Nov. 9, 2022

Janaki Ammal

Why in News?

Recently, 125th birth anniversary of Edvalath Kakkat Janaki Ammal was celebrated on November 5.

About Janaki Ammal

  • Born in 1897 in Thalassery, Kannur district of Kerala.
  • She was a botanist and cell scientist who made remarkable contributions in the fields of Cytogenetics, Phytogeography and Ethnobotany.
  • She also did research in plant cross-breeding.

Save the Silent Valley Movement

  • It was a campaign against a hydroelectric project in the Silent Valley forest in Palakkad, Kerala.
  • She was called by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to reconstitute the Botanical Survey of India in 1951.
  • Ammal was selected as a Fellow in the Indian Academy of Sciences in 1935 and the Indian National Academy of Sciences in 1957. In 1956, University of Michigan awarded D.Sc. (Degree similar to PhD) to her.
  • She was awarded Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1977. In the year 2000, the Ministry of Environment and Forests established a National Award in the field of science on her name.

Janaki Ammal as an Inspiration

Janaki Ammal was born in British India when India was being ruled by the British and caste-sex discrimination was widespread.

 Janaki Ammal belonged to Thiyya community which was a backward community.

She also faced sex discrimination and humiliation from her make counterparts for being a single female scientist. But she faced all inconvenience courageously.