anna mani

Anna Mani: Why you need to know this Indian weather scientist

Anna Mani was a fantastic scientist from Kerala, India. She was born in 1918 and grew up to be a significant person in the world of weather science and green energy. Even though it was tough for women in science back then, Anna didn’t let that stop her. She loved science from when she was a little girl, and she worked really hard to learn a lot and make remarkable discoveries. Anna helped make better tools for predicting the weather, and she was really into using energy from the sun and wind in intelligent ways. Her life is a great story about not giving up and doing great things, even when it’s not easy.

Early Life and Education:

For her education, Anna initially attended schools in Kerala. Her academic excellence paved the way for her higher education in physics, which was a rare choice for women in India at that time.

In pursuit of her passion, Anna Mani went on to attend Presidency College, Madras (now Chennai), where she majored in physics and graduated with honours. Her time at Presidency College was crucial in shaping her scientific understanding and research skills. Here, she was exposed to advanced scientific theories and practices, which further fueled her interest in meteorology and renewable energy.

After completing her degree in India, Anna sought to further her education and experience abroad. She received a scholarship to study at the Imperial College, London, in 1945. This opportunity allowed her to specialize in meteorology and gear her studies towards instrument making, which later became a significant part of her career.

Anna Mani’s early life and education were thus a blend of innate curiosity, academic brilliance, and fearless pursuit of her passion in a field dominated by men. Her journey from a curious child in Kerala to a student at one of the world’s most prestigious universities speaks volumes about her determination and love for science.

Career and Achievements

Career Path:

After completing her studies in London, Anna Mani returned to India in 1948 to join the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). At IMD, she was initially involved in weather forecasting, but her interest and expertise soon led her to the field of meteorological instrumentation. She became deeply involved in developing and standardizing meteorological instruments, which were crucial for accurate weather prediction.

Her work at IMD was transformative. Anna was instrumental in establishing standards for more than 100 different instruments used in meteorology. She was responsible for calibrating and standardizing these instruments, ensuring their accuracy and reliability. Her efforts significantly improved the quality of weather data collected in India, which was vital for both agriculture and industry.

Significant Achievements:

Development of Meteorological Instruments: Anna Mani was pivotal in the design and development of numerous meteorological instruments. Her work in this area helped in elevating India’s meteorological capabilities to world standards.

Renewable Energy Research: Aside from meteorology, Anna Mani also made significant contributions to the field of renewable energy. She conducted extensive research on solar radiation and its various applications. Her studies laid the groundwork for the development of solar energy technologies in India.

International Recognition: Her expertise was not just recognized in India but also internationally. She represented India at numerous World Meteorological Organization (WMO) conferences, contributing her insights and research findings.

Leadership Roles: Anna Mani rose to prominent positions within the Indian Meteorological Department. Her leadership and expertise helped guide the department’s research and development activities in meteorology and instrumentation.

Publications and Papers: She authored numerous research papers and articles on meteorology and solar energy, contributing significantly to the scientific literature in these fields.

Challenges and Triumphs of Anna Mani

Anna Mani’s journey through her career and the challenges she faced is both inspiring and groundbreaking. As a woman scientist in the mid-20th century, she bravely faced gender biases in a field dominated by men. But Anna wasn’t one to be easily discouraged. 

With her passion for meteorology and sharp mind, she became a crucial figure in the Indian Meteorological Department, making considerable strides in developing and standardizing over 100 different meteorological instruments. This was no small feat, especially considering the limited resources and infrastructure she had to work with in post-independence India. 

Her work didn’t just stop at instruments; Anna delved into the world of renewable energy, pioneering research in solar radiation at a time when the topic was still new. Her contributions to this field are particularly relevant today as we seek sustainable energy solutions. 


Despite the challenges of balancing her research with leadership roles, Anna’s achievements broke barriers and paved the way for future women in science. She earned international recognition for her work, representing India on the global stage at various World Meteorological Organization conferences. 


Anna Mani’s story isn’t just about her triumphs in science; it’s a tale of resilience, dedication, and a relentless pursuit of knowledge despite the odds. Her legacy continues to inspire, especially for those in the STEM fields, showing that with determination and hard work, it’s possible to overcome challenges and make meaningful contributions to the world.

Impact on Science and Society

Anna Mani’s contributions to science and society have left an indelible mark that stretches far beyond her field of meteorology. She was a true pioneer, not just in improving weather prediction tools with her work on meteorological instruments but also in her forward-thinking research on solar radiation. 


This work in renewable energy, way ahead of its time, has become incredibly relevant in today’s world as we seek sustainable energy solutions. What’s really inspiring about Anna is how she broke through the barriers of a male-dominated field, becoming a role model for countless women in science. 

Her legacy is not just in the scientific advancements she made but also in the way she inspired a whole generation to think differently about science, gender roles in STEM, and the importance of caring for our environment. 


Her life story and achievements, now part of educational curriculums, continue to motivate young minds. Through her work, Anna Mani has played an essential role in increasing awareness about environmental challenges and the need for sustainable living, making her a true hero not only in the scientific community but also in society at large.

Later Life and Legacy 

In her later years, Anna Mani continued to demonstrate her commitment to science and society, even after retiring from the Indian Meteorological Department in 1976. She remained active in the scientific community, focusing her efforts on environmental issues and sustainable development. Her passion for renewable energy, particularly solar power, led her to work on projects that aimed to harness these resources more efficiently.

Anna Mani also devoted time to mentoring young scientists, particularly encouraging women to pursue careers in science and technology. Her mentoring and assistance were important in shaping the next generation of scientists.

Her legacy is vast and multifaceted. Anna Mani left behind a rich body of work in meteorology and renewable energy that continues to be referenced and built upon by researchers worldwide. She is remembered not only for her scientific achievements but also for her role in breaking gender barriers in a male-dominated field. 

Her life story serves as an inspiration, demonstrating that with determination and hard work, one can overcome societal challenges and contribute significantly to the advancement of science. Anna Mani passed away on August 16, 2001, but her contributions to science and society continue to be celebrated.


Anna Mani’s life was a remarkable story of dedication and trailblazing achievements in the fields of meteorology and renewable energy. From her early days as a curious child in Kerala to her pioneering work in standardizing meteorological instruments and researching solar power, she overcame gender biases and resource limitations to become a respected scientist. 

Her contributions not only advanced meteorological science but also laid the groundwork for sustainable energy practices. Beyond her scientific achievements, Anna’s legacy as a mentor and role model, especially for women in STEM, continues to inspire. 

Her work heightened awareness of environmental challenges and influenced policies and school curricula. Anna Mani’s journey, distinguished by resilience and a never-ending pursuit of knowledge, serves as a compelling reminder of the impact one person can have on science and society. Her passing in 2001 left behind a legacy that still resonates and motivates future generations.


Who was Anna Mani?

Anna Mani was an Indian physicist and meteorologist renowned for her work in meteorological instrumentation and renewable energy research. Born in 1918 in Kerala, India, she played a pivotal role in advancing meteorological science and solar energy research.

What were Anna Mani’s significant contributions to science?

Her significant contributions include standardizing over 100 meteorological instruments, which significantly improved weather forecasting accuracy. She also conducted substantial studies on solar radiation, helping to advance renewable energy systems.

Did Anna Mani receive any awards or recognition for her work?

Yes, Anna Mani received several accolades for her contributions to meteorology and renewable energy. Her work gained international recognition, and she represented India in various global scientific platforms, including the World Meteorological Organization.

What can we learn from Anna Mani’s life and career?

Anna Mani’s life teaches the value of perseverance, dedication to science, and the importance of breaking societal barriers. Her legacy demonstrates that with passion and hard work, one can make significant contributions to science and society.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *