Chandrasekhar Venkata Raman, a great scientist, was born on 7 November 1888 at Visakhapatnam in India. His father Chandrasekhar Iyer was a professor of Mathematics at the local AVM College. C. V. Raman received his early education at the local Hindu College High School from which he matriculated in his twelfth year. He obtained his B. A. degree in due course, with a brilliant first class in Physics, He was then only eighteen.
There was indeed a Renaissance in Science in Bengal with its centre in Calcutta during the end of the 19th century. It was the period of valuable researches in Chemistry by Dr Prafulla Chandra Roy and in Physics by Dr Jagadish Chandra Bose, conducted in the Presidency College laboratories. In this way, an atmosphere fostering a spirit of research and scientific education grew up in Calcutta. Responding to the call of Sir Asutosh Mukherjee, C. V. Raman gave up his post at the Accountant General’s Office in Calcutta and joined the Science College at Calcutta University.
It was a mere accident that led him to the Association for Cultivation of Science in Calcutta. It was here that he started his great researches and continued for long years in the Physics laboratory of CU Science College. He contributed the great scientific achievement, now known as the Raman Effect, that won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930.
For the next twelve years, his work was divided between the University where he delivered lectures and directed his students, and his own laboratory at the Association at Bowbazar. In 1924 he was elected Fellow of Royal Society and was awarded Knighthood by the British Government in 1929.
In 1937 he gave up his post as Palit Professor of Physics at the University Science College of Calcutta and went to Bangalore to take up his duties as the director of the Bangalore Institute of Science. He retired from the Institute in 1951. Raman was now free from official duties to carry on the researches in his own laboratory at Bangalore. In 1951 he founded the Raman Institute of Science at Bangalore which is still carrying on the torch he had lighted.
C. V. Raman had been crowned with the highest honours from different universities all over the world for his dedication to fundamental science. After independence, the government of India conferred on him the coveted Bharat Ratna, the highest civil honour in the land. C. V. Raman embraced a ripe and glorious death on 21 November 1970 at his eighty-two years.