Arni Jagirdar Gold Medal

The Jagirdar of Arni Gold Medal was instituted at the Presidency College, University of Madras  in 1877. There was one for Physics and one for Chemistry. They were not annual awards but presented to outstanding students only. Why I highlighted this page was the fact that the only 2 Nobel Prize winners in Science from India had both won this award earlier and this college was my alma mater where I  graduated and post graduated (MSc) in Chemistry. I was nowhere in the race for being an outstanding student. A few notable winners are


Arni Medal for

Succeeding events
1905 Dr.C.V.Raman


Awarded Nobel Prize for his work on "scattering of light" in 1930. Knighted by the British ( Sir CV.Raman ) . Awarded Bharat Ratna 1954.
1930 Dr.S.Chandrasekhar Physics Awarded Nobel Prize for his work on"structure and evolution of stars" in 1983
1921 Dr.Govind Rau Chemistry Father of Chemical Engineering in India and closely associated with Sir C.V.Raman
1956 Dr.T.R.Viswanathan Physics Managed Research activities in MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, Berkeley. Director Texas Instruments.
1974 Dr.N.Pattabiiran Chemistry Professor, Dept. of Oncology,Lombardi Cancer Centre, Washington DC. Winner of Norman Salzman Award in Virology
1977 Dr.N.Gopalswamy Physics Astrophysist in NASA amongst other accomplishments.

Though I was aware of this award when I was studying in Presidency (1945 to 1950) I did not question whether the awards were still being granted. It was only in 1983 when Sri S. Chandrasekhar won the Nobel Prize and I got to know of his background, that I raised the subject with my college and was shocked to realise that the awards had stopped in 1936. Here again my father is to be faulted as the award was instituted by his grandfather and he did not bother to ensure its life. I was trying to get the award revived but there was a problem in that the Commissioner of Endowments and Charitable Affairs in Madras has not been able to locate the scheme under which these awards were instituted and this was essential.( A red tape situation as it exists in today's India).

 Mr. C.R. Krishnaswami Rao Sahib, Former Cabinet Secy and awardee of Padma Vibhushan Award has tried his best to help me, but all records of winners and the Planks themselves have been lost by the authorities - ( The Principal of Presidency College,Registrar of  Madras University and the the Ministry Education are still searching but this is not their priority. I wonder whether they realise the value for a deserving student to figure in an award where they stand next to 2 Nobel Prize Winners and the motivation therein.

To see the image of the prestigious Gold Medal, Click HERE.

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