From Kailash Satyarthi’s tireless work saving more than 80,000 children from slave labour to Rabindranath Tagore’s celebrated collection of poems Gitanjali, here’s a closer look at India’s Nobel Laureates*.


Who: Kailash Satyarthi. The children’s rights campaigner founded the organization Bachpan Bachao Andolan, which has freed more than 84,000 children from exploitation. He shared the 2014 prize with teenage activist Malala Yousafzai.

What: Nobel Peace Prize

Why: "For their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”

 Kailash Satyarthi
Image: A Mahmoud © Nobel Media


Who: Venkatraman Ramakrishnan. Born in 1952 in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, Ramakrishnan was a joint winner with Thomas A. Steitz and Ada E. Yonath, who all created 3D models that show how different antibiotics bind to ribosomes which enable cells to produce proteins.

What: Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Why: "For studies of the structure and function of the ribosome."

 Venkatraman Ramakrishnan
Image: U Montan © Nobel Media


Who: Amartya Sen. Born in Santiniketan in 1933, his research contributed to understanding of social choice, welfare measurement and poverty.

What: Prize in Economic Sciences

Why: "For his contributions to welfare economics."

Image: © Nobel Media


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Who: Har Gobind Khorana. Born in Raipur in 1922, Khorana, who was affiliated to the University of Wisconsin at the time of the award, helped to crack the genetic code. He shared the prize with Marshall W. Nirenberg and Robert W. Holley.

What: Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Why: "For their interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis."

 H Gobind Khorana
Image: © Nobel Media


Who: Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman was born in Tiruchirappalli in 1888 and worked in the fields of atomic physics and electromagnetism.

What: Nobel Prize in Physics

Why: “For his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the effect named after him.”

 Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman
Image: © Nobel Media


Who: Rabindranath Tagore. Born in 1861 in Calcutta, Tagore originally wrote in Bengali, but later reached a wider audience in the West after writing poems in English.

What: Nobel Prize in Literature

Why: "Because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West."

 Rabindranath Tagore
Image: © Nobel Media


Who: Ronald Ross was born in Almora, India, and educated in Britain. In 1881 he became a military medical officer in India, where he began studying how malaria spread.

What: Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Why: "For his work on malaria, by which he has shown how it enters the organism and thereby has laid the foundation for successful research on this disease and methods of combating it."

 Ronald Ross
Image: © Nobel Media

* The above Laureates are listed as Indian-born on the Nobel Prize official website. Other Indian Laureates include Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, who was born in Lahore (now Pakistan) and Mother Theresa, who was an Indian citizen.