Nobel Laureates of India: 1902-2019

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Nobel Laureates of India

Established at the outset of the 20th century, the Nobel Prize is widely regarded as the highest recognition of outstanding contributions to humanity. Conferred for the first time in 1901, it is an annual ceremony whereby this prestigious award is bestowed in different categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions. These awards are conferred to distinguished persons for their humanitarian services in their respective fields. It is international recognition of their works. These awards are granted by the Swedish Academy except for the Peace Prize which is conferred by Norway. The original Nobel Prize is given for outstanding services and contributions in the fields of Chemistry, Literature, Peace, Physics, and Medicine. Other than these, a Nobel Memorial Prize is conferred in the field of Economic Sciences. In this blog, we will provide a comprehensive description of some of the renowned Nobel Laureates of India. 

Do You Know: Abhijit Banerjee was the only Nobel Prize Winner in India featured in the Nobel Prize Winners List 2019!

History of the Nobel Prize

Alfred Nobel, a Swedish chemist, engineer, and industrialist best known for developing dynamite, passed away in 1896. He stipulated in his will, which was written before he passed away in 1895, that all of his property and wealth would be used to establish the five prizes in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, economics, and peace, which came to be known as the Nobel Prizes. The Alfred Nobel bequest, which funded the prize, provided the funding for this.

  • Surprisingly, an obituary for Alfred Nobel, who was still alive at the time, was published in a French newspaper in 1888 under the headline “The Merchant Of Death Is Dead.”
  • He changed his own will after being frightened by reading his obituary in the newspaper, wanting people to remember him for a very long time.
  • Although Alfred Nobel drafted several wills over the course of his life, the final one, which was signed at the Swedish-Norwegian Club in Paris, was written just a year before his passing in 1895, as we had previously mentioned.
  • The Norwegian Storting did not accept the will until 1897. In order to manage his assets and plan the awarding of the Nobel Prizes, Ragnar Sohlman and Rudolf Lilljequist, the executors of this will, established the Nobel Foundation.
  • Since 1946, the foundation has been exempt from all taxes in Sweden, and since 1953, it has been exempt from investment taxes in the US.

What is the Value of the Nobel Prize?

The Nobel Prize was worth around 10 million Swedish kronor in 2021, or roughly 10 crores of Indian rupees. Only a small number of laureates have received the prize with growing value throughout the years, and only in the past three decades. The awardee receives a medal and a diploma, created by Swedish and Norwegian artists along with the award money.

Is the Nobel Prize a Posthumous Award?

On December 10, 1901, the first Nobel Prize was presented. Although rewards are not given posthumously (after a person has passed away), if a person is given a prize and passes away before accepting it, the prize is still given. Prior to 1974, the Nobel Prize was only posthumously granted to Dag Hammarskjöld (Nobel Peace Prize 1961) and Erik Axel Karlfeldt, making them the only two recipients (Nobel Prize in Literature 1931)

Source: TED-Ed

List of Nobel Laureates of India

Countries across the world have their own Nobel laureates. India, a country with more than 1.3 billion citizens and thousands of universities has produced its own fair share of Nobel laureates over the years in all the award categories. These Nobel laureates of India are mentioned in the below list, including those who were born in India but later changed their citizenship. Here are the Nobel Prize Winners in India:

Nobel Prize Recipients Category Year 
Ronald RossMedicine 1902
Rudyard KiplingLiterature1907
Rabindranath TagoreLiterature1913
CV RamanPhysics1930
Har Gobind KhuranaMedicine1968
Mother TeresaPeace1979
Subrahmanyan ChandrasekharPhysics1983
Amartya SenEconomics 1998
Venkatraman RamakrishnanChemistry2009
Kailash SatyarthiPeace 2014
Abhijit BanerjeeEconomics 2019

Do You Know: Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen was the First Nobel Prize Winner in the World. Röntgen won a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901 for discovering the stunning images of the human mind!

Here is some comprehensive information about some of these Nobel laureates of India:

Rabindranath Tagore

Nobel Laureates of India
Source: India Today

When India was still reeling under the strangling British colonialism back in 1913, the then literary giant of India, Rabindranath Tagore put the whole country on a distinguished pedestal. His writings belonged to a different level altogether which brought India to the global literary platform. He won India’s first Nobel prize. A poet, philosopher, and esteemed educationist, he was the first non-Westerner to be conferred with the Nobel Prize in Literature. He won the nation’s first Nobel prize for his collection of poems, compiled in his book, Gitanjali. The book is still widely read across the world, particularly in India.

“Because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West”

Know the Famous Books by Rabindranath Tagore here!

C.V. Raman

Nobel Laureates of India
Source: India Today

If you have ever had a brush with Physics you surely would have come across the name of C.V Raman. He was an Indian physicist who hailed from the state of Tamil Nadu. Moreover, he was bestowed with the Nobel prize, in 1930, for his distinguished contribution to Physics. He did exceptional work on the behavior of light or light scattering. The research he did was named after him, termed the Raman Effect. He discovered the reasons for the blue color of the sky. He was the first person from the whole of Asia to achieve this feat in physics. His day of discovery is celebrated as National Science Day in India on 28th February.

“For his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the effect named after him”

Do You Know: CV Raman, Har Gobind Khorana, Subrahmanyam Chandrasekhar and Venkatraman Ramakrishnan are the only Indian Scientists Nobel Prize Winners!

Har Gobind Khorana

Nobel Laureates of India
Source: India Express

His place is among the foremost Nobel laureates of India. H.G. Khorana was a biochemist born in  Raipur, a part of undivided India. Later in his life, he went to the United States and settled there as an American citizen. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology, in 1968, for his work in genetic research which showed how the order of nucleotides in nucleic acids carries the genetic code of the cell. He shared the Nobel Prize with two other scientists

“For their interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis”

Also Read: Greatest Scientist Of All Times

Mother Teresa

Changes Made
Source: BBC

It might be difficult to find people in India who are not familiar with this name. Oftentimes, she is extolled as a model of compassion. Born in North Macedonia, Mother Teresa soon came to India and became one of the most prominent Nobel laureates of India. In the year 1952, she established Nirmal Hriday, a hospice where the terminally ill could die with peace and dignity. She worked for the destitute class to alleviate their distress. She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her extraordinary humanitarian efforts. 

Nobel laureates of India
In India, there has been only one woman to win the Nobel Prize in a hundred years.

“In recognition of [her] work in bringing help to suffering humanity”

Amartya Sen

Nobel Laureates of India

Another shining name in the list of Nobel laureates of India is Amartya Sen, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for his significant contributions to Welfare Economics and his exemplary work for the causes and prevention of famines. Sen was born in erstwhile Calcutta. He is currently working his time teaching in the USA and UK. He has written books that carry a vigorous intellectual depth. Amartya Sen is the fourth Indian to be honored with a Nobel Prize to India. Other than academic Economics, Amartya Sen also fiercely speaks about Indian politics and economic issues of the country.

“For his contributions to welfare economics”

Kailash Satyarthi

Nobel Laureates of India

Kailash Satyarthi is an Indian social reformer who campaigned against child labor in India and advocated the universal right to education. He was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize along with Malala Yousafzai. He is the founder of several social activist organizations like Bachpan Bachao Andolan, Global Campaign for Education, Global March Against Child Labour, and Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation. Their team has liberated more than 900,000 children in India from child labor, trafficking, and slavery.

“For their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”

Abhijit Banerjee

Source: Vogue India

Abhijit Banerjee was born on February 21, 1961, in Dhule, India. He is an Indian-American economist who was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with his wife Esther Duflo and Harvard University’s Michel Kremer. He made great contributions to developing an approach to eradicate global poverty. After teaching economics at Princeton University (1988-1992), at Harvard (1992-1993), and at MIT (1993), he eventually founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab along with Sendhil Mullainathan.

Nobel Prize Winners 2022 Full List [Latest]

Name Category
Professor Svante PääboThe Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Alain Aspect
John F. Clauser
Anton Zeilinger
The Nobel Prize in Physics
Carolyn R. Bertozzi
Morten Meldal
K. Barry Sharpless
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Annie ErnauxThe Nobel Prize in Literature
Ales Bialiatski
Centre for Civil Liberties
The Nobel Peace Prize
Ben S. Bernanke
Douglas W. Diamond
Philip H. Dybvig
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2022
Source: Nobel Prize

All Nobel Prize Winners 2021

Here is a list of the Nobel Prize Winners of 2021:

  • David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (2021)
  • Abdulrazah Gurnah, Nobel Prize in Literature (2021)
  • Maria Ressa and Dmitri A. Muratov, Nobel Peace Prize (2021)
  • Syukuro Manabe, Klaus Hasselmann, and Giorgio Parisi, Nobel Prize in Physics (2021)
  • Benjamin List and David W.C. MacMillan, Nobel Prize for Chemistry (2021)

All Nobel Prize Winners 2020

Here’s the complete Nobel Prize Winners List 2020:

  • Louise Glück, Nobel Prize in Literature (2020)
  • Andrea M. Ghez, Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel, Nobel Prize in Physics (2020)
  • Michael Houghton, Charles M. Rice Harvey J. Alter, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (2020)
  • Jennifer Doudna, Emmanuelle Charpentier, Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2020)
  • Paul R. Milgrom, Robert P. Wilson, Nobel Prize in Economics (2020)
  • World Food Programme, Nobel Peace Prize 2020

Inspired by these prominent personalities of India, here is an important blog for you – What Can We Learn From The Great Personalities?


1. Which Indian citizen won the Nobel Prize?

Rabindranath Tagore was the first Indian citizen to win the Nobel Prize.

2. Is Amartya Sen a Nobel Laureate?

Yes, Amartya Sen is a Nobel Laureate, with the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.

3. Which country has the highest Nobel Prizes?

The USA has the highest Nobel Prizes.

With this, we conclude this segment dedicated to the renowned Nobel laureates of India, hoping the list in this blog was enough for the satisfaction of the reader. Looking forward to pursuing your higher education in overseas countries? Don’t worry, let the experts at Leverage Edu take care of your academic journey. Book your free 30 minutes of e-counseling with the team and discover new educational possibilities. 

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