Govind Swarup did his MSc (Physics) (1950) from the Allahabad University. He then joined the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), New Delhi where he worked between 1950 and 1956. He also worked at Radio Physics Laboratory of CSIRO, Australia (1953- 55); Harvard as Research Associate (1956-57); and Stanford University (1957-63) where, as Research Assistant in Department of Electrical Engineering, he obtained the PhD (1961) studying solar radio emission using a microwave interferometer built by him under the guidance of RN Bracewell. He also worked there as Assistant Professor (1961-63). He joined the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai (1963). Under his leadership, a strong group in radio astrophysics has been built at TIFR, which is comparable to the best in the world. He was awarded DSc (hc) by Roorkee University (1987) and by Banaras Hindu University (1996).
Academic and Research Achievements: Professor Govind Swarup is an internationally renowned radio astronomer and one of the pioneers of radio astronomy. He is known not only for his many important research contributions in several areas of astronomy and astrophysics, but also for his outstanding achievements in building ingenious, innovative and powerful observational facilities for front-line research in radio astronomy, namely, the Ooty Radio Telescope (India) and the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) near Pune. Pioneering studies made by him relate to: discovering U-type solar radio burst, studies on radio emission from the quiet sun and developing gyro-magnetic radiation model for solar microwave emission. By observing lunar occultation of ~ 1000 radio galaxies and quasars, their angular sizes were measured with ~ 1 to 10 arc sec resolutions for the first time in the world, supporting the Big Bang model of the Universe. He has authored 115 research articles, guided 23 PhD students, edited four books. He also holds two patents, for a fixed mirror line focus Solar Concentrator and a Preloaded Parabolic Dish Antenna and Method of Making it.
Other Contributions: Swarup contributed to indigenous design and construction of microwave antennas for troposcatter and satellite communications. VG Bhide and Swarup proposed a 5-year integrated MSc programme after 10+ 2 education of students that resulted in five Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER). He served as INSA Council Member (1985).
Awards and Honours: Professor Swarup was conferred the SS Bhatnagar Award (1972); Padmashri (1973); PC Mahalanobis Medal (1984), INSA-Vainu Bappu Memorial Award (1987) and CV Raman Medal (2003) of INSA; Tskolovosky Medal by USSR Cosmonautics Federation (1987); Meghnad Saha Lecture Award (1987); TWAS Award in Physics (1988); John Howard Delinger Gold Medal by International Radio Scientific Union (1990); JC Bose INSA-Royal Society Lecture (2003); Grote Reber Gold Medal, Australia (2007); and Lifetime Achievement Award of DAE (2008). He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society (1991), the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad, Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, International Academy of Astronautics, and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.