A most eminent scientist of the country and former Chairman of the University Grants Commission, Dr. Kothari is presently President of the Indian National Science Academy. A brilliant student althrough he got his early education at Udaipur and Indore.
He did M. Sc. Physics (First Class First) under the great Physicist Dr. Meghnath Saha from Allahabad University in 1928. On U.P. Govt, scholarship, he studied at Cambridge University and obtained his Ph. D. on Theory of Dense Stars from there in 1933. He made a deep impression by his contribution to Astrophysics and Theoretical physics.
Dr. Kothari started his educational career as a Demonstrator in Physics in Allahabad University in 1928. He was offered this appointment before his M. Sc. He was later Reader, Professor and Head of the Physics Department in Delhi University from 1934 to 1961.
He was invited to join the Union Defence Ministry as Scientific Adviser in 1948 soon after independence. He left this in 1961 on appointment as Chairman of the University Grants Commission. Throughout the period of his Chairmanship he continued as Honorary Professor of the Delhi University.
He wrote on difficult subjects of Physics. His notable research on Statistical Thermodynamics and Theory of White Dwarf Stars gave him international reputation. He showed that atoms can be ionized by application of pressure alone. His articles published in leading Indian and foreign journals have earned him high appreciation in the country and abroad.
Dr. Kothari has throughout been receiving the highest regard from the community of the scientists and the educationists. He was General President of the Indian Science Congress at its Golden Jubilee Session in 1963. He has also been President of Indian Physical Society.
He was Chairman of Indian Education Commission during 1964-66, appointed by the Government of India. The recommendations of the Education Commission are of critical importance for the country. Their main theme is to link education with development of productivity.
The Report has emphasised the importance of moral education with work experience. He was appointed to the post of Chairman of University Grants Commission in March, 1961 where he worked till January, 1973. He has been elected President of the Indian National Science Academy in 1973.
Dr. Kothari has held important and responsible assignments on various government bodies and committees. He was the first Chairman of Committee on Scientific and Technical Terminology and served in this capacity for many years.
He has also been Member of the Governing Body of the C.S.I.R. for many years and has been Chairman of its Physical Research Committee and Aeronautical Research Committee. He is Fellow and now President of the Indian National Science Academy.
He has visited various foreign countries several times as Indian government delegate and on invitations from scientific academies and governments. Unassuming and deeply religious minded Vigyan Shiromani Dr. Kothari has received great respect from all sections of the Jain society.
He has been feliciated a number of times at large congregations. He has been President of All India Swetamber Sthanak- wasi Conference and is Patron of Ahimsa International. The President honoured him with the title of Padma Bhushan in 1962 and with Padma Vibhushan in 1973.
Dr. Kothari was born at Udaipur (Rajasthan) on July 6, 1905. Married to Smt. Sujan Kothari he has three sons. The eldest Dr. L. S. Kothari is Professor of Physics in Delhi University, the second Dr. L.K. Kothari is Reader in Physiology in Rabindra Nath Tagore Medical College, Udaipur and the third Shri Jeewan Kothari is Senior Architect in the C.P.W.D.
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