NEW DELHI: Google on Tuesdy celebrated the 104th birthday of Indian physicist and meteorologist Anna Mani, with a special Doodle. Anna Mani‘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 in 1918 in Kerala’s Peermade in a Syrian-Christian family. A voracious reader, Mani had read almost every book at her public library by age 12 !
After high school, Mani did her Intermediate Science course at Women’s Christian College and went on to complete a Bachelor of Science with honours in physics and chemistry from Presidency College, Madras. After graduation, she taught at Women’s Christian college or a year. Mani, then joined the Indian Insitute of Science, Bangalore under the supervision of Nobel Laureate Sir C. V. Raman. Her work on the spectroscopy of diamonds and rubies resulted in five research papers and a PhD dissertation.
Between 1942 and 1945, Mani 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.
Manin returned to India in 1948 and joined the India Meteorological Department. In the IMD, Mani 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.
She was an early advocate of alternative energy sources. Throughout the 1950s, Mani 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, Mani was appointed as a Trustee of the Raman Research Institute in Bangalore. She also founded a company that manufactured solar and wind energy devices.