I bet you haven't. This is a country that worships cricketers and movie stars. How could you have ever heard of a mathematician of International repute!!!
He is the only Indian to have won the Abel Prize. This prize is also known as the Mathematician's Nobel Prize. He received this Prize in 2007. And I do not recollect his photograph splashed across the front page of any paper or magazine, but then I do not read all the newspapers and magazines, and my memory is diminishing with age. In any case, I am quite certain there was no hoopla that was associated with, say, Sushmita Sen or even Amartya Sen.
Oh by the way, the Indian government has conferred upon him the Padma Bhushan in 2008 - AFTER he received the Abel Prize.
If you click on the 2008 list, you will also see a host of names, along with Mr. Vardhan's. How many of these can you recognise? Are we giving Padma awards to too many people?