Professor Yash Pal Biography
Detailed biography of scientist and educationist Professor Yash Pal
Today we are going to talk about an old Indian scientist with big white hair waving on his shoulders, colorful kurta, half jacket on him and a pleasant smile on his lips. Can you guess who this person is? Yes! We are talking about Professor Yash Pal. People know him well in every nook and corner of India. His popularity is not in vain. So lets start Professor Yash Pal Biography.
Professor Yash Pal is an amalgamation of personalities like scientist, science communicator, educationist and institution builder. There have been few scientists in India who have worked with excellence and indomitable zeal in so many fields like fame. He co-created the Space Applications Centre, an elite unit of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and designed and implemented the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) during 1975-76.
After the implementation of the site, the wings of educational communication started in India, for which all the credit goes to Yash Pal. After making many important contributions in basic science, Yash Pal joined the ‘Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha’ in the 1990s and became popular as a science communicator who easily explained the things of science in his language to the common people. At the same time, he used to give interesting answers to the questions related to the science of the audience in the science serial ‘Turning Point’ on TV. The popularity of the program created a national image of Yashpal. Children and youth were widely inspired-influenced by him.
The tumultuous start of Yash Pal’s life:
Yashpal was born on 26 November 1926 in Jhang (now Pakistan), located on the eastern bank of the Chenab River in Punjab, into a family of immense cultural values. He spent his early childhood in Quetta (Balochistan) and got his primary education here. Actually at this place his father used to work for the Government of India under British rule.
In 1935, when Yash was a 9-year-old boy, there was a devastating earthquake of 7.7 magnitude and which resulted in the death of an estimated 60,000 people in Quetta. This natural disaster almost ruined Quetta. Luckily Yash and his siblings were rescued from the rubble of the demolished house. He was sent to the maternal grandfather’s house Kot-isa-Shah. Over the next one year, the Indian Army re-established villages and towns in Quetta by clearing debris, and Yash and his siblings returned to their parents. A few years later Yash’s father was transferred to Jabalpur, where Yash started self-study and met Pawar, a great teacher who taught out of the box. He used to talk to the students and explain the concepts to the students instead of telling the chapters in the traditional lecture style. This teaching style had a profound effect on Yash’s child mind.
During his childhood, Yash used to hear about the Second World War, Civil Disobedience and Quit India Movement. Like most people of that era, Yash too was influenced by Gandhi and his ideas.
After passing the matriculation examination in the year 1942, he did his B. s-c. Came to Panjab University to study Physics. Fate played a game with him here too – he fell ill for a long time. But one good thing happened due to this disease, that he got the opportunity to read many important books from all over the world and this type of study outside the syllabus added new dimensions to his personality.
MSc in Physics He also continued his studies at Panjab University. In the meantime his father was transferred to Delhi and he came to Delhi with his father to spend his summer holidays. It was in the year 1947 when India was about to get independence. After the proclamation of independence, the country was divided into India and Pakistan. As a result of this partition, Yash could not return to Lahore. In 1949, he did his M.Sc. from the Physics Honors School, Delhi University, Panjab University. completed his studies.
Research in Cosmic Rays and Particle Physics:
Yash when M.S.C. While studying in the final year, during that time an advertisement related to the job of Research Assistant in Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) appeared in the newspaper. Although at that time Yash’s M.S.C. The results were not there but he applied there and got called for the interview. Coincidentally, he got that job and moved to TIFR, Bombay (now Mumbai), where he spent more than two decades of his life in scientific research. Yashpal’s research areas were cosmic ray and particle physics.
At TIFR, Yash Pal found two research fellows, Devendra Lal and Bernard Peters, and the trio (Lal, Pal and Peters) did important research. In 1954, Yashpal tied the knot with his friend Nirmal. Later they had two sons, Rahul and Anil.
Yashpal and Space Application Center:
Satish Dhawan took over as the Chairman of the Space Commission in 1972 after the untimely demise of Vikram Sarabhai, India’s space architect. He clearly believed that the applications of the space program should benefit the general public of India. Sarabhai had prepared the background for realizing this vision and had started the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE), which was to broadcast TV programs in the villages of India for a period of one year.
In 1972, the Special Applications Center (SAC) was established at Ahmedabad with the above objective. Yashpal was persuaded by Satish Dhawan to leave TIFR to take over the directorship of SAC and pursue the SITE program.
Yash Pal successfully discharged this new responsibility and worked hard day and night to fulfill the trust of Vikram Sarabhai and Satish Dhawan. Through SITE, TV programs started airing in the country on issues like children’s education, agriculture, animal husbandry, health, sanitation and family planning. It was a huge mass communication experiment like its own, which was realized by a team of 1500 people from the Space Applications Center and its leader was Yashpal.
Yash Pal terming this experiment as a profound human experience, says- ‘SITE gave a unique impetus to India’s space program, which led to the use of a communication satellite to interconnect many terrestrial broadcasting stations and transmitters in the years to come. National Television Network was established by As the world’s first direct broadcast satellite television system, SITE proved the importance of using satellites for education in developing countries. This experiment proved that satellites can be used for education, communication and development and also sent a message to the world that India has such scientific capability.