Nobel Prizes


The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895. The prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace were first awarded in 1901.

The Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo(Oslo is the cultural, scientific, economic and governmental centre of Norway), Norway, while the other prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden. Each Nobel Prize is regarded as the most prestigious award in its field.

In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank instituted an award that is often associated with the Nobel prizes, the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. The first such prize was awarded in 1969. Although it is not an official Nobel Prize, its announcements and presentations are made along with the other prizes.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards the Nobel Prize in Physics, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The Swedish Academy grants the Nobel Prize in Literature. The Nobel Peace Prize is not awarded by a Swedish organisation but by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

Each recipient, or laureate, receives a gold medal, a diploma, and a sum of money which depends on the Nobel Foundation's income that year. In 2011, each prize was worth SEK 10 million (c. US$1.45 million, €1.15 million). The prize is not awarded posthumously; however, if a person is awarded a prize and dies before receiving it, the prize may still be presented." A prize may not be shared among more than three people. The average number of laureates per prize has increased substantially over the 20th century.


Alfred Nobel was born on 21 October 1833 in Stockholm, Sweden, into a family of engineers. He was a chemist, engineer, and inventor. In 1894 Nobel purchased the Bofors iron and steel mill, which he made into a major armaments manufacturer. Nobel also invented ballistite, a precursor to many smokeless military explosives, especially the British smokeless powder cordite. Nobel was even involved in a patent infringement lawsuit over cordite. Nobel amassed a fortune during his lifetime. Most of his wealth was from his 355 inventions, of which dynamite is the most famous

In 1888, Alfred was astonished to read his own obituary, titled ‘The merchant of death is dead’, in a French newspaper. As it was Alfred's brother Ludvig who had died, the obituary was eight years premature. The article disconcerted Nobel and made him apprehensive about how he would be remembered. This inspired him to change his will. On 10 December 1896 Alfred Nobel died in his villa in San Remo, Italy from a cerebral haemorrhage. He was 63 years old.







Alfred Nobel had the unpleasant surprise of reading his own obituary, titled The merchant of death is dead, in a French newspaper.


To widespread astonishment, Nobel's last will specified that his fortune be used to create a series of prizes for those who confer the "greatest benefit on mankind" in physics, chemistry, peace, physiology or medicine, and literature.[8] Nobel wrote several wills during his lifetime. The last was written over a year before he died, signed at the Swedish-Norwegian Club in Paris on 27 November 1895. Nobel bequeathed 94% of his total assets, 31 million SEK (c. US$186 million, €150 million in 2008), to establish the five Nobel Prizes. Because of scepticism surrounding the will, it was not until 26 April 1897 that it was approved by the Storting in Norway. The executors of Nobel's will, Ragnar Sohlman and Rudolf Lilljequist, formed the Nobel Foundation to take care of Nobel's fortune and organise the award of prizes.

Nobel's instructions named a Norwegian Nobel Committee to award the Peace Prize, the members of whom were appointed shortly after the will was approved in April 1897. Soon thereafter, the other prize-awarding organisations were established. These were the Karolinska Institutet on 7 June, the Swedish Academy on 9 June, and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on 11 June. The Nobel Foundation reached an agreement on guidelines for how the prizes should be awarded, and in 1900, the Nobel Foundation's newly-created statutes were promulgated by King Oscar II.[8] In 1905, the Union between Sweden and Norway was dissolved. Thereafter Norway's Nobel Committee was responsible for awarding the Nobel Peace Prize and the Swedish institutions retained responsibility for the other prizes.

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Nobel Personalities in India

Abdul Ghaffar Khan

He was known as the 'Frontier Gandhi'. He was a nationalist Muslim leader of the North-West Frontier Province. He first started a militant organisation known as the 'Red Shirt', and later on joined the non-violent Civil Disobedience Movement started by Mahatma Gandhi.

Acharya Vinoba Bhave

Saintly personality; had devoted his life to social welfare; founder of the Bhoodan movement.

Amir Khusrau

Assumed 'Parrot of India', was a famous poet and author who wrote in poetry and prose and also composed music. He enjoyed the patronage of successive Sultans of Delhi from Balban to Ghiyas-ud-din Tughluq. He died in 1324-25. His works include Tughluqnamah and the Tarikh-i-Alai.

Anand Mohan Bose

He was a prominent Indian public man in his times. He was the first Indian to be a Wrangler of Cambridge University in 1873. He was the founder-secretary of the Indian Association which was established in Calcutta in 1876, and presided over the 14th session of the Indian National Congress held in Ma

Ashutosh Mukherjee

He was an eminent lawyer and educationist. He was certainly a maker of modern Bengal, if not of India, by virtue of his eminent services to the cause of education. At the early age of 25 he became a member of the Senate of the Calcutta University of which he became the vice-chancellor.

Aurobindo Ghosh

An ardent nationalist who later became a saint, was educated in England. His views were readily accepted by Lala Lajpat Rai of Punjab and Bal Gangadhar Tilak of Maharashtra and led to the formation of an extremist school within the Congress.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Patriot and statesman, known as Lokmanya. He organised Extremist Party within the Congress with Lala Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pai. Britishers called him "Father of Indian Unrest". He gave the clarion call "Swaraj is my birth right". Tilak was the founder-editor of Mahratta (English) and Kesar

Bhagat Singh

Known as Shahid-e-Azam. Founded Naujawan Bharat Sabha. Exploded bomb in Central Legislative Assembly at Lahore on April 8, 1929. He was arrested and sentenced for life. He along with Sukh Dev and Shivram Rajguru, was hanged on March 23, 1931 for participating in Lahore conspiracy.

Chakravarti Rajagopalachari

A prominent Indian politician, born in South India in 1879. He was the General Secretary of the Indian National Congress in 1921-22 and was a member of the Congress Working Commitee. Rajagopalachari was the Chief Minister of Madras from 1937-39.

Dadabhai Naoro Ji

He was elected president of the Indian National Congress at its second session held in Calcutta in 1886. He was the first Indian to be elected a member of the House of Commons in England on a ticket of Liberal Party. Twice again, in 1893 and in 1906, he was elected president of the INC.

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar

A prominent leader of the Scheduled Castes. Built up a party of the untouchables, became a member of the Constitutent Assembly and piloted through it the Indian Constitution Act which declared India to be Republic. He also piloted the Hindu Code through the Indian Legislature.

Dr. Rajendra Prasad

He was the first President of the Republic of India. Born in Bihar in 1884, educated at the Calcutta Universty, he began his career as an advocate and soon commanded a very large practice at Patna High Court. Prasad became the president of Congress in 1934, 1939 and 1947; a minister in Nehru's cabin

Gopal Krishna Gokhale

He was a prominent Indian nationalist, and presided over the 1905 session of the Indian National Congress. In 1905 he founded at Poona the Servants of India Society. He died in 1915. He is considered as the 'Political Guru' of Gandhiji.

Govinda Ballabh Pant

The celebrated Sanskrit grammarian, was the author of Ashtadhyayi. He was one of the leading members and leaders of the Indian National Congress. He became the Chief Minister in his native province of Uttar Pradesh after independence.

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar

Social reformer and educationist from Bengal and a pioneer in the field of primary education and widow re-marriage.

Jamshedji Tata

Parsi industrialist and philanthropist. Father of Indian industry, founded Tata, Iron and Steel Company in Bihar.

Lal Bahadur Shastri

Prime Minister of India from May, 1964 to his death on 11 January, 1966. He was conferred Bharat Ratna posthumously. He was a martyr for the cause of peace between India and Pakistan at Tashkent.

Lala Lajpat Rai

Indian national leader known as "Lion of Punjab". Founder editor of Bande Mataram, The Punjabeeand The People. Died of injuries caused by police lathi-charge while leading a demonstration against Simon Commission at Lahore in 1928. Author of Young India, The Arya Samaj and England's Debt to India.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Better known as Mahatma Gandhi, was born on October 2, 1869 at Porbandar in Gujarat. Became a barrister-at-law (1891) in England. Went to South Africa in 1893. Stayed there till 1914 for the cause of the emancipation of the Indians from the insulting life.

Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Pandit

Born in 1900, was a talented daughter of Pandit Motilal Nehru. She held many high offices after Indian independence including the post of India's High Commissioner in England (1955-61) and India's Ambassador to the U. S. S. R. as well as to the U. S. A.

Mrs. Annie Besant

English theosophist, bom in London in October 1847. She founded the Central Hindu College at Banaras and was elected president of the Theosophical Society in 1907. In 1916 she founded the Indian Home Rule League and became its first president and in 1917.

Mrs. Sarojini Naldu

The most talented Indian lady, born of Bengali parents, was a poet and orator who took a prominent part in Indian politics. She presided over the Kanpur session of the Indian National Congress in 1925 and was the first lady to be appointed a state Governor in the Republic of India.

Netaji Subhash Bose

Popularly known as Netaji, was born on January 23, 1879, at Cuttack. He passed the Indian Civil Service Examination in 1920. He joined the Indian National Congress in 1921. In 1938 he was the president of the INC at its Haripura session and in 1939 he was elected president of its Tripuri session.

Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru

He was the first Prime Minister of Independent India and is known as the architect of modem India. He was born in Allahabad on Novemeber 14,1889. In 1928 be became the General Secretary of the Indian National Congress and in 1929 its President. At the Lahore session under his Presidentship was pass

Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya

A leading nationalist leader, prominent educationist and social reformer. Later on joined the second session of the Indian National Congress held in 1886 and twice became its President in 1909 and 1918. His greatest achievement was the foundation in 1915 in Benaras of the Hindu University.

Pandit Motilal Nehru

A renowned Indian patriot, was born on 6th May, 1861 in Delhi. He began his career as a lawyer at the Allahabad High Court, joined the Indian National Movement and started a journal named The Independent' to support the cause of Indian Nationalism. Along with C. R. Das he formed the Swarajist Party

Rabindranath Tagore

Poet, novelist, patriot, educationist, essayist, painter and philosopher. He founded Shantiniketan (now Viswabharati University) in West Bengal. The first Asian to receive Nobel Prize in Literature (for Gitanjati in 1913), writer ofNational Anthems of India and Bangladesh.

Ram Manohar Lohla

A social and political revolutionary, he founded the'Samajwadi Party' after difference of opinion with the Congress.

Ramakrishna Paramhansa

He was a very great spiritual teacher of the Hindus in modern times. His two-noteworthy disciples were Keshavchandra Sen and Swami Vivekanand.

Rasbehari Basu

He was elected president of the Surat session of the Indian National Congress in 1907 in which the Moderates and Extremists came to a serious clash. Next year he presided over the Madras session of the INC.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

A renowned Indian patriot and politician, was born on the 31st, October, 1875 in Gujarat and began his career as a lawyer. He took a leading part in the Bardoli Satyagraha movement. In 1931 he became the president of the Congress. He joined the "interim Government" set up in 1946 as the Home Ministe

Sarvapalli Radha Krishan

The second President of the Republic of India. Radha Krishnan was appointed as India's ambassador to the USSR in 1949. In 1962 he became the President of India. His birthday, Sept 5, is celebrated as Teacher's Day.'

Shaukat Ali

A prominent leader and politician amongst the Indian Muhammadans. He along with his brother Muhammad All, led the Khilafat Movement in 1919-20. He also joined the Indian National Congress and the non-co-operation movement.

Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan

He was a prominent leader of the Indian Muhammadans. Remained loyal to the British during the Sepoy Mutiny (1857-58), founded the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh in 1875. In 1920 the college was raised to the status of University and called the Aligarh Muslim University.

Sister Nivedita

A famous disciple of Swami Vivekananda, was an Irish lady named Miss Margaret Nobel.

Swami Vivekananda

Disciple of Rama Krishna Paramahansa, and founder of Ramakrishna Mission at Belur. He championed the supremacy of Vedantic philosophy and his talk at the Chicago conference of world religions in 1893 made westerners realise the greatness of Hinduism for the first time.

V. D. C Savarkar

He founded Mitra Mandal aimed at achieving freedom by armed rebellion, founded Abhinav Bharat, started Free Indian Society in England (London). Savarkar was arrested in Nasik conspiracy case and sentenced to transportation for life and freed in 1937. He authored Indian War of Independence.

Wumesh Chandra Banerjee

The first president of the Indian National Congress held at Bombay in 1885. He was made Congress President a second time at its Allahabad session in 1892.

Zakir Hussain

Proposed Wardha Scheme of education, formerly Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia. He was elected as President of India in 1967.