Google Doodle Celebrates 104th Birthday Of India’s ‘Weather Woman’

Google celebrated physicist and meteorologist Anna Mani’s 104th birth anniversary on Tuesday with a special doodle. Known as the ‘Weather Woman’ of India, Mani was India’s first female scientist, and served as the Deputy Director General of the India Meteorological Department (IMD). She contributed immensely in making accurate weather forecasts, and laid the groundwork for the nation to harness renewable energy.

Here’s more about one of India’s leading meteorologist

Born in 1918 in Kerala, Anna Mani was an avid reader. It is said by the time she had turned 12, Mani had read almost every book at her public library.

Initially, she had the desire to pursue dancing, but opted for a career in physics due to her interest in the subject.

After completing high school, she joined Intermediate Science course at Women’s Christian College (WCC) and did a Bachelor of Science with honours in physics and chemistry from Presidency College, Madras. She also taught at WCC for a year after graduation and won a scholarship for post-graduate studies at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.It is there that she studied spectroscopy, specializing in diamonds and rubies under the guidance of Nobel Laureate Sir C V Raman.

Later between 1942 and 1945, Mani published five papers and finished with her PhD dissertation. Some of the papers were focused on solar radiation, ozone and wind energy instruments. She later joined a graduate program at Imperial College, London and specialized in meteorological instrumentation.

On returning to India, she joined the India Meteorological Department in 1948. She helped in designing and manufacturing India’s own weather instruments. She rose in the organisation as the head of the division in 1953. Under her leadership, more than 100 weather instrument designs were simplified and standardised for production.

Her keen interest in studying ozone, the gas shielding life on Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation, enabled the creation of the ozonesonde, a balloon-borne instrument for measuring ozone levels. She also set up a meteorological observatory at the Thumba rocket launching facility, and known for her books on solar thermal systems.

Mani held several key positions in the United Nations World Meteorological Organisation. In 1987, she was accorded the INSA KR Ramanathan Medal for her noteworthy contributions to science.

Later she was appointed as a Trustee of the Raman Research Institute in Bangalore. Mani passed away on August 16, 2001 in Thiruvananthapuram.

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