Acclaimed high energy particle physicist and an institution builder of Indian science Prof. M G K Menon passed away. He was 88.
He was Scientist, Science & Technology policy-maker, scholar, parliamentarian, Cabinet Minister. He has been described as one of India’s most eminent “statesmen of science”
About M.G.K. Menon
- Mambillikalathil Govind Kumar Menon was born on 28 August 1928 in Mangalore, Karnataka. He was famously known as MGK or Goku.
- He was awarded a Ph.D. at a relatively young age of 25 by University of Bristol, UK in 1953.
- He had joined TIFR (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research) in 1955 at invitation of Homi Bhabha. In 1966, he was appointed Director of TIFR after death of Homi Bhabha.
- In 1971, he was appointed Secretary in the Department of Electronics. Since then for two decades plus, he played important role in India’s science and technology policy-making.
- In 1971, after death of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, he was given additional charge as Chairman of ISRO and the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad.
- Subsequently in 1974 he was appointed Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister and concurrently looked after the DRDO.
- In 1978 he was appointed Secretary, Department of Science and Technology and Director-General of the CSIR.
- He had served as the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) from January 1972 and September 1972.
- He had served as member of the Planning Commission (1982-1989), Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister (1986-1989), Vice President, CSIR (1989-1990).
- He had served as a Minister of State (MoS) in the short-lived V.P. Singh Cabinet; and a Rajya Sabha member from 1990 to 1996.
- Awards and Honours: Padmabhushan (1968), Padma Vibhushan (1985). The asteroid 7564 Gokumenon was named in his honour in late 2008. In May 1970, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.