Famous 21st Century Indian Scientists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Famous As: Aerospace Scientist and 11th President of India
Birthdate: October 15, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: July 27, 2015
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, India’s 11th president, had earlier been an aerospace scientist at DRDO and ISRO. Known as the “People’s President” and the “Missile Man of India,” he was instrumental in India's Pokhran-II nuclear tests. He died of a cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture at IIM Shillong.

 2 Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw
Famous As: Business woman
Birthdate: March 23, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bangalore, Mysore State, India

Biocon founder and chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is a self-made billionaire entrepreneur who made it to Forbes’s Power Women 2020 list. Though she initially wished to be a brewer like her father, she later drifted to the biochemical industry. Apart from revolutionizing the Indian biopharma market, she also heads a charitable organization.

 3 Sudha Murty

Sudha Murty
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: August 19, 1950
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Shiggaon, Haveri, Karnataka, India

Known for her humility and simplicity, Indian philanthropist and author Sudha Murty had humble beginnings as a TELCO engineer. She is married to Infosys co-founder Narayan Murty and heads the Infosys Foundation. The Padma Shri winner has penned over 200 titles, such as Dollar Bahu, in both Kannada and English.

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 4 M. S. Swaminathan

M. S. Swaminathan
Famous As: Agricultural Scientist
Birthdate: August 7, 1925
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kumbakonam, India

Ramon Magsaysay Award-winning geneticist M. S. Swaminathan is best known for his contribution to the Indian Green Revolution. Featured on Time, he introduced high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice seedlings to Indian farmers. He is also known for his administrative work as part of the Indian civil services.

 5 Rajnath Singh

Rajnath Singh
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: July 10, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chandauli district

The current Indian defense minister Rajnath Singh has previously held other important portfolios, such as home affairs and agriculture. He has also been a BJP president and the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. Born into a farmer’s family, he worked as a physics lecturer before he joined the RSS.

 6 Abdul Qadeer Khan

Abdul Qadeer Khan
Famous As: Nuclear Physicist, Metallurgical Engineer
Birthdate: April 1, 1936
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
Died: October 10, 2021

Pakistani engineer Abdul Qadeer Khan was a major figure in the development of his country’s nuclear plans. His research also focused on uranium enrichment. He was later apparently involved in transfer of nuclear technology to Iran, among other countries, but was pardoned by then-president Pervez Musharraf.

 7 Pranav Mistry

Pranav Mistry
Famous As: Computer scientist
Birthdate: May 14, 1981
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Palanpur, Gujarat, India

Currently the President and CEO of Samsung Technology & Advanced Research Labs, Pranav Mistry, is best known for developing SixthSense, a wearable device enabling interactions between the real world and the world of data. Earlier, he had introduced a smartwatch called Samsung Galaxy Gear and a 3D-capturing 360-degree camera called Project Beyond; his other inventions being Mouseless, Quickies, Blinkbot etc.  

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 8 Siddhartha Mukherjee

Siddhartha Mukherjee
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: July 21, 1970
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New Delhi, India

Best known as the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Emperor of All Maladies and the New York Times bestseller The Gene, Siddhartha Mukherjee is an Indian-American oncologist and a Columbia University professor. He is also a former Rhodes scholar, a Padma Shri winner, and a Stanford alumnus.

 9 Jayant Narlikar

Jayant Narlikar
Famous As: Physicist, Astronomer, Astrophysicist, Scientist, University teacher, Science fiction writer
Birthdate: July 19, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kolhapur

Born to a math professor father and a Sanskrit scholar mother, Astrophysicist and IUCAA professor Jayant Narlikar grew up to collaborate with Sir Fred Hoyle, leading to the conformal gravity theory, also known as the Hoyle-Narlikar theory. He has won the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan and penned sci-fi novels, too.

 10 Vandana Shiva

Vandana Shiva
Famous As: Philosopher, Physicist, Writer, University teacher
Birthdate: November 5, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dehradun

Indian environmental activist and physicist Vandana Shiva is known for her anti-GMO campaigns. The Gandhi of grain is the founder of RFSTN, which promotes sustainable agriculture, and is against globalization. She developed an interest in environmentalism after witnessing a forest at her hometown being cleared for a project.

 11 Narinder Singh Kapany

Narinder Singh Kapany
Famous As: Former physicist best known for his work on fiber optics
Birthdate: October 31, 1926
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Moga, Punjab, India
Died: December 4, 2020

The pioneer of fiber optics, Indian-American physicist Narinder Singh Kapany had over 100 patents in his name. He was the first to send images through fiber optics and also worked on areas such as laser technology and solar energy. He and his wife also established the California-based Sikh Foundation.

 12 E. C. George Sudarshan

E. C. George Sudarshan
Famous As: Physicist, University teacher
Birthdate: September 16, 1931
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kottayam district

Padma Vibhushan winner and nine-time Nobel Prize nominee theoretical physicist E. C. George Sudarshan was born in India but moved to the U.S. to study at the University of Rochester. He later joined Harvard and made ground-breaking discoveries in topics such as quantum optics, tachyons, and the quantum Zeno effect.

 13 Tessy Thomas

Tessy Thomas
Famous As: aerospace engineer, engineer, scientist
Birthdate: March 31, 1963
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Alappuzha

Tessy Thomas is an Indian scientist who became the first-ever woman to head an Indian missile project when she served as project director for Agni-IV. For her immense contribution to the field of missile technology, Tessy Thomas was honored with the prestigious Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award.

 14 Yusuf Hamied

Yusuf Hamied
Famous As: Scientist, billionaire businessman and the chairman of Cipla
Birthdate: July 25, 1936
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vilnius, Lithuania

 15 Mylswamy Annadurai

Mylswamy Annadurai
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: July 2, 1958
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kothavadi, Coimbatore district, Tamil Nadu, India

Aerospace engineer and scientist Mylswamy Annadurai, also known as the Moon Man of India, had humble beginnings in his native village, Kodhawady, in southern India. He later grew up to be a key member of ISRO and contributed immensely to Indian space programs such as Chandrayaan-1 and Mangalyaan.

 16 Raj Reddy

Raj Reddy
Famous As: Computer scientist, University teacher
Birthdate: June 13, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Andhra Pradesh

Raj Reddy is an Indian-American computer scientist. One of the pioneers of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Reddy was honored with the prestigious Turing Award in 1994 for his contribution to the field of artificial intelligence. He is the first computer scientist of Asian descent to win the award, which is often referred to as the Nobel Prize of Computer Science.

 17 Udupi Ramachandra Rao

Udupi Ramachandra Rao
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: March 10, 1932
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Udupi district, Karnataka, India
Died: July 24, 2017

 18 Vijay P. Bhatkar

Vijay P. Bhatkar
Famous As: Architect of Param Series of Supercomputers
Birthdate: October 11, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Akola district, Maharashtra, India

Vijay P. Bhatkar is an Indian educationalist and computer scientist. One of the pioneers of India's IT industry, Bhatkar is renowned for initiating the development of Param supercomputers. Over the course of his career, Bhatkar has been honored with many prestigious awards, such as the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan.

 19 Ashoke Sen

Ashoke Sen
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: July 15, 1956
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kolkata

Ashoke Sen is an Indian theoretical physicist whose immense contribution to string theory has earned him accolades and respect around the world. The recipient of several prestigious awards like the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, Sen also serves as a professor at several prestigious institutions like the Harish-Chandra Research Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Korea Institute for Advanced Study.

 20 Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan

Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: October 24, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ernakulam, India

Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan is an Indian space scientist who supervised the development of several scientific satellites including the Indian Remote Sensing Satellites IRS-1A and IRS-1B and the Indian National Satellite (INSAT-2) while serving as the director of ISRO Satellite Centre. He served as the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for nine years from 1994 to 2003.

 21 Raghunath Anant Mashelkar

Raghunath Anant Mashelkar
Famous As: Engineer, Scientist
Birthdate: January 1, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Goa

Deeply connected with Indian innovation movement, Raghunath Anant Mashelkar is especially known for his contributions to transport phenomena. Throughout his career, he had held important positions, including the post of the Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. He also chaired many important national committees, investigating diverse issues like drug regulatory system and national auto fuel policy.

 22 Tathagat Avatar Tulsi

Tathagat Avatar Tulsi
Famous As: Physicist and a child prodigy.
Birthdate: September 9, 1987
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Patna, Bihar

Considered as a child prodigy, Tathagat Avatar Tulsi is an Indian physicist, who finished high school at the age nine, earned his B.Sc. at eleven and M.Sc. at twelve. At twenty-one, he earned his PhD and in the following year joined IIT Mumbai as Assistant Professor on contract, where he worked until he lost his job due to bad health.  

 23 Venkatraman Ramakrishnan

Venkatraman Ramakrishnan
Famous As: Structural biologist
Birthdate: 1952 AD
Birthplace: Chidambaram,Tamilnadu India

Venkatraman Ramakrishnan is a British-American structural biologist whose research on the function of the ribosome earned him the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry which he shared with Ada Yonath and Thomas A. Steitz. From 2015 to 2020, he served as the president of the Royal Society.

 24 S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan

S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: January 2, 1940
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chennai, India

S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan is an Indian American mathematician whose contributions to probability theory have earned him several prestigious awards including the National Medal of Science in 2010. He is also renowned for coming up with a unified theory of large deviations. He is currently serving as a professor at the Courant Institute.

 25 Anil Kakodkar

Anil Kakodkar
Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: November 11, 1943
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Barwani

Anil Kakodkar is an Indian mechanical engineer and nuclear physicist who served as the director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) from 1996 to 2000. He is one of the core members of the team which conducted Pokharan II nuclear tests. Over the course of his career, Kakodkar has received several prestigious awards, such as the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan.

 26 Yash Pal

Yash Pal
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: November 26, 1926
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Punjab, Pakistan
Died: July 24, 2017

 27 Manindra Agrawal

Manindra Agrawal
Famous As: Mathematician, Computer scientist, University teacher
Birthdate: May 20, 1966
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Allahabad

Manindra Agrawal is an Indian computer scientist and mathematician whose creation of the AKS primality test earned him the Fulkerson Prize as well as the Gödel Prize. He also won the first Infosys Prize for Mathematics for his contributions in the field of mathematics. He is currently serving as the deputy director at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

 28 Mahan Mj

Mahan Mj
Famous As: mathematician
Birthdate: April 5, 1967
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: India

Mahan Mj is an Indian monk and mathematician who is currently teaching mathematics at the prestigious Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. Renowned for his work in geometric group theory, hyperbolic geometry, complex geometry, and low-dimensional topology, Mahan Mj has received several awards, such as the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award and the 2015 Infosys Prize.

 29 K. S. Chandrasekharan

K. S. Chandrasekharan
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: November 21, 1920
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Andhra Pradesh, India
Died: April 13, 2017

 30 Sekhar Basu

Sekhar Basu
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: September 20, 1952
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Muzaffarpur, Bihar, India
Died: September 24, 2020

Sekhar Basu was an Indian nuclear scientist credited with playing a major role in building the nuclear reactor for INS Arihant, India's first nuclear-powered submarine. He is also credited with building the Indian Neutrino Observatory in Theni and nuclear waste recycling plants in Kalpakkam and Tarapur. In 2014, he was honored with the Padma Shri award.

 31 S. Ramanan

S. Ramanan
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: July 20, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

S. Ramanan is a mathematician whose contributions to the field of algebraic geometry have established him as one of India's most prominent mathematicians. Ramanan is also known for his work in differential geometry and his published work on universal connections has helped B Simons and SS Chern introduce the Chern-Simons invariant, which has played a significant role in theoretical physics.

 32 Sharmila Bhattacharya

Sharmila Bhattacharya
Famous As: Chief Scientist for Astrobionics and head of the Biomodel Performance and Behavior laboratory at NASA Ames Research Center
Birthdate: March 24, 1964
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lagos, Nigeria

 33 Modadugu Vijay Gupta

Modadugu Vijay Gupta
Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: August 17, 1939
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bapatla, India
Modadugu Vijay Gupta is an Indian fisheries scientist and biologist whose development of low-cost techniques for fish farming earned him the prestigious World Food Prize in 2005. Widely regarded as a pioneer of Southeast Asia's blue revolution, Modadugu Vijay Gupta's work has greatly benefited the rural poor of India.

 34 Raman Sukumar

Raman Sukumar
Famous As: Ecologist
Birthdate: 1955 AD
Birthplace: Chennai, India
Raman Sukumar is an ecologist renowned for his work on the ecology of wildlife-human conflict and the Asian elephant. In 1986, he helped design Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. In 1997, he established the Asian Nature Conservation Foundation, which has carried out many field projects in several Asian countries. 

 35 Abhas Mitra

Abhas Mitra
Famous As: physicist, astronomer
Birthdate: June 3, 1955
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: India

Abhas Mitra is an Indian astrophysicist who has gained popularity for challenging several cosmological concepts related to black holes and the Big Bang by popular physicists and cosmologists including Stephen Hawking. His article on black holes, which was published in 2000, challenged Hawking's theory. Hawking would later accept his blunder almost 13 years later.