Jitendra Jatashankar Rawal (born March 30, 1943) is an Indian astrophysicist and scientific educator, recognized for his work in the popularisation of science.
Rawal has served as Director of the Nehru Planetarium Mumbai. He has published about 25 research papers in national and international scientific journals, and is the president of The Indian Planetary Society.
Rawal was born in a Gujarati family, in Halwad village at Surendranagar district, of Gujarat. He received an M.Phil degree in Physical Sciences, from Calcutta University, in 1975, and a PhD degree in Astrophysics, from the University of Mumbai, 1992 (Thesis: Some Problems in the Solar System & in the Local Group of Galaxies). He was also associated with Children Science Congress activities popularizing scientific interest among school children in many Indian States.
Rawal is the author of many scientific and popular science works in the field of astronomy and related subjects, as follows:Solar System Parts I - IV (all in Gujarati)
Total Solar Eclipse (English & Gujarati)
Science in India after Independence (Gujarati).
The Story of Birth of the Planetarium (Gujarati).
The Wonderful Sky (Gujarati).
Scientist of the millennium (English / Hindi)
He has written eight Science Fiction stories in Gujarati and Hindi, which appeared originally in Janmbhoomi-Pravasi, New Surat Times, Sambhav, Mumbai Samachar and Nav Bharat Times. They have been translated into English and Marathi, as well.
He also wrote the scripts of the following planetarium shows, shown at the Nehru Planetarium:Journey to the Red Planet
Astronomy of the Millennium
Einstein and the Universe
Collision in Space
Dr. J.J. Rawal of the Nehru Planetarium, Bombay, recorded the distance of four satellites, each 35520 km, 57710 km, 96130 km and 71300 km, away from the centre of Neptune.Our place in the universe (for the Indian Planetary Society only)
Rawal has received many prestigious awards, including:Science Journalist Late. Shri Manubhai Mehta Award for Popularization of Science.
Yogiji Maharaj Centenary Celebration Award for contribution to Science.
Felicitated by Mayor of Mumbai.
Marathi Vigyan Parishad’s Smt. Manoramabai Apte Award for Popularization of Science in India.
Felicitated by Marathi Vigyan Parishad and Marathi Vigyan Mahasangh for Scientific discoveries about rings around Planets.
Received Award of National Council for Science and Technology Communication, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India for popularization of Science in the year 1994.
Felicitated by Municipal Corporation of Rajkot and Saurashtra Education Foundation for Scientific activities in the Country.
Felicitated by Amreli City towards contribution to Scientific activities.
Received Best Science Column Writer award for the year 1998-99. Department of Information, Government of Gujarat
Felicitated by University of Gowahati, Aassam for Scientific activities.
Felicitated by Halvad City towards contribution to Scientific research.
Received Award of Rotary Club of Bombay South, Rotary Club of Juhu. JC’s in the field of Science.
Felicitated by various organization for Scientific discoveries around the Planets and popularization of Science in the Country.
Received Award from Amrita for Scientific discoveries. Amrita is a Cultural Organization which felicitates Scientists and artists of the Country.
Awarded by Sardar Patel Jagruti Mandal in the field of Science in the Country.
Received Award from Brihan Mumbai Gujarati Samaj in the field of Science.
Felicitated by Panchwati education Society, Nasik.
Received Award from Lion’s Club in the field of Science.
Felicitated by Government of Himachal Pradesh for Scientific activities in the Country.
Felicitated by Zalawad Social Group towards in the field of Science.
Felicitated by Jain Social Group towards contribution to Scientific research.
Felicitated by Brahman Social Group for the Scientific discoveries.
Felicitated by Halvad Yuvak Mandal and Zalawad Sattar Taluka Mandal for the Scientific discoveries.
Felicitated by various Scientific and Cultural Organizations for the Scientific discoveries and popularization of Science in the Country.