Our Director

Dr. Anil Bhardwaj

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

Prof. 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.

Since 2017, 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 was the PI of MENCA experiment on the Indian Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM). He and his team have PI-lead experiments on Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter, and Chandrayaan-3>Lander and Rover 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 and Cover pages of American and European journals, and Journal Highlights.

Prof. Bhardwaj has published more than 200 peer-reviewed research papers in international journals and chapter in Books, and has supervised several Ph.D., M.Tech., M.Phil., M.Sc., B.Tech. students and PDFs. He has been the Editor/Editorial Board Member of several international journals, member of Governing Council of a number of elite research institutions in India, and Chairman and Member of many National and International Science Committees. He was President of Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS) Planetary Sciences during 2006-2010, Vice-Chair of COSPAR Commission B during 2012-2020. He is the Founding-President of Indian Planetary Science Association (IPSA), and Board of Trustee of the International Academy of Astronautics, since 2023.

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 distinguished/plenary talks at conferences, and invited/special lectures at reputed institutes.

Prof. Bhardwaj is an elected Fellow of all the three National Science Academies in India, and of many other Academies/Societies, and has received recognition at both national and international level – including two most coveted science awards – Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize (2007) and Infosys Prize (2016). He is also a recipient of INSA-Vainu Bappu Memorial International Award (2016), Decennial Award of Indian Geophysical Union (2017), J.C. Bose National Fellowship (2019), Prof. M. G. K. Menon Lecture Award of NASI (2021), AOGS Fellowship and INSA Distinguished Lecture Fellowship (2023), to name a few.

A Distinguished Alumni Awardee of IIT-BHU (2015) and of Lucknow University (2022), Prof. Bhardwaj is revered by ISRO in 2017 with highest in-service award – The Outstanding Achievement Award.

He actively engages in public outreach activities and has delivered above 100 lectures and interacted with more than 80,000 school, colleges students and teachers. Prof. Bhardwaj has also initiated new programs for underprivileged and girl students in rural areas, which has impacted over 25,000 students.

A Chapter "A Rocket to Poke Martians" on the Life and work of Prof. Anil Bhardwaj is published in Children’s Book "They Made What?" (2021).


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