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Google Celebrates 100th Birthday of Dr Vikram Sarabhai, Father of Indian Space Programme, with Doodle

We do not have the fantasy of competing with the economically advanced nations in the exploration of the moon or the planets or manned space-flight

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Google, Birthday, Vikram Sarabhai
To us, there is no ambiguity of purpose. IANS

As Chandrayaan-2 cruises to reach the moon by August 20 and drop a lander called ‘Vikram’ on the Earth’s sole satellite on September 7, Google on Monday celebrated the 100th birthday of Dr Vikram Sarabhai — father of the Indian space programme — with a Doodle.

“There are some who question the relevance of space activities in a developing nation. To us, there is no ambiguity of purpose.

“We do not have the fantasy of competing with the economically advanced nations in the exploration of the moon or the planets or manned space-flight,” emphasized Vikram upon the importance of a space programme during his successful dialogues with the Indian government.

“But we are convinced that if we are to play a meaningful role nationally, and in the community of nations, we must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies to the real problems of man and society,” he noted.

Google, Birthday, Vikram Sarabhai
As Chandrayaan-2 cruises to reach the moon by August 20 and drop a lander called ‘Vikram’ on the Earth’s sole satellite on September 7, Google on Monday celebrated the 100th birthday. Pixabay

The establishment of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was one of his greatest achievements which broke many global records in days to come.

Born on August 12, 1919 in Ahmedabad, Vikram was one of the eight children of Ambalal and Sarla Devi, according to the ISRO website.

The Sarabhai family was an important and rich Jain business family. Ambalal was an affluent industrialist and owned several mills in Gujarat.

He matriculated from the Gujarat College in Ahmedabad after clearing the Intermediate science examination.

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After that, he moved to England and joined the St. John’s College at University of Cambridge. Vikram then went on to receive the Tripos in Natural Sciences from Cambridge in 1940.

The tripos framework includes a wide range of natural sciences from physical sciences to biology which are taught alongside the history and philosophy of science.

With the escalation of the World War II, Vikram returned to India and joined the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and began research in cosmic rays under the guidance of Nobel winner Sir C.V. Raman.

A great institution builder and established or helped set up a large number of institutions in diverse fields, he was instrumental in establishing the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad. He was only 28 at that time.

Google, Birthday, Vikram Sarabhai
There are some who question the relevance of space activities in a developing nation. Pixabay

Dr Homi Jehangir Bhabha, widely regarded as the father of India’s nuclear science programme, supported Vikram in setting up the first rocket launching station in India.

The centre was established at Thumba near Thiruvananthapuram on the coast of the Arabian Sea, primarily because of its proximity to the equator.

“After a remarkable effort in setting up the infrastructure, personnel, communication links, and launch pads, the inaugural flight was launched on November 21, 1963 with a sodium vapour payload,” says ISRO.

Vikram started a project for the fabrication and launch of an Indian Satellite. As a result, the first Indian satellite, Aryabhata, was put in orbit in 1975 from a Russian Cosmodrome.

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The Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) at Thiruvananthapuram today is the major centre of ISRO, where the design and development activities of satellite launch vehicles and sounding rockets are carried out and made ready for launch operations.

Interested in science education, Vikram founded a Community Science Centre at Ahmedabad in 1966. Today, the Centre is called the Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Centre.

Vikram was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 1966 and the Padma Vibhushan (posthumously) in 1972.

He was also Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. Along with other Ahmedabad-based industrialists, he played a major role in the creation of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

To pay homage to the father of India’s space programme, ISRO has also announced an award in his name on his 100th birthday.

Married to Mrinalini Sarabhai and father of noted dancer and activist Mallika Sarabhai, he died in Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram, on December 30, 1971.

His son Kartikeya Sarabhai is one of the world’s leading environmental educators and a dedicated community builder.

Needless to say, the Indian space programme has aptly lived to his expectations. (IANS)

Next Story

US President Donald Trump Again Slams Google for Manipulating 2016 Election

Trump and fellow Republicans have accused tech giants including Google of bias against conservative viewpoints

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US, President, Donald Trump
President Donald Trump listens during a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, July 16, 2019, in Washington. VOA

US President Donald Trump has once again lashed out at Google for manipulating millions of votes in the 2016 presidential elections in favour of then Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

“Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election! This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought,” Trump tweeted late Monday.

However, the report Trump mentioned in his tweet was published in 2017 that described there was a bias in Google and other search engines during the run-up to the 2016 elections.

Trump’s tweet citing an old research paper also tagged conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch with his tweet, “perhaps asking them to investigate. It’s also unclear who he thinks should sue the company”, reports TechCrunch.

In a statement, Google said: “This researcher’s inaccurate claim has been debunked since it was made in 2016. As we stated then, we have never re-ranked or altered search results to manipulate political sentiment.”

Clinton also responded to Trump: “The debunked study you’re referring to was based on 21 undecided voters. For context that’s about half the number of people associated with your campaign who have been indicted.”

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

The paper was published by Robert Epstein, a psychology researcher who works for the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology and testified before the US Senate Judiciary Committee in June.

The CNBC reported that “Trump’s tweet appears to refer to documents leaked to conservative group Project Veritas, but the documents do not appear to contain any outright allegation of vote manipulation or attempts to bias the election”.

Earlier this month, Trump criticized Google CEO Sundar Pichai for alleged ties to election tampering and China’s military.

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“@sundarpichai of Google was in the Oval Office working very hard to explain how much he liked me, what a great job the Administration is doing, that Google was not involved with China’s military, that they didn’t help Crooked Hillary over me in the 2016 Election,” he had tweeted.

Trump and fellow Republicans have accused tech giants including Google of bias against conservative viewpoints. (IANS)