‘Prof. Yash Pal simplified science for the masses’
Across the expanse of his illustrious career, Pal has made significant contributions to the field of science and to the study of cosmic rays, astrophysics, high-energy physics. Prominent individuals from Pune share their grief on his demise.Updated: Jul 26, 2017 15:18 IST
Education should be based on real life experiences, observations and happenings, is a simple thought that renowned Indian scientist Prof. Yash Palleft behind, after his unfortunate demise on Tuesday.
A Padma Vibhushan recipient, who is a globally acclaimed physicist, scholar and an education reformer, died at the age of 90, on July 25, in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. The cause of death is unknown.
Across the expanse of his illustrious career, Pal has made significant contributions to the field of science and to the study of cosmic rays, astrophysics, high-energy physics. Prominent individuals from Pune share their grief on his demise.
“His scientific contributions are unparalleled of course, but what sets him apart is his ability to communicate science and reach out to the masses. Through television and different mediums, he really simplified science and made it accessible to all. Such a contribution to the field of science and education is very rare. With his death, India has lost a great soul,” said Dr Prabhakar Ingle, head, science communication, CSIR-NCL, Pune.
Former chairman of UGC, Arun Nigavekar, spoke of his encounter with Pal who held chairmanship of the UGC from 1986 to 1991. “After he finished the chairmanship,I was made the member of UGC and since then we worked together in many committees.The most monumental work that he left behind, the effect of which would be quite lasting, is his report on ‘renovation and rejuvenation of higher education in India’ submitted to the Ministry of Human Resource Development on June 24, 2009. He fought the landmark case and won, against fake private universities of Chattisgarh. He did most of the ground work for the case, compiled data and developed the arguments for the case. This was just one contribution among many, and with his demise we have lost a great human being,” he said.
Further, expressing his grief and sharing his personal experience with the scholar, Nitin Karmalkar, vice chancellor of Savitribai Phule Pune University,responded, “I had an opportunity to personally travel with him, and meet him, when he had come to inaugurate the electronic science department some 20-25 years ago. At that time, I was a faculty, and was in awe to find such a humble person in an internationally acclaimed scholar like him. Despite his exemplary credentials, he would humbly mix with children of all ages to explain to them the complexities of science in the simplest of ways. He was the pioneer of sensitising, simplifying and popularising scientific education for all. Indeed, India has lost a great mind and a scientific stalwart.”
Dr Pal, was also on the advisory committee of Flame University, and the current vice chancellor of the varsity, Dr Devi Singh, expressed, “I had the fortune to know him personally and work with him. He would always bring something new, something out-of-the-box to the table, every time. He had a phenomenal contribution to higher education, and is a very respected man around all our faculties and together we grieve this loss.”
His last rites were conducted on Tuesday, at 3 pm.
About Prof. Yash Pal
Prof. Yash Palattended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his PhD
In 2000, received the Indira Gandhi Prize for Popularization of Science
In 2006, received the Meghnad Saha Medal
In 2009, he received the Kalinga Prize, awarded by UNESCO for the popularisation of science
Served as the Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi from 2007 to 2012
He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2013