What is Nobel Prize? Award Process, Indian Nobel Prize Winners list

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The Nobel Prize is widely considered as the most prestigious award given for exemplary contribution to The he humanity in the field of Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, Economics and Peace. It is awarded annually by Swedish and Norwegian Institutions, according to the will established by Swedish inventor and industrialist Alfred Bernhard Nobel in 1895. In his will, Nobel instructed that the majority of his funds should be set aside for awarding prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind.

The Nobel prizes, initially a set of five awards, were first awarded in 1901. An additional award, the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences was established in 1968 by the Bank of Sweden and was first awarded in 1969. It is also presented at the Nobel Prize Award ceremony. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards the Nobel Prize in Physics, Chemistry and Economics. The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute Awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The Swedish Academy grants the Nobel Prize in Literature. The Norwegian Nobel Committee based in Oslo confers the prize for Peace.

Nobel Prize Award Process

The Nobel Prize nomination and selection process is long and rigorous. This is an important reason why the prizes have grown in importance and prestige over the years to become the most important prizes in their field. Unlike many other awards, the Nobel Prize nominees are never publicly announced and they are not supposed to be told that they were ever considered for the prize.

After the nomination deadline, a committee compiles and writes a report with recommendations and sends it to the academy or other corresponding institution, depending on the category of the prize. The members of the institution then vote to select the winner.

Posthumous (after death) nominations for the Prize have been disallowed since 1974. Only in two cases the prize has been awarded posthumously to people who were nominated when they were still alive. This was the case with UN Secretary General Dg Hammarskjold (1961 Peace Prize) and Erik Axel Karlfeldt (1931 Prize in Literature); both of them were awarded the prize in the years they died.

The prize ceremonies take place annually in Stockholm, Sweden except for the Peace prize which is held in Oslo, Norway. Each recipient, or laureate, receives a gold medal, a diploma, and a sum of money that has been decided by the Nobel Foundation. (As of 2018, each prize is worth SEK (Swedish Krona) 10 million or about US$ 1.1 million.

Nobel Prize 2020

Physics The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics was announced by Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on 6th October, 2020. The award in physics was given to three astrophysicists Roger Penrose from UK, Reinhard Genzel from Germany and Andrea Ghez from USA. Roger Penrose discovered that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the General Theory of relativity. Genzel and Ghez received the award for the discovery of a super massive black hole at the centre of milky way. Their discoveries have revolutionised the study of compact and supermassive objects and has solved many questions.


The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on 7th October, 2020 Emanuelle Charpantier and Jenniffer A Doudna from France and USA respectively got the award for discovering the CRISPR/Cas 9 genetic scissors. Their discovery had already contributed to significant gains in crop resilience, new cancer therapies and resistance from various diseases. Genetic scissors have become a new tool in the hands of scientists to rewrite the code of life.


The Prize in Physiology or medicine was announced on 5th October, 2020 by the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska institute in Sweden. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to American medical researchers and virologists Harvey J Alter and Charles M Rice. The award was also shared by Michael Houghton from Britain. The award in Physiology was awarded for the discovery of Hepatitis C Virus in the year 1982 by screening millions of DNA samples. The discovery has been significant in making new medicines and blood tests that have saved millions of lives.


The Nobel Peace Prize 2020 was announced on 9th October, 2020 by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize was given to the World Food Programme (WFP), a United Nations agency for its efforts to combat hunger as a weapon of war and conflict. The World Food Programme provided assistance to over 100 million people in 88 countries who were victims of acute food insecurity and hunger.

Economic Sciences

The award in Economic Sciences was presented at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on 12th October, 2020. The Prize in Economic Sciences, known as Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences, was awarded to Paul R Milgrom and Robert-Wilson for their work on commercial auctions. Robert Wilson developed the theory for auctions of objects with a common value and Paul Milgrom formed a more general theory of auctions. Their work has benefitted buyers, sellers and taxpayers around the world.


it was announced at the Swedish Academy on 8th October, 2020. The prize in Literature was awarded to Louise Gluck, a poet from USA for her unmistakable poetic voice. Her poetry focuses on the painful reality of human beings, dealing with themes such as death, childhood, and family life. She is the fourth woman to win the Nobel prize for literature since 2010 and 16h woman to win it since its inception.

Nobel Laureates from India

Among the total recipients over the years, 13 are Indians (5 Indian citizens and 8 of Indian origin or residency). Rabindranath Tagore was the first Indian citizen to be awarded and Mother Teresa is the only woman in the list.


Tagore He was the first Indian to receive Nobel Prize in the year 1913. He received this award for his work ‘Geetanjali’. He was awarded with Nobel Prize in Literature for his poetic thoughts.

CV Raman

He was the second person to be awarded Nobel Prize in the year 1930. He was awarded Nobel Prize in Physics for finding the Raman effect.

Hargobind Khorana

He received Nobel Prize in Medicine in the year the field of genetics. He with other two scientists interpreted the genetic code and its functions in protein synthesis.

Mother Teresa

She was the first Indian woman to receive Nobel Prize. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in the year 1979. She was born as Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in Macedonia but was awarded Indian citizenship in the year 1948.

Subramaniam Chandrasekhar

He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in the year 1983 for his study on the physical processes important to the structure and evolution of stars.

Amartya Sen

Amartya Sen was awarded Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in the year 1998 for his contributions to welfare economics.

VS Naipaul

He was the seventh Indian to win a Nobel Prize. He was awarded with Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001.

RK Pachauri

He was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in the year 2007 for his contribution in the field of climate change. He was the chairman of on Climate Change from 2002-2015.
Intergovernmental Panel

V. Ramakrishnan

V. Ramakrishnan was awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009 for contributing to the studies of structure and function of Ribosome.

Kailash Satyarthi

He was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for his contribution to the struggle against suppression of children and young people.

Abhijeet Banerjee

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for his in the year 2019. contribution to alleviate global poverty


The Nobel Prizes are now well established and their future is full of optimism, positivity and hope. However, there has been a mixed response to the award money given in the Nobel Prizes. Some hold the opinion that the huge sum given as prize money may corrupt the intellectual ambition of scientists and writers.

Some have the opinion that the prizes are admired as they are reliably honouring the major achievements and progress across the world. Nobel certifies that things are important in Science, Medicine, Literature and the area of ‘peace must be appreciated. Therefore, it provides a desperately needed symbol of authority and recognition of merit when all the other benchmarks are under attack.

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