On Tuesday, August 23, the acclaimed yet underappreciated physicist and meteorologist Anna Mani will celebrate her 104th birthday with a Google Doodle. She is one of the most well-known figures in Indian physics, and thanks to her efforts, we can now predict the weather with precision. Her efforts helped India excel in renewable energy in addition to weather forecasting. She attended Presidency College, Madras, together with eminent scientists CV Raman, VL Ethiraj, and CP Ramaswamy Iyer; interestingly, all three are from Tamil Nadu.
Since Anna Mani defied gender norms and achieved success in an area dominated by males, she is regarded as a national symbol of women’s empowerment in the nation. Here is Anna Mani’s life narrative, which is amazing.
Anna Mani’s Google Doodle: Who is she?
On August 23, 1918, Anna Mani was born into a family of Syrian Christians in the Keralan town of Peerumade. Anna Mani, an ardent reader, inspired India to work on renewable energy and weather forecasts as part of her life’s work. She reportedly allegedly turned down a pair of diamond earrings when she was eight years old in favour of a set of Encyclopedia Brittanica books.
She received a research fellowship from the Indian Institute of Science and graduated with degrees in physics and chemistry from the prestigious Presidency College, Madras (currently Chennai) (IISc). She then transferred to London’s Imperial College to study physics, subsequently developing an interest in meteorological equipment.
She worked as a tutor at Women’s Christian College before moving to London. She studied spectroscopy at IISc under Sir CV Raman, a Nobel laureate. She went back to India in 1948 to produce meteorological devices. She built approximately 100 meteorological instruments for India, living up to expectations. Later, she established a studio that created tools for monitoring solar energy and wind speed.
She was given the K.R. Ramanathan Medal by the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) for her achievements to the nation and science in 1987, when she assumed the position of Deputy Director General of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). She passed away in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, on August 16, 2001.
What distinguishes Anna Mani as a national icon?
Many nationalists found Anna Mani’s life to be an inspiration. She advocated for civil disobedience, and as a mark of her national identity, she only wore Khadi. She had the choice to remain and work in London after completing her studies there. But she returned home because she loved India. She thus built a large number of meteorological instruments and advanced Indian science.