Indian Scientists As Fellow Of Royal Society 2001-2019

Dr. S. S. VERMA; Department of Physics, S.L.I.E.T., Longowal; Distt.-Sangrur (Punjab)-148 106

2019-05-24 04:53:32



Every nation all over the world has its own scientific societies as an integral part of education system and scientists of any nation always feel proud to be recognized for their scientific pursuits by these scientific societies.   The Royal Society of London was founded on 28 November 1660 and was granted a royal charter by King Charles II as "The Royal Society". It is the oldest national scientific institution in the world and is the United Kingdom's and Commonwealth of Nations' Academy of Sciences. Scientists from all over the world feel proud to become the Fellows to Royal society of London and such achievements are equally appreciated by respective government as well as people in scientific community all over the world. 

The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from the UK and the Commonwealth. Fellows and Foreign Members are elected for life through a peer review process on the basis of excellence in sciences. Till date, there are approximately1600 Fellows and Foreign Members, including around 80 Nobel Laureates. Each year up to 52 Fellows and up to 10 Foreign Members are elected from a group of around 700 candidates who are proposed by the existing Fellowship. Presently Dr Venki Ramakrishnan is the 62nd President of the Royal Society. He started his five year term on 1 December 2015. He was inducted as FRS in 2003 and received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on ribosomal structure and was knighted in 2012. Some special features related to nomination, selection procedure and obligation of Fellows of The Royal Society of London [1] are as:


  • Each candidate for Fellowship or Foreign Membership must be nominated by two Fellows of the Royal Society, who sign a certificate of proposal.
  • The certificate includes a statement of the principal grounds on which the proposal is being made and is available for inspection by other Fellows.
  • The completed certificate of proposal must be received by 30 September each year.
  • The President of the Royal Society may additionally encourage suggestions for candidates from Vice-Chancellors of universities and Chairs and Chief Executives of Research Councils. These suggestions must also be received by 30 September each year.
  • The proposing Fellows are responsible for informing the candidate that he or she has been nominated.
  • The proposers must ensure, in consultation with the candidate, that all information relevant to the nomination is up to date.
  • There is no limit on the number of new nominations made in any year.
  • For the 2019 elections, there were around 700 candidates for election as Fellows and around 70 candidates under consideration for Foreign Membership.
  • Once nominated, candidates remain eligible for election for seven years. If not elected within this period, an individual may be proposed as a candidate again after a break of three years and then remains eligible for election for a period of three years. This three year cycle may be repeated without limit.
  • The Society does not provide details of the identities of nominated candidates to anybody outside the Fellowship, except those individuals consulted in confidence during the refereeing process.
  • Fellows who wish to nominate a candidate should use the online election system e-Lect or log into the eFellows Room to download the appropriate forms and guidance notes.

Selection procedure

  • Candidates must have made 'a substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science.
  • Each candidate is considered on his or her own merits and can be proposed from any sector of the scientific community.
  • Every effort is made to encourage nominations of women candidates and candidates from the emerging disciplines.
  • Honorary Fellowship is intended for those who have given distinguished service to the cause of science, or who have brought great benefits to science, but who do not have the scientific achievements of the kind required of those who could be elected as Fellows or Foreign Members.  
  • The Council appoints 10 subject area committees, known as Sectional Committees, to recommend the strongest candidates for election to Fellowship.
  • Each candidate is considered by the relevant Sectional Committee on the basis of a full curriculum vitae, details of their research achievements, a list of all their scientific publications and a copy of their 20 best scientific papers.
  • Members of the Sectional Committees vote in early March each year to produce a shortlist.
  • Sectional Committees also recommend candidates for Foreign Membership.
  • The final list of up to 52 Fellowship candidates and up to 10 Foreign Membership candidates is confirmed by the Council in April and a secret ballot of Fellows is held at a meeting in May.
  • A candidate is elected if he or she secures two-thirds of votes of those Fellows present and voting.
  • Of the up to 52 candidates nominated for Fellowship, a maximum of 18 Fellowships can be allocated to candidates drawn from Physical Sciences, up to 18 from Biological Sciences, up to 10 from Applied Sciences, Human Sciences and Joint Physical and Biological Sciences, and a further maximum of 6 ‘Honorary’, ‘General’ or ‘Royal’ Fellows.
  • New Fellows are formally admitted to the Society at the Admissions Day ceremony in July, when they sign the Charter Book and the Obligation of the Fellows of the Royal Society.
  • Finally, the Council of the Royal Society can recommend members of the UK Royal Family for election to the Fellowship as Royal Fellows.

The obligation of fellows

  • ‘We who have hereunto subscribed, do hereby promise, that we will endeavor to promote the good of the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, and to pursue the ends for which the same was founded; that we will carry out, as far as we are able, those actions requested of us in the name of the Council; and that we will observe the Statutes and Standing Orders of the said Society. Provided that, when so ever any of us shall signify to the President under our hands that we desire to withdraw from the Society, we shall be free from this Obligation for the future.’

Indian Scientists as FRS from 2001-2019

There is a brief report on Indian Fellows to Royal Society from 1841-2000 in [2]. Thirty nine (39) Indian or Indian-origin scientists from different fields have made to the list of prestigious fellowships up to 2000. We Indian always feel proud and being associated with people making headlines in any field and same is the case with personalities in the list of FRS. Here, people who have been inducted as FRS from 2001 to 2019 are presented. These people are those who are born as well as working in India and of Indian origin but living abroad.  A total of 26 FRS were awarded to Indian or Indian-origin scientists and as year wise statistics in 2002, 2009-11, 2013 no one was from this background even.  Further, to mention year wise statistics, in 2001(2), 2003(1), 2004(1), 2005(1), 2006(2), 2007(1), 2008(1), 2012(5), 2014(1), 2015(3), 2016(3), 2017(1), 2018(1) and 2019(3) people were awarded FRS. Out of these 29 awardees only seven scientists as in 2005 (Prof. Govardhan Mehta), 2006 (Pandit Ramesh Narayan), 2012 (Prof. Mathukumalli Vidyasagar & Prof. Krishnaswamy Vijay Raghavan), 2015 (Ajay Kumar sood), 2016 (Prof. Sriram Rajagopal Ramaswamy) and in 2019 (Dr. Gagandeep Kang, only women so far from India) have been awarded FRS. A brief introduction to all these 29 FRS from 2001-2019 is presented as below.


  1. Shrinivas Ramchandra Kulkarni (born 1956) is a US-based astronomer born and raised in India, currently a professor of astronomy and planetary science at California Institute of Technology and serves as director of Caltech Optical Observatory (COO) at California Institute of Technology. He obtained his MS in Physics (integrated master's course) from the IIT Delhi in 1978 and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1983.
  2. Mandyam Veerambudi Srinivasan is an Indian-born Australian biologist who studies visual systems particularly those of bees and birds and is a faculty member at the University of Queensland. Did his Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering in 1968 from Bangalore University and Master's degree in Applied Electronics and Servo mechanisms (in 1970) from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, M.Phil. (1973) in Engineering and Applied Science and Ph.D. (1977) from Yale University and D.Sc. (1994) in Neuroethology, Australian National University.


  1. Venkatraman  Ramakrishnan "Venki" (born in 1952) is an Indian-born-American-British structural biologist. In 2009 he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Thomas A. Steitz and Ada Yonath, "for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome" Since 1999, he has worked as a group leader at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology(LMB) on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, UK.


  1. Sir Partha Sarathi Dasgupta (born 17 November 1942) is the Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge, and Visiting Professor at the New College of the Humanities, London. He was born in Dhaka, present-day Bangladesh and then moved to India. Dasgupta was educated in Rajghat Besant School in Varanasi, India, obtaining his Matriculation Degree in 1958, and graduated in Physics from Hans Raj College, Delhi, India in 1962 and in Mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1965. He obtained a PhD in Economics at Cambridge in 1968.


  1. Goverdhan Mehta (born 26 June 1943in Jodhpur) is a noted Indian researcher and chemical scientist. Mehta received his BSc and MSc from the University of Rajasthan and PhD from Pune University.


  1. Ramesh Narayan is an influential theoretical astrophysicist. His work on radiatively inefficient accretion flows has revolutionised our understanding of accretion onto compact objects, and may resolve the fundamental problem of why most nearby black holes are dark despite the presence of ample fuel. He has made fundamental contributions to understanding gamma-ray bursts, pulsar demography, image reconstruction, accretion discs, gravitational lenses, interstellar scintillation and other subjects.
  2. Mriganka Sur (born 1953 in Fatehgarh, India) is an Indian neuroscientist and the Newton Professor of Neuroscience and Director of the Simons Center for the Social Brain at the MIT (USA). Mriganka Sur did his early schooling at the St. Joseph's College, Allahabad and he received the Bachelor of Technology degree in electrical engineering from IIT Kanpur in 1974, and the Master of Science and PhD degrees in electrical engineering in 1975 and 1978, respectively, from Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He joined the faculty of the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT (USA) in 1986 and is currently the Newton Professor of Neuroscience and Director at Simons Center for the Social Brain at MIT.


  1. Sir Ravinder Nath Maini (born 17 November 1937) is an Indian-born British rheumatologist and academic who is a professor at the Kennedy Institute, part of Imperial College London. Maini was born in Ludhiana, Punjab. He completed his bachelor's degree at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.


  1. Girish S. Agarwal (born 7 July 1946) is a theoretical physicist. He is currently at the Texas A & M University with affiliations to the Departments of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Physics and Astronomy, and the Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering. He is a recognized leader in the field of quantum optics and also has made major contributions to the fields of nonlinear optics, nanophotonics and plasmonics  Born in Bareilly, India, Agarwal studied physics at the Gorakhpur University, India, (BSc in 1964) and BHU (Varanasi), India, (MSc in 1966). In 1969, he received his PhD from the University of Rochester, USA, followed by post-doctoral appointments at the University of Rochester, the University of Stuttgart, Germany, and The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India


  1. Varinder Kumar Aggarwal (born 1961) is a British organic chemist specialising in asymmetric synthesis. He is a Professor of Synthetic Chemistry at the School of Chemistry of the University of Bristol. Aggarwal was born in 1961 in Kalianpur, a town in Northern India. In 1963 his family immigrated to the United Kingdom. Aggarwal earned his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1986.
  2. Sir Shankar Balasubramanian (born 30 September 1966) is an Indian-born British chemist and Herchel Smith Professor of Medicinal Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, Senior Group Leader at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Born in Madras (India), Shankar Balasubramanian moved to the UK with his parents in 1967.
  3. Chandrashekhar B. Khare (born 1968) is a professor of mathematics at the University of California Los Angeles. In 2005, he made a major advance in the field of Galois representations and number theory by proving the level 1 Serre conjecture, and later a proof of the full conjecture with Jean-Pierre Wintenberger. Resident of Mumbai (India), he completed his undergraduate education at Trinity College, Cambridge. He started his career as a Fellow at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. Currently, he is a professor at University of California, Los Angeles.
  4. Mathukumalli Vidyasagar (born 29 September 1947) is a leading control theorist. He is currently a Distinguished Professor in Electrical Engineering at IIT Hyderabad. Previously he was the Cecil & Ida Green (II) Chair of Systems Biology Science at the University of Texas at Dallas.
  5. Krishnaswamy VijayRaghavan (born 3 February 1954) is distinguished professor and former director of The National Centre for Biological Sciences. On 26 Mar 2018, Government of India, appointed him as the principal scientific adviser to succeed distinguished R Chidamabaram. He also served as a secretary of Department of Biotechnology, India, since 28 January 2013.  He was conferred the Padma Shri by the Govt. of India on 26 January 2013. VijayRaghavan graduated with a Bachelor of Technology degree in chemical engineering from IIT Kanpur in 1975 and a master's in 1977. He completed his doctoral research in 1983 in the field of molecular biology and holds a Ph.D from theTata Institute of Fundamental Research.


  1. Sushanta Kumar Bhattacharyya, (born on 6 June 1940) was a British-Indian engineer, educator and government advisor. In 1980, he became Professor of Manufacturing Systems at the University of Warwick and founded the Warwick Manufacturing Group Kumar Bhattacharyya was born in Bangalore. Bhattacharyya studied Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, taking his Bachelor of Technology (BTech) degree in 1960.  The following year, he moved to Britain, where he worked for six years as a graduate apprentice at Lucas Industries, a large British manufacturing company.  During this time, he studied at the University of Birmingham, where he was awarded a Master of Science (MSc) degree in engineering production and management, followed by a PhD in engineering production in 1970.


  1. Kamaljit Singh Bawa (born 7 April 1939 in Punjab, India) is an evolutionary ecologist, conservation biologist and a distinguished professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.  Bawa received B.S., M.S., and PhD degrees from Panjab University, Chandigarh, India. After receiving his PhD in 1967, he went to the United States as a postdoctoral research associate and instructor at College of Forest Resources,University of Washington. In 1974, he joined the Department of Biology, at University of Massachusetts, Boston as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 1977 and to full professor in 1981 and became a distinguished professor in Biology in 1996.
  2. Ketan Jayakrishna Patel is a scientist and tenured principal investigator at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB). Patel is of Gujarati Indian origin and was born in Nairobi, Kenya. His early education took place in his home country at Hospital Hill Primary School and Banda Preparatory School. In 1976, Patel left Kenya to continue his secondary education at Marlborough College in Wiltshire.  He subsequently went to medical school at the Royal Free Hospital and the University of London (1980–1985) where he qualified as a doctor with distinctions in Medicine and Surgery. He completed a PhD in which he conducted research to understand the role the membrane bound form of the antibody molecule.
  3. Ajay Kumar Sood (born 26 June 1951) is an Indian physicist, researcher and holder of 2 US and 5 Indian patents, known for his pioneering research findings on graphene and nanotechnology. He is a Distinguished Honorary Professor of Physics at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. The Government of India honoured him in 2013, with the Padma Shri award for his contributions to the fields of science and technology.  Ajay K. Sood was born in Gwalior, India.  He graduated in Physics (BSc Hons) from the Punjab University, Chandigarh, in 1971, and followed it with a master's degree, (MSc Hons) a year later, from the same university. In 1973, he joined the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, as a scientist where he worked till 1988. During this period, he enrolled for research at the Indian Institute of Science from where he obtained his PhD, in 1982.


  1. Ramanujan Shankar Hegde (born 1970, Kumta, India) is a group leader in the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) at the University of Cambridge. Hegde was educated at the University of Chicago where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree and the University of California, San Francisco where he was awarded a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree in 1999 and PhD in 1998 for research on protein targeting and translocation at the endoplasmic reticulum.
  2. Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan is a scientist of Indian origin, and is currently the Lola England de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Physics at Harvard University. Mahadevan graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and then received an M.S from the University of Texas at Austin, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1995.
  3. Sriram Rajagopal Ramaswamy (born 10 November 1957) is a Professor at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and was on leave (2012–16) as Director of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences in Hyderabad. Ramaswamy completed high school at the Modern School, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi, and then moved to the University of Maryland where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics with high honours in 1977.  He completed his PhD in theoretical physics at the University of Chicago, graduating in 1983.


  1. Subhash Khot (born June 10, 1978 in Ichalkaranji, Maharastra) is an Indian-American mathematician and theoretical computer scientist who is the Julius Silver Professor of Computer Science in the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University.  Khot obtained his bachelor's degree in computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in 1999. He received his doctorate degree in computer science from Princeton University in 2003.


  1. Lalita Ramakrishnan (born 1959) is an Indian-American microbiologist who is known for her contributions to the understanding of the pathogenesis of tuberculosis.  As of 2018 she serves as a professor of immunology and infectious diseases at the University of Cambridge where she is also a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow and a practicing physician.  Ramakrishnan was born in Baroda and grew up there. Ramakrishnan began attending medical school at age 17. In 1983, she graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine degree in Vadodara from Baroda Medical College. In 1990, she graduated from Tufts University with a PhD in Immunology.


  1. Gagandeep Kang (born November 3, 1962) is a clinician scientist, Professor in the Department of Gastrointestinal Sciences at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, India and currently the executive director of the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad, an autonomous institute of the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India. Gagandeep Kang completed her Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) in 1987 and her Doctor of Medicine (MD) in Microbiology in 1991 from Christian Medical College, Vellore and obtained her PhD in 1998.
  2. Manjul Bhargava (born 8 August 1974) is a Canadian-American mathematician. He is the R. Brandon Fradd Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University, the Stieltjes Professor of Number Theory at Leiden University, and also holds Adjunct Professorships at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, and the University of Hyderabad. He is known primarily for his contributions to number theory. Bhargava was born in an Indian family in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada but grew up and attended school primarily in Long Island, New York.. He obtained his B.A. from Harvard University in 1996. Bhargava went on to receive his doctorate from Princeton in 2001.
  3. Akshay Venkatesh (born 21 November 1981) is an Australian mathematician and was a professor at Stanford University. He is a professor at (since 15 August 2018) Institute for Advanced Study. His research interests are in the fields of counting, equidistribution problems in automorphic forms and number theory, in particular representation theory, locally symmetric spaces, ergodic theory, and algebraic topology. Venkatesh was born in Delhi, India and his family immigrated to Perth in Western Australia when he was two years old. He attended Scotch College. Venkatesh completed the four year course in three years and became, at 16, the youngest person to earn of First Class Honours in pure mathematics.




[2] Rajesh Kochhar, Vol.80, No. 6, pp.721-722, Current Science, 25 March 2001.