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Scientist, academician Yash Pal dies

Scientist, academician Yash Pal dies

Prof Yash Pal, one of India’s most respected scientists, academic and higher education reformer died on Tuesday. He was 90.

Sourced said he passed away at the Max Hospital in Noida on Tuesday morning.

Honoured with the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian award, Yash Pal featured in a popular science series, Turning Point, on Doordarshan in the 80s and became a household name for explaining scientific concepts in layman’s language.

In 2009, Unesco honoured him with the Kalinga Prize for popularisation of science.

In his report ‘Learning without burden’, Prof Yash Pal had raised concern over the load of school bags and rote learning.

The highly-regarded academic began his career at Mumbai's Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. He was a member of the 'cosmic rays group'. He then attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his PhD, after which he returned to the Tata Institute, where he remained until 1983.

Yash Pal was appointed by the government to several school and higher education reform committees. When the National Council of Educational Research and Training began work on the National Curriculum Framework, Yash Pal was roped in to chair its steering committee.

In 2009, the human resources development ministry set up a committee on higher education - that came to be called the Yash Pal Committee - which Yash Pal chaired, to look into reforming higher education in the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was "pained" to hear about the academic's death.

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