Radio astronomer Prof Govind Swarup dies at 91
Prof Govind Swarup, renowned scientist and radio astronomer, passed away due to illness at the age of 91 on Monday at a private hospital in the city, doctors said.
He was admitted at the Ruby Hall Clinic since past 10 days due to weakness and other complications.
His funeral was held at the Aundh crematorium at 11.30 pm.
Prof Swarup was the founding director of the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
“Prof Swarup, who was born in 1929 at Thakurwada, Harayana state was a world-famous astronomer, and one of the pioneers of radio astronomy in India. He was known not only for his important research contributions but also for his leadership in building highly innovative, world-class radio telescopes such as the Ooty Radio Telescope and the Giant Metrewave RadioTelescope (GMRT), which firmly established India as one of the leading countries for Radio Astronomy research,” said Dr J K Solanki, NCRA’s head of administration and finance.
The GMRT, which was recently upgraded, continues to be one of the most sensitive radio telescopes in the world, at the frequencies at which it operates.
Prof Swarup, known as father of Indian radio astronomy, obtained his MSc from Allahabad University in 1950 and his PhD from Standford University in the USA in 1961. He returned to India in 1963 and joined the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research at the invitation of Prof Homi Bhabha. There he built a strong radio astronomy group that continues on today at the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics.
He received several distinctions throughout his career, including the Padma Shree, the Bhatnagar Award, and the Grote Reber medal. He was a fellow of many distinguished academics, including Fellowship of the Royal Society.