Raja Ramanna (28 January 1928 – 24 September 2004) was an Indian physicist who is best known for his role in India’s nuclear program during its early stages.
Having joined the nuclear program in 1964, Ramanna worked under Homi Jehangir Bhabha, and later became the director of this program in 1967. Ramanna extended and supervised scientific research on nuclear weapons and was the first directing officer of the small team of Scientists that supervised and carried out the test of the nuclear device, under the code name Smiling Buddha, in 1974.
Ramanna was associated with and directed India’s nuclear program for more than four decades, and also initiated industrial defence programmes for the Indian Armed Forces. He was a recipient of Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian decoration, in honour of his services to build India’s nuclear programme. Ramanna died in Mumbai in 2004 at the age of 79.