Prelims 2021

Nobel Prizes 🏆 2020

The set of annual international awards are bestowed by Swedish and Norwegian committees. Awarded in honor of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, the awards are the top most honors in the field of science.

Nobel Prize: The Nobel Prize is awarded to scientists with outstanding achievements in the field of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and for peace  Economics added in 1969 . The set of annual international awards are bestowed by Swedish and Norwegian committees. Awarded in honor of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, the awards are the top most honors in the field of science.

History of Nobel Prize

  • Alfred B. Nobel was a Swedish engineer turned industrialist who invented dynamite.
  • He held more than 350 patents including inventions of synthetic rubber, artificial silk, and synthetic leather
  • Although an engineer, his interests varied from science to English literature.
  • At the time of his death he left a $9 million in his will to establish the Nobel Prizes.
  • The will of Alfred Nobel, says his wealth should be “annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who have worked only in the fields of physiology (or medicine), literature, physics, and chemistry and shall have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind. [ Basically its PCM +Literature ]
  • It also establishes the Peace Prize, for the “person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

FactByte of Nobel Prize 🏆

  • The prizes are established by the will of Swedish inventor and industrialist Alfred Nobel.
  • The Nobel Prize is a set of six annual international awards by Swedish and Norwegian institutions
    • Medicine/Physiology
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Literature
    • Peace
    • Economics (Added by Bank of Sweden, First prize in this category was given in 1969)
  • Started in 1901, Maximum 3 persons can be awarded in each category annually
  • A person must be alive to be nominated.
  • Actual medals are given on December 10, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death.
  • Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway while Other prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden
  • Marie Curie, First person and only woman to win twice & only person to win twice in multiple Science
    • In physics 1903 – For radiation phenomena
    • In Chemistry 1911 – For discovery of Radium & Polonium
  • WFP is the 28th Org to get Nobel Prize since 1901.

Prize for Economic Sciences: How is it different?

  • While the Nobel Prize has been awarded since 1901, the first Economics prize was awarded only in 1969 by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
  • The name of the prize is The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.
  • The name ‘Sveriges Riksbank Prize’ comes from the fact that the central bank of Sweden made a donation to the Nobel Foundation in 1968.
  • Thus while the five Nobel Prizes are based on a fund set up from the wealth bequeathed by Alfred Nobel, the Economic Prize is based on a donation received by the Nobel Foundation.

Nomination procedure

  • The nominations are made by Nobel laureates, members of the prize awarding institutions, active scholars in different fields, and officials and members of diverse universities and learned academies. The nominations are to be supported through a written proposal about the candidate’s worthiness.
  • There is no provision for Self-nomination.

Notable laureates who wins Nobel prize more than once

International Committee of the Red CrossA humanitarian institution based in Geneva, Switzerland
Three-time Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC)Two-time Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Marie CurieFirst woman to win a Nobel Prize in Physics in the year 1903 and in Chemistry in 1911
First person and only woman to win twice
The only person to win twice in multiple sciences
John BardeenAn American physicist;
Two-time Nobel Prize Laureate
Linus PaulingAn American Chemist;
Two-time Nobel Prize Laureate
Frederick SangerA British Biochemist;
Two-time Nobel Prize Laureate
Notable Laureates

India’s Nobel Laureates

WinnerYearCategoryWork done
Rabindranath Tagore1913LiteratureFirst Nobel laureates from India
Geetanjali – a collection of his poems
C V Raman1930PhysicsRaman Effect
Dr. Hargobind Khorana1968MedicineHuman Genetic Code and its role in Protein Synthesis
Mother Teresa1979PeaceFor Charitable Mission “Nirmal Hriday” at Calcutta for people suffering from Leprosy and to those people dying in destitute
Dr. Subramanian Chandrashekar1983PhysicsFor the theory of White dwarf stars limitation known as ‘Chandrasekhar Limit
Dr. Amartya Sen1998EconomicsFor his work in Economic Theory related to Poverty, Democracy, Development and Social Welfare
Dr. Venkataraman Ramakrishnan2009ChemistryFor mapping ribosomes, the protein producing factories within cells at the atomic level
Shared with Thomas Steitz of America Ada Yonath of Israel
Kailash Satyarthi2014PeaceFor their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.
Shared with Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan
Indian Nobel Laureates

Nobel Prize 🏆 winner 2020

FieldSince Awarded byWinnerTopic for which award given
1901Karolinska Institute in StockholmHarvey J Alter
Charles M Rice
Michael Houghton
Discovery of the Hepatitis C Virus (Read more)
Physics1901Swedish Academy of SciencesRoger Penrose
Reinhard Genzel
Andrea Ghez
Discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy (Details will be updated soon)
Chemistry1901Swedish Academy of SciencesEmmanuelle Charpentier
Jennifer A. Doudna
For CRISPR-Cas9 Technology (Read More)
Literature1901Swedish Academy in StockholmLouise GluckFor her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal’
Peace1901a committee selected by the Norwegian Storting (Parliament)World Food Program (WFP)For its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.
Economics1969Noble FoundationPaul R. Milgrom
Robert B. Wilson
For improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats
Nobel Prize 2020

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