Indian Physicist Given French Order Of Merit

Indian Physicist Given French Order Of Merit

Indian physicist Rohini Godbole has been conferred with one of the highest distinctions granted by France to honour eminent persons, the Ordre National du Merite. Let’s see her contributions that led to this honour.

Crux of the Matter

What Is Ordre National du Mérite?
Also called a National Order of Merit, it is a French order, with membership awarded by the President of the French Republic. It was founded in 1963.

Who Is Rohini Godbole?

  • She was born in 1952 in Pune.
  • Alma Mater of IIT Bombay, SUNY, Stony Brook.
  • She was awarded Padma Shri in 2019 and is a Silver medallist from IIT Bombay, 1974 Batch.
  • Currently a professor at the Centre for High Energy Physics, IISc Bangalore.

Why Was Rohini Awarded This Order? 
She has been recognised for both her contributions to the collaborations between France and India and her work in promoting the visibility of women in science. 

What Are These Contributions?

  • Part of the advisory group for International Linear Collider in CERN
  • Chair of the Panel for Women in Science initiative of the Indian Academy of Sciences.
  • Along with Ram Ramaswamy, she jointly edited Lilavati’s Daughters, a collection of biographical essays on women scientists of India.

What Are Her Research Fields?

  • Physics at Large Hadron Collider, which is the world’s largest machine that acts as a particle accelerator, to push protons or ions, near to the speed of light. 
  • Working on the functions of a proton, photon and nucleus and Supersymmetry, which studies the relationship between two basic elementary particles in physics.

“We need more women role models in STEM, to normalise the concept that one’s career or opportunities do not have anything to do with gender. This message is not just to young women but young men as well.”

Professor Rohini Godbole, After Receiving The Award

  • The Ordre national du Mérite (National Order of Merit) comprises about 185,000 members; 306,000 members have been admitted or promoted in 50 years. Half of its recipients are required to be women.
  • The Legion of Honour is the highest French order of merit, both military and civil. Established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, it has been retained by all later French governments and régimes.
  • The Ordre national du Mérite founded on 3 December 1963 by President Charles de Gaulle. The reason for the order’s establishment was twofold: to replace the large number of ministerial orders previously awarded by the ministries; and to create an award that can be awarded at a lower level than the Legion of Honour, which is generally reserved for French citizens