Our Director

Dr. Anil Bhardwaj

Dr. Anil Bhardwaj
FNA, FASc, FNASc, J.C. Bose Fellow
Academician, International Academy of Astronautics
Director, PRL

Dr. Anil Bhardwaj received his M.Sc. from Lucknow University (1987) and Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in 1992. He joined Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 1993 as a scientist at the Space Physics Laboratory (SPL) of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Trivandrum. He became the Head of the newly formed Planetary Science Branch of SPL in August 2007, and was subsequently the Director of SPL during February 2014 to February 2017.

Currently, he is the Director of Physical Research Laboratory (PRL). He has worked at NASA Marshall Space Flight Centre, USA, for about 2 years as National Academy of Science (NRC) Senior Research Associate during 2004-2005.

Dr. Bhardwaj initiated the research in planetary science at SPL and contributed to the development of planetary science program in ISRO/Department of Space, and planning of planetary missions of India. He was the Principal Investigator (PI) of SARA experiment on the first Indian Lunar mission Chandrayaan-1, which has revolutionized our understanding on the interaction of solar wind with the Moon through several new findings. He is the PI of MENCA experiment on the Indian Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM). His team have PI-lead experiments on Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter, Lander and Rover and Chandrayaan-3 Rover and Lander missions, as well as solar mission Aditya-L1. He has been an observer on Chandra and XMM-Newton X-ray Observatories, Hubble Space Telescope, and Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope (GMRT).

His primary research field is planetary and space sciences, and solar system exploration. He has made outstanding contributions in the field of solar system X-ray astronomy, including discovery of X-rays from the rings of Saturn and X-ray flares from Jupiter and Saturn, and theoretical modelling of aurora and airglow emissions and photochemistry in planetary upper atmospheres and ionospheres and comets. His research findings have led to several Press Releases by NASA and European Space Agency, ISRO Story of the Week, Cover pages of American and European journals, and American Geophysical Union Journal Highlights.

Dr. Bhardwaj has over 170 peer-reviewed publications and several chapters in books, including a chapter in the “Encyclopedia of the Solar System”. Dr. Bhardwaj has supervised several Ph.Ds, as well as M.Tech. and M.Phil. students, and provided guidance to many students and Summer Research Fellows of Indian Academies.

He has organised more than 60 scientific sessions at international conferences, and many national conferences/seminars/workshops. In recent years, he delivered more than 50 distinguish lectures or special invited talks. He actively engages in public outreach activities and has delivered above 100 lectures and interacted with more than 50,000 school, colleges students and teachers.

He was the Editor-in-Chief of Advances in Geosciences (Planetary Sciences) during 2005-2011, Associate Editor of Advances in Space Research (Elsevier) during 2014-2020, and on Editorial Board of Planetary and Space Science (Elsevier) and Molecular Astrophysics (Elsevier), and is currently Editorial Board member of Space Science Reviews (Springer), and reviewer for many journals. He is a member of several ISRO, national and international committees on planetary and space sciences. He has been a member of Governing Council and Research Council of a number of research institutes in India.

Dr. Bhardwaj has received several awards and honours, including the most coveted Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize (2007) and the Infosys Prize in Physical Sciences (2016). His various other awards/honours include, Nehru Centenary Lecture of Kerala Academy of Sciences (2007), ISRO Team Achievement Award for the Chandrayaan-1 (2008), Indo-Swedish Project Award from Swedish Research Council (2010), Indo-Swiss Joint Research Programme Fellowship (2010), ISRO Merit Award (2012), AOGS Planetary Science Distinguish Lecture, Japan (2014), Dr. P. R. Pisharoty Memorial Lecture of the Kerala Science Congress (2015), INSA-Vainu Bappu Memorial (International) Award (2016), Decennial Award of Indian Geophysical Union (2017), and Lunar and Planetary Society's Endowment Lecture of Gujarat Science Academy (2018).

The Indian Institute of Technology (BHU) conferred their First Distinguished Alumnus Award on him in 2015. ISRO honoured him with the Outstanding Achievement Award (highest award of ISRO) in 2017, and Uttar Pradesh State Government felicitated him for distinguished work in Science and Technology during the First UP Divas in 2018. He is awarded the J. C. Bose National Fellowship in 2019, and Prof. M. G. K. Menon Lecture Award of The National Academy of Sciences, India, in 2021.

Dr. Bhardwaj is an elected Fellow of Indian National Science Academy (2010), Indian Academy of Sciences (2009), The National Academy of Sciences, India (2014), as well as of the Indian Geophysical Union (2008),Kerala Academy of Sciences(2013), Gujarat Science Academy(2019), and Astronautical Society of India(2021).

He is an elected Academician of the International Academy of Astronautics (2018) and elected member of International Astronomical Union (2009).

He was elected President of Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS) Planetary Science for 2006-2010, and the Vice-Chair of COSPAR Commission B during 2012-2020. Currently, he is a member of Council of The National Academy of Sciences, India, and the Chairman of the Joint National Committee of INSA-International Science Council for COSPAR (Committee on Space Research), URSI (International Union of Radio Science) and SCOSTEP (Scientific Committee On Solar-Terrestrial Physics).


Physical Research Laboratory
Navrangpura, Ahmedabad - 380 009, India
Phone : +91-79-2631 4855/4854 (O)
FAX : +91-79-2630 0374
E-Mail : director[At]prl[Dot]res[Dot]in, abhardwaj[At]prl[Dot]res[Dot]in

Hiral D. Modi
@ Director's Office
Phone: +91-79-2631 4855
E-mail: director[At]prl[Dot]res[Dot]in