GOOGLE DOODLE TODAY: Google Doodle on Tuesday, August 23rd celebrates the 104th birth anniversary of Indian physicist and meteorologist Anna Mani, who made a significant contribution to the study of meteorology. The physicist and meteorologist is also known as the ‘weather woman of India’. Her life’s work and research made it possible for India to make accurate weather forecasts, and laid the groundwork for the nation to harness renewable energy.
Anna Mani was born on August 23, 1918 in Peerumet, Kerala. She graduated from Presidency College, Madras with a BSc Honors degree in Physics and Chemistry in 1939 and did research at the Indian Institute of Sciences under Nobel Laureate CV Raman.
The renowned Malayali physicist KR Ramanathan, who was a researcher there, also encouraged Anna’s research activities. The University of Madras refused to grant Anna a doctorate, saying that an honors degree could not count as a post-graduate degree. But considering the originality of the research, Anna’s thesis is still preserved in Raman Archives, Bangalore.
Between 1942 and 1945, she published five papers, completed her Ph.D. dissertation, and began a graduate program at Imperial College, London, where she learned to specialize in meteorological instrumentation.
She began working for the India Meteorological Department upon her return to India in 1948, where she helped the country design and manufacture its own weather instruments. She excelled so much in this male-dominated field that by 1953, she became head of the division. Under her leadership, more than 100 weather instrument designs were simplified and standardized for production.
Mani was also an early advocate of alternative energy sources. Throughout the 1950s, she established a network of solar radiation monitoring stations and published several papers on sustainable energy measurement.
Mani later became Deputy Director General of India Meteorological Department, and held several key positions in the United Nations World Meteorological Organization. In 1987, she won the INSA K. R. Ramanathan Medal for her remarkable contributions to science.
After her retirement, she was appointed as a Trustee of the Raman Research Institute in Bangalore. She also founded a company that manufactured solar and wind energy devices.
Mani followed Gandhian values in her life and use to wear khadi clothes. She passed away on 16th August 2001 in Thiruvananthapuram.
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