India Condoles Passing Away of Professor Yash Pal (Download PDF)


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Yash Pal (26 November 1926 – 24 July 2017) will be remembered as an Indian scientist, educator and educationist known for study of cosmic rays, and for building Indian institutions for education. In his later years, he became leading science communicators.

Image of Professor Yash Pal

Image of Professor Yash Pal

Image of Professor Yash Pal


  • Started career at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR)
  • Served as chairperson of the University Grants Commission from 1986 to 1991.
  • He also served the nation as Chief Consultant of Planning Commission and Member of Scientific Council, International Centre for Theoretical Physics.
  • Known for his contribution to the study of cosmic rays
  • Served as chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi from March 2007 to March 2012


  • Honored with the Padma Bhushan (1976) and the Padma Vibhushan (2013), the third and second highest Indian civilian honors.
  • Received the Indira Gandhi Prize for Popularization of Science (2000) and the Meghnad Saha Medal (2006) for his outstanding contribution to science
  • In 2009, received the Kalinga Prize, by UNESCO for the popularization of science.
  • Awarded the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for excellence in public administration, academics and management


School Education

  • 1970s: Path breaking Hoshangabad Science Teaching Programme
  • 1993: Served in National Advisory Committee as chair going into the issue of overburdening of schoolchildren. Report entitled “Learning without Burden” regarded as a seminal document in Indian education.
  • Chaired steering committee on National Council of Educational Research and Training for drawing up the National Curriculum Framework

Higher Education

  • Chaired committee on higher education for examining reform of higher education in India. Committee emphasized idea of a university, and advocated a number of major structural changes.

Science Communication

  • Known and loved for regular appearances on the science programme Turning Point telecast on Doordarshan and for explaining scientific concepts in layman’s language
  • Also served on advisory boards for televised science programmes such as Bharat ki Chaap.
  • Answered readers’ science-relate questions for English daily The Tribune.


  • An atheist, he opposed belief in deities, astrology and religious rituals, dismissing them as unscientific

- Published/Last Modified on: August 9, 2017


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