Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Biography
Noted scientist and the first Director-General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar was born on February 21, 1894 in Shahpur, in present-day Pakistan. His father passed away when he was only eight months old.
Thereafter his maternal grandfather took him under his care. Under the tutelage of his grandfather, who was an engineer by profession, young Shanti Swaroop developed a liking for science, engineering and poetry.
After completing his Master’s degree, he went to England to complete his D.Sc. from London University in 1921. He returned to India after completing his education and became a professor at the Benaras Hindu University. He was knighted in 1941 and in the year 1943 was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society. His main area of research was emulsions, colloids and industrial chemistry, but his major contribution was in the field of magneto-chemistry. He designed the Bhatnagar-Mathur interference balance, alongwith physicist R.N. Mathur, which was later manufactured by a British firm.
After India acquired independence, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) was set up under the chairmanship of Dr. Bhatnagar, who became its first director-general. He is credited with establishing laboratories like the Central Food Processing Technological Institute, Mysore, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, the National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi, the National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur, the Central Fuel Institute, Dhanbad among others, and became known as the “The Father of Research Laboratories”.
The CSIR, to honour his memory, established the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award for eminent scientists. This great scientist passed away on January 1, 1955. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in1954.