amartya Sen is the first Asian and Indian Nobel laureate in Economics.
  5. Kailash Satyarthi is the first Indian Nobel laureate in Peace. (Though Mother Teresa is the first Indian citizen to have been awarded Nobel Peace Prize, Kailash Satyarthi is often called the first Indian to have been awarded Nobel Peace Prize. This is a bit debatable again).
  6. Sri Aurobindo was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1943 and for the Nobel Prize in Peace in 1950.
  7. Mahatma Gandhi was nominated for the Peace Prize thrice (in 1937–39, 1947 and a few days before he was assassinated in January 1948). In 2006, Geir Lundestad, Secretary of Norwegian Nobel Committee said, “The greatest omission in our 106 year history is undoubtedly that Mahatma Gandhi never received the Nobel Peace prize. Gandhi could do without the Nobel Peace prize. Whether Nobel committee can do without Gandhi is the question”.
  8. Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”.

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