Rajagopala Chidambaram (born 12 November 1936) is an Indian Physicist who is known for his integral role in India’s nuclear weapons program; he coordinated test preparation for the Pokhran-I (1975) and Pokhran-II(1998).
Previously served as the principal scientific adviser to the federal Government of India, Chidambaram previously served as the director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre(BARC)— and later as chairman, Atomic Energy Commission of the Government of India and he contributed in providing national defence and energy security to India. Chidambaram was chairman of the board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) during 1994–95. He was also a member of the Commission of Eminent Persons appointed by the Director-General, IAEA, in 2008 to prepare a report on “The Role of the IAEA to 2020 and Beyond”.
Throughout his career, Chidambaram played a key role in developing India’s nuclear weapons, being a part of the team conducting the first Indian nuclear test (Smiling Buddha) at Pokhran Test Range in 1974. He gained international fame when he led and represented the team of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) while observing and leading efforts to conduct the second nuclear tests in May 1998.