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Padmanabha Krishnagopala Iyengar & Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis

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Padmanabha Krishnagopala Iyengar & Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis

Padmanabha Krishnagopala Iyengar

Born:29 June 1931

Died:21 December 2011

  • He was an Indian nuclear physicist who is widely known for his central role in the development of the nuclear program of India.
  • He previously served as the director of BARC and former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India, he raised his voice and opposition against the nuclear agreement between India and the United States and expressed that the deal favored the United States.
  • During the last years of his life, he engaged in peace activism and greatly exhorted the normalization of bilateral relations between India and Pakistan.
  • He took over as Director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in 1984.
  • As the director, one of his first tasks was to take charge of the construction of the Dhruva reactor, the completion of which was then in question, and bring it to a successful conclusion under his leadership.
  • Recognizing the importance of transferring newly developed technology from research institutes to industry, he introduced a Technology Transfer Cell at the BARC to assist and speed the process.
  • He motivated basic research in fields ranging from molecular biology to chemistry and material science.
  • He nucleated new technologies like lasers and accelerators, which led to the establishment of a new Centre for Advanced Technology, at Indore.

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Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis

Born: 29 June 1893

Died: 28 June 1972

  • He was an Indian Bengali scientist and applied statistician.
  • He is best remembered for the Mahalanobis distance, a statistical measure, and for being one of the members of the first Planning Commission of free India.
  • He made pioneering studies in anthropometry in India.
  • He founded the Indian Statistical Institute and contributed to the design of large-scale sample surveys.
  • For his contributions, Mahalanobis has been considered the father of modern statistics in India.
  • Many colleagues of Mahalanobis took an interest in statistics.
  • An informal group developed in the Statistical Laboratory, which was located in his room at the Presidency College, Calcutta.
  • On 17 December 1931 Mahalanobis called a meeting with Pramatha Nath Banerji (Minto Professor of Economics), Nikhil Ranjan Sen (Khaira Professor of Applied Mathematics) and Sir R. N. Mukherji.
  • Together they established the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) in Baranagar, and formally registered on 28 April 1932 as a non-profit distributing learned society under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860.

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