Sir C.V Raman – The First Indian Scientist to Win a Nobel Prize


Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman Image source

” We Indians (authorities and intelligence agencies) are suffering from moral anaemia & spiritual cancer. The honest, kind and upright man/woman is ridiculed in the midst of corrupt & spiritually malnourished ones.”
Did the same happen to Sir C.V. Raman?

“He was in a jolly mood and in the course of conversation told her with a loud laugh that he had got his first sliver of platinum when he smashed his Bharat Ratna medal with a hammer. This story is also said to have been used in one of his lectures where he talked about a series of experiments that required platinum; that in a rage at the government for their ill-conceived policies on science, he had taken a hammer to his Bharat Ratna medal, and when it broke, he had found the platinum.” Source Original source is the newsletter from Sidin Sunny Vadukut. He sent this in his recent newsletter.

Sir C. V. Raman (7 November 1888 – 21 November 1970) worked at Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS) during 1907 to 1933 on various topics of Physics making discovery of the celebrated effect on scattering of light in 1928, which bears his name, and that brought many accolades including the Nobel Prize (Nobel Lecture by Sir C V Raman and Presentation Speech  by Professor H. Pleijel, Chairman of the Nobel Committee) in 1930.

The American Chemical Society designated the Raman Effect as an International Historic Chemical Landmark in 1998.

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1930 was awarded to Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman “for his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the effect named after him”.

The Raman Effect

Raman and his students continued researching light scattering in gases, liquids and solids.

They used monochromatic (single wavelength) light – sunlight that had been filtered to leave only a single colour – and found that a variety of different liquids – sixty of them – did indeed change the colour of the light. They first observed this in April 1923, but very weakly.

In 1927, they found a particularly strong colour change in light scattered by glycerol (then called glycerine):

100-c-v-raman“…the highly interesting result that the colour of sunlight scattered in a highly purified sample of glycerine was a brilliant green instead of the usual blue.”

Nobel Lecture, 1930

Raman’s team observed the effect, in gases, crystals and glass. The effect might have been mistaken for fluorescence, another phenomenon in which light has its colour changed, but in Raman’s work, the light scattered by liquids was polarized, which ruled out fluorescence.


Approximate Representation of the Raman Effect  (A) Blue light approaches a molecule, and then (B) Lower energy green light leaves the molecule. This is inelastic scattering: the light has given some of its energy to the molecule, causing it to vibrate more strongly.

What came to be known as the Raman effect – a colour change accompanied by polarization – had never been seen before. The inelastic scattering at its heart was a further, very strong confirmation, of quantum theory.


An approximate representation of Rayleigh scattering in Earth’s atmosphere.  Rayleigh scattering is elastic. This means that photons of light lose no energy when they interact with gas molecules. The light, therefore, stays the same colour.

The Raman effect is a very small effect compared with Rayleigh scattering. Only about 1 in ten million photons undergo inelastic scattering.

Raman and his colleague K.S. Krishnan reported their discovery in March, 1928 in the journal Nature.

Raman was awarded the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physics for “work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the effect named after him.”

Raman Spectroscopy

Raman showed that the energy of photons scattered inelastically serves as a ‘fingerprint’ for the substance the light is scattered from. As a result of this, Raman spectroscopy is now commonly used in chemical laboratories all over the world to identify substances. It is also used in medicine to investigate living cells and tissues – even detecting cancers – without causing harm. Laser light rather than sunlight is used as the source of photons.

Source: C.V. Raman (Famous Scientists – The Art of Genius)

The Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), founded on July 29, 1876, by Dr. Mahendra Lal Sircar, is an autonomous Institute. It is the oldest research institute in India. The institute is devoted to the pursuit of fundamental research in the frontier areas of  Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Energy, Polymer and Materials. In each field, IACS nurtures young and innovative research fellows in their doctoral programs.


Niels Bohr and C.V. Raman Image source

He was the first Indian to become Director of Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore (now Bengaluru), India. Raman succeeded Sir Martin Forster, FRS. He served IISc, both, as its Director (1933-1937), and as a head of the Physics Department (1933-1948).

Image source

For achieving academic excellence he himself gathered a team of talented students and started doing high-quality research in many fields of physics. Raman also wanted to initiate basic research in fields like quantum mechanics, crystal chemistry and vitamins and enzyme chemistry by recruiting outstanding faculty. At that point in time, many reputed scientists were forced to leave Germany because of Hitler’s racist policy. Raman wanted to bring some of these scientists to I.I.Sc. Raman had many names on his list, both foreign and Indian. However, he was only successful in bringing Max Born, that too for a short time.

After retirement from the Institute, he concentrated his attention in building an institute of his own – the Raman Research Institute (RRI) [Wikipedia]. Even before his retirement Raman had started to build an institute where he could retire and enjoy science.

To quote Raman :

“You know, I was to retire at 60. So, two years before my retirement, I started building this institute, so that on the day I retired, I took my bag, and walked right into this institute. I can not remain idle for a single day”.

Raman had to gather money for building the Institute. Raman had lost most of his life’s savings including his Nobel Prize money in an investment. The Institute was built on a ten-acre plot of land gifted by the Maharajah of Mysore way back in 1934, the land was given to the Indian Academy of Sciences, and for its related activities. Raman travelled extensively for raising donation for constructing the building for housing the institute. When Raman moved to the institute the facilities were far from complete.

  • Raman was opposed to the idea of taking grants from the government for running the institute. To earn money for the institute, he started a few chemical industries (in association with one of his former students). The dividends from these industries were sufficient to support the institute to start with. He gifted away most of his personal properties to the Academy for the benefit of the institute, as also the Lenin Peace Prize money. A museum was built to house Raman’s collection of crystals, gems, minerals, rock specimens, shells, stuffed birds, butterflies and so on. Raman had a fascination for colours and so he collected everything that had colours.

Raman loved children and he derived immense pleasure in showing them his museum and the laboratories of the Raman Research Institute.

He believed that,

“The true wealth of a Nation consists not in the stored-up gold in its coffers and banks, not in the factories, but in the intellectual and physical strength of its men, women and children.”

On a personal note, throughout my life, after having studied at various Indian institutions including the ones being administered directly or indirectly by Indian Armed Forces, I can summarise a fact, that Indians are first class people being governed/administered by third class administrators and intelligence officials (irresponsible and insensitive), who have a destructive mindset with a complete lack of, or very little, compassion and empathy. Though, it is balanced somewhat by powers unknown. I feel, keeping a wise [wisdom – ability to apply knowledge, experience, understanding or common sense and insight; the quality of being prudent and sensible], honest, kind, sincere, upright, and an intelligent human being amongst individuals who are rude, arrogant, overconfident, selfish, and stupid, is a worst kind of torture. The insult and humiliation are further compounded when the latter  (corrupt/stupid individuals) are given an authority to exercise power over the former (wise). 

The biggest attitude of Indian authorities that has become a nemesis for innocent Indian citizens, is their intolerance. The moment one points out their blunders and mistakes, they try to bring harm to the complainant in the name of training or maintaining discipline.

Honour and insult differ from person to person, an honour for one constitutes an insult and humiliation for the other, under almost similar circumstances. The problem with Indian authorities is, they lack empathy and compassion, and tend to treat every human being as one and the same. For some, money, rewards and awards can soothe the pain of insult and humiliation, whereas, for others, it is like adding salt to a burned wound. It also constitutes an insult and humiliation, if a gullible/innocent person is awarded a position, an award or honour which s/he is not worthy of, moreover s/he doesn’t have ability or skill to have an inkling about it, making a fool of himself/herself in front of the whole world.

Sadly, our authorities/institutions try to hide behind the veil of nationalism and socialism to hide their ineptitude, incompetence, lack of empathy and compassion, and lack of resources, and great people like Nobel Laureate Sir Professor C.V. Raman and many other innocent individuals had to bear the brunt.

The traits of a Nobel mind

  • When I am in the midst of great teachers, I thought of sharing with you an incident about Sir CV Raman, a Nobel Laureate in Physics for discovering Raman Effect. Sir Raman gives the view that the colour of sky is blue due to molecular diffraction which determines the observed luminosity and in great measures also its colour. This led to the birth of the Raman Effect. Sir Raman was in the first batch of Bharat Ratna Award winners. Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian honour, conferred for exceptional service towards advancement of Art, Literature and Science, and in recognition of public service of the highest order by the Government of India. The award ceremony was to take place in the last week of January, soon after the Republic Day celebrations of 1954. The then President, Dr. Rajendra Prasad wrote to C. V. Raman inviting him to be the personal guest in the Rashtrapati Bhavan, when C. V Raman comes to New Delhi, India for the award ceremony. Sir CV Raman wrote a polite letter, regretting his inability to go. Sir C. V Raman had a noble reason for his inability to attend the investiture ceremony. He explained to the President that he was guiding a Ph.D. student and that thesis was positively due by the last day of January. The student was valiantly trying to wrap it all up and C. V. Raman felt, he had to be by the side of the research student, see that the thesis was finished, sign the thesis as the guide, and then have it submitted.
  • Here was a scientist who gave up the pomp of a glittering ceremony associated with the highest honour, because he felt that his duty required him to be by the side of the student. It is this unique trait of giving value to science that builds science.

From “Great Teachers Inspire the Youth” a speech by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.


Professor C.V Raman used this simple innovative instrument which led to the discovery of RAMAN EFFECT Image source

Sir Kariamanickam Srinivasa Krishnan, FRS, (4 December 1898 – 14 June 1961) was an Indian physicist. He was a co-discoverer of Raman scattering, for which his mentor C. V. Raman was awarded the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physics. Kariamanickam Srinivasa Krishnan

It was speculated that Sir C. V Raman did not give due credit to his student K.S Krishan for his discovery, but as per my observation, analyses and reasoning, this assumption is false. One can read his Nobel Lecture for more insight.

“Krishnan, who very materially assisted me in these investigations, found at the same time that the phenomenon could be observed in several organic vapours, and even succeeded in visually determining the state of polarization of the modified radiations from them. Compressed gases such as CO, and N₂O, crystalline ice, and optical glasses also were found to exhibit the modified radiations. These observations left little doubt that the phenomenon was really a species of light-scattering analogous to the Compton effect.”

Source: SIR CHANDRASEKHARA V. RAMAN- “The molecular scattering of light”

Nobel Lecture, December 11, 1930 lecture_sir_cv_raman.pdf

Many people know Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman (more popularly known as C.V. Raman) because he was the first Indian Nobel Laureate in science. Till date, Raman remains the only Indian to receive a Nobel Prize in science. There are two Indian-born scientists viz., Har Gobind Khorana and Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (who became US citizens) got Nobel Prizes in science. Raman was also the first Asian to get Nobel Prize in science.

Towards the end of his life, Raman chose to make himself a recluse. He not only built high walls around the Raman Research Institute but also put up a prominent signboard announcing that visitors were not welcome. He was not at all happy the way the Government was trying to build up science and technology in the country.

At the end of October 1970, he collapsed in his laboratory, the valves of his heart had given way. He was moved to the hospital and the doctors gave him four hours to live. He survived and after a few days refused to stay in the hospital as he preferred to die in the gardens of his Institute surrounded by his flowers. Two days before Raman died, he told one of his former students,

“Do not allow the journals of the Academy to die, for they are the sensitive indicators of the quality of science being done in the country and whether science is taking root in it or not.”

That same evening, Raman met with the Board of Management of his Institute and discussed (from his bed) with them any proceedings with regards to the Institute’s management. Raman died from natural causes early next morning on 21 November 1970. C. V. Raman

[this is the only account I could get from govt. sources, regarding final days of Sir C.V. Raman]

[It is said that the authorities (the government; bureaucracy; executive), because of their ineptitude, incompetence, and lackadaisical attitude, are in a habit of degrading, insulting and humiliating, genius and ingenious minds; also they cannot differentiate, what constitutes an insult, what constitutes humiliation, and what constitutes an honour, that thereafter, every genius Indian who had the capability of winning a Nobel Prize in Sciences were sent to the U.S.A. Brain drain is better than brain in drain. It is only now that India (govt. and executive; bureaucrats; judiciary) have woken up to their importance and the advantages that such individuals can provide.]

It also came to my notice that the government sends people of certain personality traits to study and work outside of their home country. Details are not known to me.

Kindly read the following quote for further information.

“When the Nobel award was announced, I saw it as a personal triumph, an achievement for me and my collaborators — a recognition for a very remarkable discovery, for reaching the goal I had pursued for 7 years. But when I sat in that crowded hall, and I saw the sea of western faces surrounding me, and I, the only Indian, in my turban and closed coat, it dawned on me, that I was really representing my people and my country. I felt truly humble when I received the Prize from King Gustav; it was a moment of great emotion but I could restrain myself. Then I turned round and saw the British Union Jack under which I had been sitting and it was then that I realised that my poor country, India, did not even have a flag of her own – and it was this that triggered off my complete breakdown.” C.V. Raman [Source: Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman]

“I have never seen anyone who enjoyed science so much. The sheer joy of seeing things and doing science filled him with exuberance and excitement. He had an incredible zest for life. He enjoyed his food, his jokes, his fights and quarrels. Yet, the enjoyment he had for his science was something apart. In this pursuit it was as if his ego disappeared completely in the presence of effulgent Nature. Yes, he was truly lost in the wonder and beauty of what he was trying to comprehend.”——- S. Ramaseshan on C.V. Raman (quoted from C.V. Raman : A Pictorial Biography, Indian Academy of Sciences Bangalore)

Raman’s celebrated discovery, the Raman Effect, experimentally demonstrated that the light-quanta and molecules do exchange energy which manifests itself as a change in the colour of the scattered light. However, this phenomenon was earlier predicted theoretically by Hendrik Anthony Kramers (1894-1952) and Werner Heisenberg (1901-76). It was the most convincing proof of the quantum theory of light. This does not diminish the importance of Raman’s discovery.

As Albert Einstein (1879-1955) wrote:

“C.V. Raman was the first to recognize and demonstrate that the energy of a photon can undergo partial transformation within matter. I still recall vividly, the deep impression that this discovery made on all of us….”

Raman loved children and he derived immense pleasure in showing them his museum and the laboratories of the Raman Research Institute.

He believed that

“The true wealth of a Nation consists not in the stored-up gold in its coffers and banks, not in the factories, but in the intellectual and physical strength of its men, women and children.”

“To Raman, scientific activity was the fulfilment of an inner need. His approach to science was one of passion, curiosity and simplicity. It was an attempt to understand. To him, science was based on independent thought. Combined with hard work, science was a personal endeavour, an aesthetic pursuit and above all a joyous experience.”

Raman believed that science can be promoted only by doing it. He did not see any role for professional organizers of science. “For such people,” Raman thought “The So-called organization of science becomes more important than science itself or its values”.

Raman died on November 21, 1970. As per his desire, he was cremated in the gardens of his institute.


The tree planted on the site at the campus of Raman Research Institue where Raman was cremated; Tabebuia donnell-smithii, this tree is located in the lawn of Raman Research Institute, Bengaluru (previously Bangalore), India. This tree is a memorial to Sir C V Raman. Image source


  1. The Raman Effect
  2. Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman: A Legend of Modern Indian Science
  3. Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS)
  4. Wikipedia – various articles.

Opportunity is Here And Now: A Lesson That Can be Learned From Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya

I came across a very interesting article from a Newspaper ‘New Indian Express’ published in India, I thought I should share it on my blog.

 “Opportunity is here and now”

It’s not the lack of opportunities that prevent a person from succeeding in life.

Not using what you have on hand is a roadblock that impedes one’s success in his/her endeavours.

I do not wish to work under someone. I want to run my own business.

For that purpose, I need capital and experience. So I am working as a sales representative in an organisation. But in this profession, I have to go from house to house; organisation to organisation.

In order to meet a person, I have to wait for hours together. Even to get an appointment to see someone, I have to visit the place several times. Many look down upon me as a ‘nuisance’ and treat me so.

Because of this, my self­ esteem has suffered severe blows.

Sometimes, I feel why at all should I get into any business.

Why can’t I get employed as a clerk in a company?

When someone praises us as capable, clever, what do we think?

This person says I am intelligent. He thinks I know a lot. He calls me clever. He compares me with Chanakya. He feels that I am highly skilful. He is astounded at my intelligence…

In this manner, we create a heap of a thousand words of praise from a single word of appreciation.

Similarly, if someone calls us a fool, we add a thousand words of insult and feel depressed.

We would not look into every possible interpretation of the word, and create meanings where none exist!

Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya was the founder of The Banaras Hindu University (B.H.U), in North India.

B.H.U is one of the largest residential universities in Asia, with over 20,000 students.

Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya

In the first decade of the 20th Century, the country (India) was in abysmal depths and independence appeared like a distant dream. The total number of colleges in the country had gone up from 27 in 1857 to just 72 in 1882 and the total number of B. A. graduates in twenty-five years was 3284. Literacy was an unbelievable low of about 6% in 1900 and the educational facilities were meagre. All the five Universities which existed at that time in Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Lahore and Allahabad, were mainly examining Universities. While India had only five Universities at that time, U.K had eighteen, France– fifteen, Italy– twenty-one, Germany-twenty two, and USA– 134 Universities.

Under these conditions, it would have looked foolhardy and vain to think or even dream of the ‘post-independent India’. However, at that time, Malaviyaji started looking beyond the current milieu and the forthcoming independence. He saw from the depths/from the dark abyss into the distant future and visualized a ‘Resurgent Modern India’!!

Malaviyaji realised that ‘Modern India’ can be built by engineers, doctors, scientists & artists, only when they are imbued with high character, probity and honour. He strongly felt that all of them could be nurtured in a beautiful, big garden called the ‘University’, which should be an extension and modified version of the gurukul. Hence, in order to meet the future immense needs of the ‘Resurgent Modern India’, he visualized a ‘Modern University’ that combines the best thought and culture of the East with the best Science & Technology of the West. Source:

“Everyone knows that there is no great beggar than Pandit Malaviyaji on the face of the earth. He has never begged for himself; by the grace of God he has never been in want, but he became a voluntary beggar for causes he has made his own, and God has always filled his bowl in an over-flowing measure. But he had an insatiable appetite and although he got the crore he wanted he is still asking for more.”

Mahatma Gandhi, Silver Jubilee Adress, 21st Jan 1942.

Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya worked with determination to start the University.

There was a crisis for funds, but he did not get disheartened. He went from town to town, met many rich men and traders to collect donations.

Malaviyaji undertook frequent tours to request and persuade the rulers and rich men of various states to donate to the noble cause.

It took the Prince of Beggars, as Malaviyaji was popularly known, nearly two years from 15th July 1911 to 28th April 1913 to collect the minimum required the amount of Rs (I.N.R) 50 lakhs to start serious negotiations with the representatives of the British Government of India. It is not only the rich but also the poor and the lowly responded generously to Pandit Madan  Mohan Malaviya’s call. It is said that a woman offered her bangles for the cause and a courtesan her day’s earnings! [Source:

He went to the Nizam of Hyderabad to request him for funds.

The last Nizam was well known for his huge wealth and jewellery collection; he had been the richest man in the world until the end of his reign

The Nizam was furious,

“How dare you come to me for funds… that too for a Hindu University?” he roared with anger and took off his footwear and flung them at Malviya.

Malviya picked up the footwear and left silently. He came directly to the marketplace and began to auction the footwear. As it was the Nizam’s footwear, many came forward to buy it. The price went up. When the Nizam heard of this, he became uneasy. He thought it would be an insult if his footwear were to be bought by someone for a pittance. So he sent one of his attendants with the instruction,

“Buy that footwear no matter what the bidding price be!”

Thus, Malviya managed to sell the Nizam’s own footwear to him, for a huge amount. He used that money to build the Banaras Hindu University!

The Benares Hindu University Act was passed on 1st October 1915 and came into force from 1st April 1916. The foundation stone was laid on 4th February 1916 by H.E.Lord Hardinge, the then Viceroy & Governor General of India. The first colleges to be started were: The Central Hindu College (Oct 1917), The College of Oriental Learning (July 1918), The Teachers Training College (Aug 1918) and The Engineering College (Aug 1919). []

I only wish to tell this to all those young men who are without an ideal or a goal in life.

Do you know what prevents a person from succeeding?

It is not his lack of skills or qualifications.

It is not what you have, but it is how you use what you have, which makes a difference in your life.

The greatness of the Vision depends mostly on its far-sightedness, it’s clarity, it’s magnitude, and it’s wide canvas.

Normally, the farther one looks into the future, hazier is the picture.  

While the ordinary see nothing but the dark clouds, the visionary sees a bright star shining in the distance.

He/She then paints it for others with all the clarity on a wide canvas.

Do not give up under the impression that ‘Opportunity is No Where!’ Take that sentence in the right spirit that ‘Opportunity is Now Here!’ and move forward with your life!

“No aspect of Malaviya ji is hidden from me. I am well aware of his simplicity, purity, tenderness, and love. From all these virtues of him, you must take as much as you (students & teachers) can. If someone can not take the warmth of Sun, even being in the open, it is not the fault of Sun. Sun itself gives warmth to one and all. If someone does not want to take it and shivers in cold then what can Sun do? Being so close to Malaviyaji, if you cannot learn from his life simplicity, sacrifice, patriotism, large-heartedness, universal love and other virtues, then who can be a greater unlucky person than you?”     

Mahatma Gandhi

“Patriotism and service to the motherland is food for Malaviya Ji. He can never, ever leave it, just as it is impossible to leave daily recitation of BhagwadGita. Patriotism and service to motherland together is the breath of life for him. That is why till he breathes he will ceaselessly continue to serve motherland and humanity.” 

Mahatma Gandhi, from monthly periodical ‘VishwaJyoti’, Jan 1962.

When I returned to my Country, I first went to Lokamanya Tilak. He appeared tall like the Himalayas. I thought it was not possible for me to scale the heights and returned. Then I went to Deshbandhu Gokhale. He appeared deep like the Ocean. I saw that it was not possible for me to gauge the depth and returned. Finally, I went to Mahamana Malaviya and he appeared like the pure flow of Ganga. I saw it was possible to take bath in the sacred flow.      

Mahatma Gandhi

His personality cannot be condensed in a few words. Mahatma Gandhi called him “praatah smaraniyal”, a pious person whose name when remembered in the morning would lift one out of the mire of one’s sordid self. Gandhiji compared Tilak to the lofty Himalayas, Gokhale to the deep seas and Malaviyaji to the crystal clear sacred river in which he decided to have ablution! Malaviyaji’s gentle, sweet, soft and graceful nature was a true reflection of his abundant love for humanity. A British official commented that Malaviyaji ‘wore the white flower of a blameless life’.

Edgar Snow, a journalist, wrote that his personality radiated ‘the sweetness and simplicity of a child, yet his words carried the strength and conviction of a man with a settled philosophy of life’. For all his sweetness he could still be tougher than the toughest when occasion demanded it. Dr S. Radhakrishnan said                             “Pandit Malaviyaji is a Karmayogi. He is not only a representative of Hinduism but the soul of Hinduism. He had strived all through his life for the Hindu ideals and we see the combination of idealism and practical wisdom……. While preserving the imperishable treasures of our past, he is keen on moving forward with the times”.

Malaviyaji visualized the importance of education and the hardships of the students early in life. He set up the ‘MacDonald Hindu Boarding House to accommodate 230 students in 1903 in Allahabad, by collecting a public donation of Rs (I.N.R) 1.3 lakhs. This appears to be the precursor for his grand vision of the Banaras Hindu University, which he built up from a vision in 1900 to a reality in 1916. These examples show his keen analysis of a problem, ability to think of a workable solution, motivate a team to work, collect a large number of funds for a public cause and realize the dream.

Gopala Krishna Gokhale said

“Malaviyaji’s sacrifice is a real one. Born in a poor family, he started earning thousands monthly. He tasted luxury and wealth but giving heed to the call of the nation, renouncing all he again embraced poverty”.

Adapted from

‘Swami Sukhabodhananda’- The New Indian Express.

Published Date: Sep 27, 2012, 10:28 AM

23/01/2016 Opportunity is here and now

Dr. House (a Television Character) An Enigma And His Demeanours

Gregory House, M.D. — typically referred to simply as House — is the title character of the American medical drama House. House was the most-watched television program in the world in 2008.

Portrayed by English actor Hugh Laurie, he leads a team of diagnosticians as the Head of Diagnostic Medicine at the fictional Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey based on Yale-New Haven Hospital.
House’s character, created by David Shore, has been described as a

misanthrope (someone who dislikes people in general),

cynic, (someone who is critical of the motives of others)

narcissist, (someone in love with themselves)


curmudgeon (A crusty irascible cantankerous old person full of stubborn ideas)(An ill-tempered (and frequently old) person full of stubborn ideas or opinions.),

which was named one of the top television words of 2005 in honour of the character.

“There’s a cranky curmudgeon working at the hospital who gives all the patients and other doctors flak.”

He is the only character to appear in all 177 episodes and except for Wilson’s brief appearance, is the only regular character to appear in the season six premiere.

  • The humor itself is glorious, more than enough to draw in fans despite a repetitious plot. House’s deadpan humor and caustic verbal strikes entertain the viewers while also shedding some light on the history of a broken man. Still, the most entertaining part of the show was simply watching House at his work, which, in retrospect, was the whole point of the show. The entire show, based on Sherlock Holmes (did you catch the name pun), was meant to show off the brilliance of a detective at his work–his medical work.
  • House describes the story of a doctor in Japan, who was a social outcast by birthright. The doctor was brilliant and was able to garner the respect of other doctors simply because he was needed. In this story, I see an example of how beautiful it is to watch a professional at his job. Some will say that baseball can be a boring sport to watch. However, watching a brilliant pitcher who can control the wind up manipulate the ball is fascinating. A brilliant mathematician weaves ideas and algorithms to create new discoveries. Many people can think brilliant and artistic thoughts, but professional writers are the ones who weave them onto paper and into stories. People often talk about the beauty of art, but there is beauty in any profession.
  • In one single word, I see beauty. Whether it’s restraint of the body, manipulation of words, or simply control of a tool, the control of the craft is what sparks this beauty. Yes, “House M.D.” is fiction. However, it is fascinating to watch his redirection of ideas and his attention to details, details that everybody sees, but that only he notices. I’m not pleading for a sudden binge-watch of the “House” series. I’m making a small request: next time that you have a chance, watch a professional and notice the fluidity with which they can attack their work. Source: What “House M.D.” has to Say About The Beauty Of Your Craft

In the series, the character’s unorthodox diagnostic approaches, radical therapeutic motives, and stalwart rationality have resulted in much conflict between him and his colleagues. House often clashes with his fellow physicians, including his own diagnostic team, because many of his hypotheses about patients’ illnesses are based on subtle or controversial insights. His flouting of hospital rules and procedures frequently leads him into conflict with his boss, hospital administrator and Dean of Medicine Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein). House’s only true friend is Dr. James Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard), head of the Department of Oncology.

House is also often portrayed as lacking sympathy for his patients, a practice that allots him time to solve pathological enigmas.

The character is partly inspired by Sherlock Holmes. A portion of the show’s plot centers on House’s habitual use of Vicodin (Hydrocodone/paracetamol, hydrocodone/acetaminophen, or hydrocodone/APAP (or under brand names such as Lortab, Norco and Vicodin) is a combination opioid narcotic analgesic drug consisting of hydrocodone and paracetamol (acetaminophen) used to relieve moderate to severe pain.) to manage pain stemming from a leg infarction involving his quadriceps muscle some years earlier, an injury that forces him to walk with a cane. This addiction is also one of the many parallels to Holmes, who was a habitual user of cocaine. Source: Gregory House


References to Sherlock Holmes

References to the fact that Gregory House was based on the famous fictional detective Sherlock Holmes created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle appear throughout the series.

Shore explained that he was always a Holmes fan and found the character’s indifference to his clients unique.
  • The resemblance is evident in House’s reliance on deductive reasoning and psychology, even where it might not seem obviously applicable, and his reluctance to accept cases he finds uninteresting. His investigatory method is to eliminate diagnoses logically as they are proved impossible; Holmes used a similar method.
  • Both characters play instruments (House plays the piano, the guitar, and the harmonica; Holmes, the violin) and take drugs (House is dependent on Vicodin; Holmes uses cocaine recreationally).
  • House’s relationship with Dr. James Wilson echoes that between Holmes and his confidant, Dr. John Watson. Robert Sean Leonard, who portrays Wilson, said that House and his character—whose name is very similar to Watson’s—were originally intended to work together much as Holmes and Watson do; in his view, House’s diagnostic team has assumed that aspect of the Watson role. Wilson even has a dead-beat brother who may be dead, like Watson’s dead alcoholic brother. (season 1, episode 10) Shore said that House’s name itself is meant as “a subtle homage” to Holmes. House’s address is 221B Baker Street, a direct reference to Holmes’s street address. Wilson’s address is also 221B.

Gregory House, M.D., often construed as a misanthropic medical genius, heads a team of diagnosticians at the Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey. Most episodes revolve around the diagnosis of a primary patient and start with a precredits scene set outside the hospital, showing events ending with the onset of the patient’s symptoms. The typical episode follows the team in their attempts to diagnose and treat the patient’s illness, which often fail until the patient’s condition is critical. They usually treat only patients whom other doctors have not accurately diagnosed, and House routinely rejects cases that he does not find interesting. The story lines tend to focus on his unconventional medical theories and practices, and on the other characters’ reactions to them, rather than on the details of the treatments.
The team employs the differential diagnosis method, listing possible etiologies on a whiteboard, then eliminating most of them, usually because one of the team (most often House) provides logical reasons for ruling them out. Typically, the patient is misdiagnosed at least once and accordingly receives some treatments that are at best useless; this usually causes further complications, but—as the nature of the complications often provides valuable new evidence—eventually these help them diagnose the patient correctly. House often tends to arrive at the correct diagnosis seemingly out of the blue, often inspired by a passing remark made by another character. Diagnoses range from relatively common to very rare diseases.
The team faces many diagnostic difficulties from patients’ concealment of symptoms, circumstances, or personal histories, so House frequently proclaims during the team’s deliberations, “The patient is lying”, or mutters “Everybody lies”; such an assumption guides House’s decisions and diagnoses, and makes the countermeasure of housebreaking a routine procedure. Because many of his hypotheses are based on epiphanies or controversial insights, he often has trouble obtaining permission for medical procedures he considers necessary from his superior, who in all but the final season is hospital administrator Dr. Lisa Cuddy. This is especially the case when the proposed procedures involve a high degree of risk or are ethically questionable. Frequent disagreements occur between House and his team, especially Dr. Allison Cameron, whose standards of medical ethics are more conservative than those of the other characters.
Like all of the hospital’s doctors, House is required to treat patients in the facility’s walk-in clinic. His grudging fulfillment of this duty, or his creative methods of avoiding it, constitute a recurring subplot, which often serves as the series’ comic relief. During clinic duty, House confounds patients with unwelcome observations into their personal lives, eccentric prescriptions, and unorthodox treatments. However, after seeming to be inattentive to their complaints, he regularly impresses them with rapid and accurate diagnoses. Analogies with some of the simple cases in the clinic occasionally inspire insights that help solve the team’s case.

“It’s not a show about addiction, but you can’t throw something like this into the mix and not expect it to be noticed and commented on. There have been references to the amount of his consumption increasing over time. It’s becoming less and less useful a tool for dealing with his pain, and it’s something we’re going to continue to deal with, continue to explore.”
—Shore on House’s Vicodin addiction

House first attended Johns Hopkins University as an undergraduate. Before fully committing to medicine as his discipline, he considered getting a Ph.D. in Physics, researching dark matter. He was accepted to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and excelled during his time there. He was a front runner for a prestigious and competitive internship at the Mayo Clinic; however, another student, Philip Weber, caught him cheating, resulting in his expulsion from Johns Hopkins and rejection from the internship. While appealing his expulsion, he studied at the University of Michigan Medical School, and worked at a bookstore, where he met his future employer and love interest Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein).

House eventually became a Board certified diagnostician with a double specialty in infectious disease and nephrology.

House’s character frequently shows off his cunning and biting wit and enjoys picking people apart and mocking their weaknesses. House accurately deduces people’s motives and histories from aspects of their personality, appearance, and behaviour. His friend and colleague Wilson says some doctors have the “Messiah complex” — they need to “save the world” — but House has the “Rubik’s complex” — he needs to “solve the puzzle”. House typically waits as long as possible before meeting his patients. When he does, he shows an unorthodox bedside manner and uses unconventional treatments. However, he impresses them with rapid and accurate diagnoses after seemingly not paying attention. This skill is demonstrated in a scene where House diagnoses an entire waiting room full of patients in little over one minute on his way out of the hospital clinic. Critics have described the character as “moody”, “bitter”, “antagonistic”, “misanthropic”, “cynical”, “grumpy”, “maverick”,[40] “anarchist”, “sociopath”, and a “curmudgeon”. The Global Language Monitor chose the word “curmudgeon” as the best way to describe the character.

I infact like him, but characters like him wouldn’t survive in Indian conditions.

Sometimes we forget goodness of a person in the din of negativity. There are many good character traits of Dr. House,

First, he  always involves his team members to arrive at a diagnosis, sometimes even forcefully.

Secondly, he always try to take a point of view, independent of higher authorities, and accepts full responsibility for all his demeanours and decisions.

Thirdly, he never tries to take credit for what duly belongs to others.

Fourthly, though his methods and strategies are highly questionable, he always tries to help his friends, keeping an eye over them protecting them from harm, but sometimes, putting them in trouble, most of the times, without their permission, and without their knowledge.

Fifthly, he never punishes or reprimands his team members for arriving at a wrong diagnosis, but does so, when they dare not think differently.

Sixthly, and the most important reason being that most of the criticisms that Dr. House face, is because of the way he handles his patients, no emotional attachment of any sorts, no sympathy, no clinical examination. But then, he always gets rarest of rare cases/diseases and patients with an illness at a terminal stage, where a patient has already been rejected for a possible cure by many doctors, he neither has the time nor resources to even ponder over such luxuries. Furthermore, he has his protégés to do that job for him. He dislikes attending to his patients individually, mainly because he thinks doing so would develop an emotional bond between the two, which as a result would hinder his critical thinking process in arriving at a correct diagnosis.

Seventhly, Dr. House has  a keen sense of observation, and his memory, which would not let him forget even the very fine details.

Hugh Laurie (Dr. House) portrays a character that is adept at finding solutions to complex or obscure diseases.The only potential problem is his tendency to break the rules. Dr. House might not care much to preserve patients’ sanity, but this allows him to calculate the course of action that guarantees the highest possible chance of survival.

If he followed all the rules, most of his patients would have died.

House doesn’t think invading privacy is an issue, so long as the patients are able to live. This applies to countless other rules that he breaks in order to get the job done.

This series gives enough evidence, proving that even doctors are humans and have their own set of problems, which have to be dealt with simultaneously along with daily chores.

Evolution of Indomitable spirit in youth by Dr A P J Abdul Kalam

Evolution of Indomitable spirit in youth

Great books ignite imagination,

Imagination leads to creativity,

Creativity blossoms thinking,

Thinking provides knowledge,

Knowledge makes you great.


Criteria for achievement for youth

Dear friends, When I see you young friends, I thought of sharing an ancient

poem and modified to suit the occasion.

Can you all repeat with me?

Wings to Fly

“I am born with potential.

I am born with goodness and trust.

I am born with ideas and dreams.

I am born with greatness.

I am born with confidence.

I am born with wings.

I am not meant for crawling,

So I won’t, I have wings,

I will fly, fly and fly”

My message to you, young friends, is that

education gives you wings to fly.

Achievement comes out of fire in our sub- conscious mind that

“I will win”

So, each one of you assembled here and elsewhere, will have

“Wings of Fire”

The Wing of Fire will indeed lead to knowledge which will make you to fly as a Doctor, or

an Engineer, or a teacher, or a political leader, or a bureaucrat or a scientist or anything

you want to be.

Unique You

Dear friends, look up, what do you see, the light, the electric bulbs. Immediately, our

thoughts go to the inventor

Thomas Alva Edison,


for his unique contribution towards the invention of electric bulb and his  electrical lighting system. Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Dubbed as “The Wizard of Menlo Park”.

When you hear the sound of aeroplane going over your house, whom do you think of?

Wright Brothers

proved that man could fly of course at heavy risk and cost.

  • The Wright brothers, Orville (August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948) and Wilbur (April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912), were two American brothers, inventors, and aviation pioneers who are credited with inventing and building the world’s first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903, four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. In 1904-1905 the brothers developed their flying machine into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft. Although not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, the Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible.

    File:Orville Wright Signature.svgFile:Wilbur Wright Signature.svg

File:Orville Wright 1905-crop.jpgFile:Wilbur Wright-crop.jpg

Image Source

Whom does the telephone remind you of?

Of course,

Alexander Graham Bell


When everybody considered a sea travel as an experience or a voyage, a unique person

questioned during his sea travel from United Kingdom to India.

During a voyage to Europe in 1921, he noticed the blue colour of glaciers and the

Mediterranean sea.[]

He was motivated to discover the reason for the blue colour.

He carried out experiments regarding the scattering of light by water and transparent

blocks of ice which explained the phenomenon. He discovered that when light traverses a

transparent material, some of the deflected light changes in wavelength. This

phenomenon, subsequently known as Raman scattering, results from the Raman effect.

In 1954 India honoured him with its highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna.

Of course,

Sir C.V. Raman

was awarded, 1930 Nobel Prize for Physics.

For further details kindly read “The Raman Effect”.

Do you know an Indian Mathematician who did not have formal higher education but had inexhaustible spirit and love for mathematics which took him to contribute to the treasure houses of mathematical research – some of which are still under serious study and engaging all-available world mathematicians’ efforts to establish formal proofs. He was a unique Indian genius who could melt the heart of the most hardened and outstanding Cambridge mathematician Prof G H Hardy. In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that it was Prof. Hardy who discovered a great mathematician for the world. This mathematician was of-course

Srinivasa Ramanujan

File:Srinivasa Ramanujan - OPC - 1.jpgFile:Srinivasa Ramanujan signature.gifImage Source

for whom every number was a divine manifestation.

He often said,

“An equation for me has no meaning, unless it represents a thought of God.” 

Do you know about a great human being with a spirit of service, who also won a 1979 Nobel

Peace Prize for her contributions?

She said and practiced, Give give and give, until it hurts“.

She is

Mother Teresa

Friends, there was a great scientific lady who is known for discovering radiation. She won not one, but two Nobel prizes, one for physics and another for chemistry. 

She shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband Pierre Curie and with physicist Henri Becquerel. She won the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Who is she?

She is Madam Curie.

Madam Curie discovered radium and she was doing research on the effect of radiation on human system. The same radiation which she discovered, affected her and she sacrificed her life for removing the pain of human life.

Friends, I have, so far, met 18 million youth in a decade’s time. I learnt,

“every youth wants to be unique, that is, YOU!

But the world all around you, is doing its best, day and night, to make you just

“everybody else”.

In the  home, dear young fellows you are asked by your parents to be like neighours children for scoring good  marks. When you go to school, your teachers says

“why not you become like the first five rankers in the  class”.

Wherever you go, they are saying “you have to somebody else or everybody else”. Now dear young friends, how many of you would like to be unique yourself. The challenge, my young friends, is that you have to fight the hardest battle, which any human being can ever imagine to fight; and never stop fighting until you arrive at your destined place, that is,


Friends what will be your tools to fight this battle, what are they: have a great aim in

life, continuously acquire the knowledge, work hard and persevere to realize the great


How to make impossible possible?

Dear students, it is said,

History has proven that those who dare to imagine the impossible are the ones who break all human limitations. In every field of human endeavor, whether science, medicine, sports, the arts, or technology, the names of the people who imagined the impossible and achieved are engraved in our history. By breaking the limits of their imagination, they changed the world.”

Let us see a few creative minds who made impossible possible by their indomitable (impossible to subdue) spirit.

Human flight is nothing but creativity of human mind and it undergoes several struggles to achieve excellence.

In 1895, a great well-known scientist

Lord Kelvin,

who was the President of Royal Society of London said, “anything heavier than air cannot fly, and cannot be  flown.”

Within a decade, Wright Brothers proved man could fly in 1903.

On the successful completion of Moon Mission in 1969,

Von Braun,

a very famous rocket designer, who built Saturn-V, to launch the capsule with astronauts and made moon walk a reality, in 1975 said

“If I am authorized, I will remove the word impossible”.

In ancient days, Ptolemaic astronomy

is a widely used system in calculating the dynamics of various stars and planets.

Assumption by then was that the earth is flat. What a scientific struggle had to take place to prove that the earth is spherical in shape orbiting around the sun. The three great astronomers





had to give a new dimension to the world of astronomy. Today we take it for granted that

earth is a globe, orbiting around the sun, and the sun orbits in the Milky Way.

All the technological advancements we have today are the outcome of scientific

exploration of scientists of earlier centuries.

At no time, man was beaten by problems.

He strives continuously to subjugate impossibility and then succeeds.

Dear friends, what lessons do we learn from all these achievements?

According to the laws of aerodynamics the

Bumble bee

should never be able to fly. Because of the size, weight, and shape of its body in relationship to the total wing span, flying is scientifically impossible. The bumble bee, being ignorant of scientific theory, goes ahead and flies anyway. Because it wants to fly and it is flying. I would like the youth assembled here to take a lesson from these examples and work to make everything possible, because they are unique.

  • Explained: The Physics-Defying Flight of the Bumblebee – The fluid dynamics behind bumblebees’ flight are different from those that allow a plane to fly. An airplane’s wing forces air down, which in turn pushes the wing (and the plane it’s attached to) upward. For bugs, it isn’t so simple. The wing sweeping is a bit like a partial spin of a “somewhat crappy” helicopter propeller, Dickinson said, but the angle to the wing also creates vortices in the airlike small hurricanes. The eyes of those mini-hurricanes have lower pressure than the surrounding air, so, keeping those eddies of air above its wings helps the bee stay aloft.

Will-power can defeat any problem.

Friends, recently I visited a village called Harali in Kolhapur District of Maharashtra, where I met over 2000 of students hailing from different schools. When I was about to get down from the stage after finishing my lecture and interaction, a young boy about 18 years of age, held in the arms of his mother cried to meet me. I called both of them on to the stage. The polio affected boy could not walk, but he was strong in will power. He told me,

“My name is Shailesh and I  am from this village Harali. You told us to have a dream. I am here to tell you my dream. I am a chess player. I will  work very hard and someday I will become a Grand Master”.

I wished Shailesh all the best, who has a strong will power and said,

“You will succeed. Definitely, God is with you.? Dear friends, the message is the ‘Will power can  defeat any problem’.”

Knowledge equation

Dear students, what you will acquire during your studies in your schools, a great friend is accompanying you.

Who is that friend?

That friend is – knowledge. Now, I am going to give the knowledge equation.

Knowledge = Creativity + Righteousness + Courage


“Learning gives creativity

Creativity leads to thinking

Thinking provides knowledge

Knowledge makes you great”

The next component of knowledge is righteousness.

Righteousness is described in a divine hymn.


Where there is righteousness in the heart

There is beauty in the character.

When there is beauty in the character,

there is harmony in the home.

When there is harmony in the home.

There is an order in the nation.

When there is order in the nation,

There is peace in the world.

Now the question is:

How do we inculcate the righteousness in the heart?

In my opinion, there are three sources which can build a youth with righteousness in the


One is mother,

second is father in a spiritual environment and the

third and the most important is the teacher, particularly primary school teacher.

The third component is courage, which is defined as follows:


Courage to think different,

Courage to invent,

Courage to travel into an unexplored path,

Courage to discover the impossible,

Courage to combat the problems and succeed,

are the unique qualities of the youth.

As a youth of my nation, I will work and work with courage to achieve success in all the missions.

Where from you will acquire knowledge?

Home, good books, teachers and teaching environment, coming into contact with good human beings, teaching websites in internet. When the schools teach the students to use the knowledge with creativity, righteousness and courage, nation will have large number of empowered and enlightened citizens, which is vital for the growth of the individual, growth of the family, growth of nation and promotion of peace in the world.

What can I do for you? – The Leadership quality

Every one of us has gone through the various phases of education from childhood to profession. Please visualize a scene – a child, a teenager, an adult and a leader. How does each one react to a particular situation? The situation is human need.

The child asks,

“What can you do for me?”

The teenager says, “I want to do it alone”.

The young person proclaims,

“let us do it together”.

The leader offers, “What can I do for you”.

So, the teachers have got a tremendous responsibility to transform a child into a leader ? the transformation of ‘what can you do for me’ to ‘what can I do for you’. That will demand a teacher to be a visionary with an inspiring capability. Also, the teacher has to ensure that they impart learning to the children in such a way as to bring out the best in them and for this, he or she has to be a good teacher himself/herself. I am sure, the best of creativity among the students will emerge by integrated influence of teachers and parents.

Young Innovators

As a fellow teacher, I can state that the teachers are the backbone of any country- a pillar upon which all aspirations of the country are built to become realities. Education is the learning process and leads to creativity. The creativity is indeed the result of the education process and the environment of the school and above all the teachers’ capability igniting the minds of the students.

The essence of it can be seen in the following verses:

Learning gives creativity

Creativity leads to thinking,

Thinking provides knowledge

Knowledge makes you great.

Conclusion: Oath for the Youth

  1. I will have a goal and work hard to achieve that goal. I realize that small aim is a crime.
  2. I will be a good member of my family, a good member of the society, a good member of the nation and a good member of the world.
  3. I will work with integrity and succeed with integrity
  4.  I will always try to save or better someone’s life, without any discrimination of caste, creed, language religion or state.
  5. I will always protect and enhance the dignity of every human life without any bias.
  6. I will always remember the importance of time. My motto will be “Let not my winged days, be spent in vain”.
  7. I will always work for clean planet Earth and clean energy.
  8. As a youth of my nation, I will work and work with courage to achieve success in all my tasks and enjoy the success of others.
  9. My National Flag flies in my heart and I will bring glory to my nation.

My best wishes to all of you success in educational missions.


Dr. A.P.J Abdulkalam

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

Great Teachers inspire the youth….by Dr A P J Abdul Kalam

May I be a protector for those without one,
A guide for all travellers on the way;
May I be a bridge, a boat and a ship
For all who wish to cross (the water).

….. by Acharya Shantideva,
a Buddhist Master of 8th century
(Nalanda University)

When I see you all teacher friends, I see in front of me a source of creativity.

What is creativity?


“Learning gives creativity

Creativity leads to thinking

Thinking provides knowledge

Knowledge makes you great”

How many great people for the planet earth, the great teachers have created.

Friends, you are the creators of creativity.

My greetings to all of you.

Friends, teachers create beautiful minds. Beautiful minds are creative and many times with indomitable (impossible to subdue) spirit. Our nation was fortunate to have beautiful minds in science, humanities, law, industry and political leadership right from our pre- independent period who were created by great teachers and due to whose efforts, we are experiencing the freedom and growth of our country today. I was also enriched by my teachers at various phases of my life. When I am in this atmosphere of great givers, I would like to talk on the topicGreat teachers inspire the youth.

My perceptions of teachers with myself as a student and teacher

Friends, the relationship between teacher and student is very unique. A teacher lives through the entire life journey of a student. A teacher inspires students by his role model behaviour. A teacher enjoys the success of the student even more than his own. A teacher is inspired by the curiosity and creativity of the student and learns more and more to help the student.

Teacher Muthu Iyer: It was the year 1936, I recall my initiation of education at the age of 5 years in Rameswaram (a city in southern India)  Panchayat elementary school. I had a Teacher Muthu Iyer who took special interest to me mainly because I performed very well in a class exercise which he gave to all the students. He was impressed and next day he came to my house to tell my father that I was a very good student. My parents were happy and got my favourite sweet from my mother.

Another important event while I was in first class which I can not forget. One day I did not turn up to my school. Teacher Muthu Iyer noticed my absence and same evening he came to my father to ask what the problem was and why did I not go to school and whether he can do anything to help me. On that day, I was having a fever. Another important thing, which he noticed was my handwriting was very poor. He gave a three-page writing exercise and told my father that he should ensure that I do the exercise every day regularly. By these actions of my teacher Muthu Iyer, my father told me in later years that teacher Muthu Iyer is not only a good teacher to me in teaching but he influenced and shaped me with good habits.

My another teacher in the primary school, Shri Sivasubramania Iyer not only taught me about bird flight but also put the spark of a mission in life of pursuing a career in flight. My college lecturer Prof. Thothari Iyenger was not only an expert teacher but also introduced me to great people like ancient astronomer Aryabhata, inspired me for life. My teacher Rev Iyyadurai Solomon focused importance purity in life through his life and lifestyle. Rev Fr. Chinnathurai taught me nuclear physics. They way he taught, I loved the subject and later it has become a passion. Now he lives in Dindigal, India. I am meeting quite often and give my respect. A few days back, I was very happy to see my teacher’s best wishes on my birthday on 15 October 2010. These teachers and others come in front of me whenever I have to deal with some practical and sometimes difficult problems in life. When I was teaching Societal Transformation in Anna University, I realised the power of youth to inspire a teacher. Their attention, their questions, their aspirations and above all their affection, motivate a teacher to excel. When I have been with the I.I.M ( Indian Institute of Management) Ahmedabad students or with students of Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky, U.S.A or when I field questions of several from the 17 million students I have addressed, I realize how the combined power of students and teachers can make a difference to society.

‘Teachers’ who love teaching, teach children to love ‘Learning’.

Friends, I just see a scene in a school having about 50 teachers and 750 students headed by a Principal. It is simply a place of beauty for creativity and learning.

How is it possible?

It is because the school management and the Principal selected the teachers who love teaching, who treat the students as their sons, grandsons or granddaughters. The children see the teacher, as a role model in teaching and how always they look pious through their daily way of life.

Above all, I see an environment in which there is nothing like a good student, average student or poor student. The whole school and the teacher system is involved in generating students who perform the best. As I said about my primary school teacher Shri Sivasubramania Iyer, who taught me, when I was a ten-year-old boy, how the birds fly, in the classroom, and later by taking us to the seashore to give a practical example. The way he taught, gave me what to dream of life and what should be the pattern of education which I have to follow. And above all what should be the traits, I should possess based on teachers life both inside the classroom and in the village. When my classroom students in primary school and secondary school observed and learn a unique experience. When certain teachers walk, students saw the radiation of knowledge of the teachers and the purity life from the teachers’ lives. This race of teachers should multiply.

Teacher as a facilitator of innovation

Friends, teachers have to emerge as a facilitator of new ideas and lead to lifelong innovative thinking in the young minds.

This reminds me of a poem “The Student’s Prayer” by a Chilean biologist Maturana. I will narrate a few lines from the poem.

The Student’s Prayer

Show me so that I can stand

On your shoulders.

Reveal yourself so that I can be

Something different.

Don’t impose on me what you know,

I want to explore the unknown

And be the source of my own discoveries.

Let the known be my liberation, not my slavery.

I am sure, the teachers assembled here would be a great facilitator of learning and innovation. Now I would like to talk about creative teachers.

Creative teachers

During my visit to Singapore and Finland, I have seen that there are exclusive schools for teaching primary school teachers. The curriculum is rigorous (painstakingly careful and accurate) and the students have to qualify with distinction before being appointed as primary school teachers. This type of capacity building may be taking place in our country in certain places. It has to spread all over the country; so that, all our rural schools also have high-quality teachers, who are equipped to build creative capacity among the children. These aspects may be taken into account while teachers go for training.

The traits of Nobel minds

When I am in the midst of great teachers, I thought of sharing with you an incident about Sir CV Raman, a Nobel Laureate in Physics for discovering Raman Effect. Raman scattering or the Raman effect is the inelastic scattering of a photon. It was discovered by C. V. Raman and K. S. Krishnan in liquids, and by G. Landsberg and L. I. Mandelstam in crystals. The effect had been predicted theoretically by Adolf Smekal in 1923.

  • When photons are scattered from an atom or molecule, most photons are elastically scattered (Rayleigh scattering), such that the scattered photons have the same energy (frequency and wavelength) as the incident photons. A small fraction of the scattered photons (approximately 1 in 10 million) are scattered by an excitation, with the scattered photons having a frequency different from, and usually lower than, that of the incident photons. In a gas, Raman scattering can occur with a change in energy of a molecule due to a transition to another (usually higher) energy level. Raman Scattering

Sir C.V. Raman was in the first batch of Bharat Ratna Award winners. Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian honour, conferred for exceptional service towards advancement of Art, Literature and Science, and in recognition of public service of the highest order by the Government of India. The award ceremony was to take place in the last week of January, soon after the Republic Day celebrations of 1954. The then President Dr. Rajendra Prasad wrote to  Sir C. V. Raman inviting him to be the personal guest in the Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, India, when Raman comes to Delhi for the award ceremony.

Sir CV Raman wrote a polite letter, regretting his inability to go. Raman had a noble reason for his inability to attend the investiture ceremony. He explained to the President that he was guiding a Ph.D. student and that thesis was positively due by the last day of January. The student was valiantly trying to wrap it all up and Raman felt, he had to be by the side of the research student, see that the thesis was finished, sign the thesis as the guide and then have it submitted. Here was a scientist who gave up the pomp of a glittering ceremony associated with the highest honour, because he felt that his duty required him to be by the side of the student. It is this unique trait of giving value to science that builds science.

An ideal Teacher

An ideal teacher is the one, who visualises every student to be having unlimited potential, without any kind of bias, for or against anyone.

Some time back, I met a teacher who has become a role model to all his students. I asked him what was the secret of his success. He told me the following:

  1. He has been able to adapt himself to the age of the student.
  2. He practices everything he expects his students to do.
  3. He ensures transparency in all his transactions and treats all students alike, irrespective of their religion, caste, language and economic status.
  4. He has a foresight and visualises the student’s growth in long-term perspective.
  5. During the 11 years of his tenure, he has ensured that at least 2000 students who were average performers have been groomed to excel in their studies.

I am sure many educationists and teachers assembled here would reflect these characteristics and also add few more important traits.

Dynamics of Smile

When we see a child, we see the innocent smile of the child. When we come across, the child in the Primary School, the smile is reduced, since the child has to carry a heavy school bag. When we see the child in their teens, their smile slowly fades away and the sign of concern appears. This is because of the anxiety about the future. When they complete their education, the question uppermost in their mind is,

What will I do with my education?

Will I get an employment?

Will I get a proper employment?

Can the Principals and teachers see this dynamics of smiles of the child and preserve the smile in their faces when they complete their school education. The Student should be confident that “he can do it”, he should have the self-esteem and the capability to become an employment generator rather being an employment seeker. The management of education and a leader in education have to facilitate such type of creative teacher in large numbers in primary school and then the secondary school. This transformation can only be brought about by a teacher who has a vision to transform, who has the ability to take risk against all challenges, who is a good listener, who is a good innovator, who maintains a cordial interpersonal or intrapersonal relationship, and who has the ability to carry the parents, community, media and the teachers for accomplishing the vision of generating an enlightened citizen of the nation.

Generosity in making his students Nobel laureate

Chandrasekhar Subramanyan’s most famous discovery was the astrophysical Chandrasekhar limit. The limit describes the maximum mass (~1.44 solar masses) of a white dwarf star, or equivalently, the minimum mass for which a star will ultimately collapse into a neutron star or black hole following a supernova. The limit was first calculated by Chandrasekhar while on a ship from India to Cambridge, England. The Chandrasekhar Limit led to the determination of how long a star of particular mass will shine. In 1983, Chandrasekhar Subramanyan got the Nobel Prize for this discovery. Two of Chandrasekhar’s students in 1947 were the doctoral candidates Tsung-Dao Lee and Chen Ning Yang in Particle Physics research. Even though Chandrasekhar Subramanyan maintained his office at the Yerkes Observatory in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, he would regularly drive the one hundred miles to Chicago to guide and teach Lee and Yang and others many a time in difficult weather conditions. In 1957, these two of his students won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work in particle physics research. This also brings out Chandrasekhar Subramanyan’s commitment to science and thereby to his students. Science indeed is a lifetime mission for Chandrasekhar. It is this characteristic which makes youth to become passionate towards science.

Mission of Teaching

When I look at you dear friends, I see one integrated system of education, the system of learning and system of knowledge.

The seeds of peace in the world have their origin in the righteousness in the heart of every individual. Such righteous citizens lead to the evolution of enlightened society. Education with value system has to be so designed that the righteousness in the heart is developed in young minds. That should be the mission of education. The prime learning environment is five to seventeen years of age for over 25,000 hours. This reminds me of an ancient Greek teacher’s saying,

Give me a child for seven years; afterwards, let God or devil take the child. They cannot change the child“.

This indicates the power of great teachers. True education is the acquisition of enlightened feelings and enlightened powers to understand daily events and to understand the permanent truth by linking citizen, to his environment, human and planet we live. I would like to quote from the great philosopher Dr. S. Radhakrishnan particularly for the benefit of students and teachers –

“The sense of human need is there and the teacher can satisfy it by giving to the youth an idea of the fundamental power and worth of a man, his spiritual dignity as a man, a supra-national culture and an all-embracing humanity.”

My best wishes to all the teachers assembled here for success in your mission of developing enlightened citizens through good educational practices and purity in life.

May God Bless you.

Eleven Point Oath for Teachers

I have designed an eleven-point oath for the teachers which I would like to administer to this important gathering of teachers.

  1.  First and foremost, I will love teaching. Teaching will be my soul.
  2. I realise that I am responsible for shaping not just students but ignited youths who are the most powerful resource under the earth, on the earth and above the earth. I will be fully committed to the great mission of teaching.
  3. I will consider myself to be a great teacher for I can lift the average to the best performance by way of my special teaching.
  4. All my actions with my students will be with kindness and affection like a mother, sister, father or brother.
  5. I will organise and conduct my life, in such a way that my life itself is a message for my students.
  6. I will encourage my students to ask questions and develop the spirit of enquiry so that they blossom into creative enlightened citizens.
  7. I will treat all the students equally and will not support any differentiation on account of religion, community or language.
  8. I will continuously build the capacities in teaching so that I can impart quality education to my students.
  9. I will celebrate the success of my students, with great happiness.
  10. I realise by being a teacher, I am making an important contribution to all the national development initiatives.
  11. I will constantly endeavour to fill my mind with great thoughts and spread the nobility in thinking and action.

Dr. A.P.J Abdulkalam