Indian Nobel Winners Through History

By Adrija Sen

Oct 22, 2022

Did you know that there are 12 Indian Nobel prize recipients? While five are Indian citizens, seven are of Indian ancestry or residency. Let’s find out more about them.

Image Source: Rediff

Born in Almora (present-day Uttarakhand), British doctor Ronal Ross received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1902 for his discovery of the transmission of malaria in humans. He became the first British Nobel laureate and the first born outside Europe to win the award.

Ronald Ross, 1908

English novelist, short-story writer, poet, and journalist Joseph Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, British India. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature at age 41 in 1907 for his writings inspired by his birthplace. He holds the record of the youngest ever Literature laureate to date.

Joseph Rudyard Kipling, 1907

In 1913, Tagore became the first Indian and Asian citizen to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He was awarded the prize for his profound English poetry collection, Gitanjali.

Rabindranath Tagore, 1913

Physicist Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930 for his work on the scattering of light, named the Raman Effect after him. He was also the first Asian to receive the award under a science branch.

Chandrasekhara  Venkata Raman, 1930

While working as a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Har Gobind Khorana researched how genetic instructions in a cell control its functions and won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with two other scientists.

Har Gobind Khorana, 1968

Widely known as Mother Teresa, she was an Albanian-born nun who was conferred the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. She won the prize for dedicating her life to the destitute of Calcutta and bringing help to sick ones.

Teresa Bojaxhiu, M.C., 1979

Indian-born American astrophysicist Chandrasekhar was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize for Physics along with William A. Fowler for their work on understanding the structure and evolution of stars.

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, 1983

Image Source: American Institute of Physics

As Harvard's 37th Nobel laureate, Amartya Sen was awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics for his contributions to welfare economics. The award also accounted for his research on social-choice theory, poverty, and famine.

Amartya Kumar Sen, 1998

Ramakrishnan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009 for his work on the atomic structure of the ribosome. He presently works as a senior scientist at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England.

Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, 2009

Children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. He was awarded the prize for focusing attention on the grave exploitation of children. By 2014, Satyarthi and his colleagues had freed 83,000 children from slavery.

Kailash Satyarthi, 2014

American economist Abhijit Banerjee received the 2019 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with two other researchers, one being his wife Esther Duflo, to alleviate global poverty. They are the sixth married couple to jointly win a Nobel Prize.

Abhijit Banerjee, 2019