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         was recognised as an intelligent student in his school and college.
After completing a Bachelor’s de- gree in science from BHU in 1957, he went to Cambridge for higher education, where he won the most prestigious Tyson Medal, the pinnacle award in the list of Mathematical Tripos. It is important to note that the same award was also won by his father exactly 30 years before him.
Prof Jayant Narlikar earned his Bachelor’s degree in Art in a very short time in 1960 and completed his doc- torate by 1963 from Cambridge. He remained a top performer during his time in Cambridge — he received the Smith’s Prize in 1962, the Adams Prize in 1967 and many more. He was a fel- low of the King’s College from 1963 to 1972, and also the founder staff member of the Institute of Theoretical Astrono- my. Because of his outstanding work in mathematics and theoretical physics, he received the prestigious Padma Bhushan award in 1965 from the Government of India at the early age of 27 years.
The British astronomer and a gi- ant astrophysicist of his time, Prof Fred Hoyle was the supervisor of Prof Nar- likar for his PhD. Prof Hoyle was known for his work on stellar nucleosynthesis. It was at the same time that Edwin Hubble, an American astronomer, came up with the discovery of expansion of Universe, giving rise to the idea for the origin of Universe. To counter the idea, Prof Hoyle along with Prof Herman Bondi and Prof Thomas Gold proposed the steady state universe theory justifying the expansion of universe. Coincidently, in one of the BBC radio interviews while countering the question with anger, Prof Hoyle coined the word ‘Big Bang’ which later became the buzz word for the cata- strophic event of the origin of Universe. Quasi Steady State (QSS) Universe pro- posed in 1993 by Prof Jayant Narlikar along with Geoffrey Burbidge and Prof Hoyle was the modified version of the above theory. They proposed mini bangs or little bangs to explain the changing density of matter in expanding and ac- celerating universe.
In 1966, Prof Narlikar married Dr
Prof Narlikar with renowned scientist and science communicator Prof Yash Pal
 With great command
over Marathi, his mother tongue, Prof Narlikar became one of the pioneering science fiction writers in the language.
Mangala Rajwade, a scholar of math- ematics who authored many books, mentored teachers, and was a columnist in newspapers. Even today, she writes in magazines and newspapers on math- ematics. The couple has three daughters, Geeta, Girija and Leelavati, all of whom opted for research careers in science.
Prof Narlikar returned to India in 1972 and joined the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mum- bai. He led and expanded the Theoreti- cal Astrophysics Group and acquired international standing. He was with the TIFR till 1989. During this period, in addition to his hardcore research, he also started the work of communication and popularisation of Astronomy and As- trophysics in Maharashtra. With great command over Marathi, his mother tongue, Prof Narlikar became one of the pioneering science fiction writers in the language. He has written many popular science articles through regu- lar columns in Marathi newspapers and
magazines in addition to English and Hindi. He has travelled across Maha- rashtra and delivered talks on astron- omy. Because of his simple, interesting, and mesmerising lectures on astronomy, he has a large fan following which ranges from school children to researchers. He has written many books for profession- als and researchers in astronomy and astrophysics. His science fiction, short stories and novels in Marathi have been translated in several languages. Some of his titles include Yakshanchi De- nagi (1979), Preshit (1983), Antaralatla Bhasmasur (1985), Vaman Parat na aala (1986), among others.
It would be interesting to know the story of formation of the IUCAA, the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics. Because of Prof Nar- likar’s work and recognition in the field of Astronomy and Astrophysics, the University Grants Commission invited him to set up the proposed IUCAA as its founder director in 1988. His idea was to have IUCAA in the campus of a university. It was not surprising he selected Savitri Bai Phule Pune Univer- sity Campus in Pune as the location for IUCAA. It started with a small building named Aditi, which was later shifted to a state-of-the art building designed by the world famous architect Charles Correa. The building itself is one of the tourist attractions because of its beauty
        Image Courtesy: Dr Arvind C Ranade

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