If you are born in India and cherish a dream to crack IIT JEE, the first thing that you’d be told during your initial stages of preparation would be about the two volumes of Concept of Physics. What is there in these two volumes that it has become an indispensible source in physics for students and physics-lovers? The answer is H. C. Verma. These two volumes are the brainchild of this learned man who stands on a high pedestal in the field of physical science. He is a man about whom every student who has studied science in plus two would be aware of.
Idol for almost every science student, Harish Chandra Verma is an Indian experimental physicist and professor in the Department of Physics at IIT Kanpur. Besides writing concepts of Physics and several other books, Verma has initiated a program, Shiksha Sopan to strengthen the status of physical sciences in India. Not only this, H. C. Verma has also started a number of socio-educational initiatives for the betterment of the society and education. These initiatives include School Physics Project and Utsahi Physics Teachers.
Dr. Verma was born in a small town of Darbhanga, Bihar in 1952. His father, Shri Ganesh Prasad Verma, who was a teacher by profession, imparted basic mathematics to this genius physicist. Most of us would wonder that Verma might have been a very bright student since his childhood and would have been highly interested in studies. You’d be shocked to know that it was the other way round. The school education system of India during 1950s and 1960s had a very bad impact on this dignitary, making his school experience really bad to an extent that he had to struggle really hard to clear his HSc exams! It was the Patna Science College that had a real impact on Verma and transformed him from an average school boy into a bright and intelligent adolescent.
Verma earned B.Sc. Honors degree from Patna Science College with extremely good grades. He went on to pursue M.Sc. from IIT Kanpur and emerged as a top student with a PI of 9.9 out of 10. After this, he completed his PhD from IIT Kanpur in a time span of less than three years! He could have easily gone to U.S. or Europe for a brighter future but chose stay in India and struggle in Patna. Verma joined Patna Science College in 1980 as a lecturer and remained there for almost 15 years. It is here he wrote Concepts of Physics that took him eight long years! This was one of the biggest gifts any teacher can impart to his students. This book became a Bible in the field of IIT JEE preparation and continues to remain the same even today.
In 1994, H. C. Verma joined IIT Kanpur as assistant professor and taught many courses. It is here he started most of his socio-educational initiatives for the development of the society, development of education, development of physical sciences, etc.
H. C. Verma continues to be an inspiration for all of us. His guidelines and initiatives have changed and will continue to change the times and lives of individuals for years to come. Long Live Dr. Verma!
Akanksha Singh is an engineer by profession and currently working in the Training, Learning, and Development domain. She is a firm believer in Gandhi’s talisman “Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man/woman whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him/her. Will he/she gain anything by it? Will it restore him/her to a control over his/her own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to swaraj for the hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then you will find your doubts and your self melt away.”