Prize carries cash component of Rs. 50 lakh, a gold medallion and a citation

Six researchers from five science streams were honoured with the Infosys Prize-2011 by the former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, here on Monday.

Eminent personalities, including Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, attended the function.

The prize, into its third year, carries a cash component of Rs. 50 lakh, a gold medallion and a citation. The jury that selected the winners includes renowned academics, including Dr. Sen.

‘Research culture

“Research culture in academics and research institutions is the crying need. I feel the prize winners should be deployed in some of the universities in India,” Dr. Kalam said, after giving away the awards.

Outlining the challenges before the country, he said attention should be paid to provision of drinking water, agriculture, access to green energy, healthcare and balancing of greenhouse gases. The country could become a global leader in science only when the spirit of science was inculcated in classrooms, syllabus and teachers. Research in basic science, he said, was vital to facing global competition.

The prize winners are Kalyanmoy Deb, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (engineering and computer science); Imran Siddiqi, scientist, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad (life sciences); Kannan Soundarajan, director, Mathematics Research Centre, Stanford University, U.S. (mathematical sciences); Sriram Ramaswamy, Professor, Centre for Condensed Matter Theory, Indian Institute of Sciences–Bangalore (physical sciences); Raghuram G. Rajan, Charles M. Harper Faculty Fellow at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business (social sciences-economics); and Pratap Bhanu Mehta, president and chief executive of the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi (social sciences-political science and international relations).

Except Dr. Rajan, whose wife Radhika Puri received the award, all other winners were present. He could not attend the function because of his academic engagements.

T.V. Mohandas Pai, president of the Board of Trustees of Infosys Science Foundation, said a new award category in humanities would be introduced from 2012. It would cover philosophy, history, archaeology, linguistics and literary sciences.

Chairman Emeritus of Infosys Ltd. N.R. Narayana Murthy, Executive Co-Chairman Krish Gopalkrishnan, Co-Chairman K.V. Kamat and Unique Identification Authority of India chairman Nandan Nilakeni were present.

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