Pralhad Chunilal Vaidya received PhD (1949) from the University of Bombay. He had been an eminent scientist and science educator. He had hold the positions of Chancellor, Gandhi Vidyapeeth, Ahmedabad, Vice-Chancellor, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, Chairman, Gujarat Public Service Commission, and Professor of Mathematics, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad.
Academic and Research Achievements: Vaidya worked under the guidance of VV Naralikar at Banaras Hindu University carrying out research on the theory of relativity. He gave solutions of Einstein’s field equations under realistic conditions in 1943. Experts generally agreed that the Golden Age in Relativity (1960-90) was ushered in by a series of two papers in Nature of Professor Vaidya entitled Newtonian Time in General Relativity in 1953. In 1954, he published another important paper in Physical Review, on spherically symmetric solutions in non-symmetric field theories. He made important contributions to relativity and allied fields along with his students and other co-workers.
Other Contributions: Vaidya founded the Mathematics Association of Gujarat and also started a Gujarati mathematical periodical Suganitam. The Association and the periodical are going strong in their 48th year. He was a co-founder of the General Relativity and Gravitation, an association of workers in the field. He also associated with the Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics. The Centre commissioned making a 30-minute film on him (2005) which can be seen on the internet.
Awards and Honours: Professor Vaidya was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore.