Anna Modayil Mani was born on August 23 in 1918 in Peermade, Kerala (Travancore then) to a Syrian Christian family.

She initially wanted to pursue dancing but opted for a career in physics because she was interested in the subject.

As a physicist and meteorologist, Anna Mani has a number of valuable contributions to the field. It was her research which made it possible for the country to make accurate weather forecasts.

She also published several papers on solar radiation, ozone and wind energy instruments which laid the groundwork for India to harness renewable energy.

Thanks to her leadership in the field, India was in the forefront of countries where meteorological data -- especially of solar radiation and wind -- were used for studies of alternative sources of energy.

Anna Mani began her career with a scholarship for research at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, and worked with Nobel Laureate CV Raman, studying the optical rubies diamonds and rubies.

In 1945, she joined the Imperial College in London where she completed her graduation in Physics and specialised in meteorological instrumentation.

In 1948, Anna Mani returned to the country and joined India Meteorological Department in Pune, where her responsibilities included arranging meteorological instruments.

She then took up a special interest in developing indigenous infrastructure to forecast weather in India.

By 1953, Anna Mani was the head of the division. Under her, more than 100 weather instruments were simplified and standardised for production.