Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Scientist Yash Pal and Project Director of Chandrayaan-1 M. Annadurai have been chosen for the H.K. Firodia awards for 2009. While Professor Yash Pal has been chosen for his contribution to education and communication technology, Mr. Annadurai gets the honour for his role in the moon mission.

The awards were announced by the former Director-General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), R.A. Mashelkar, and chairman of the Firodia Group Arun Firodia. Besides Dr. Mashelkar, the selection committee comprised scientists Anil Kakodkar, Vijay Bhatkar and Govind Swarup.

A release says the awards, instituted in 1996 in memory of H.K. Firodia, a doyen of automobile industry, are meant to applaud scientific achievements in the country and inspire the youth to pursue a career in science.

It calls Professor Yash Pal a scientist, a committed educator and a visionary science administrator who made path-breaking research in astronomy, astrophysics and space technology. Mr. Annadurai has also made notable contributions such as the first-ever software satellite simulator for an ISRO mission and automation of spacecraft operations.

The awards will be presented in Pune on December 23. Earlier recipients include A.P.J. Abdul Kalam , M.S. Swaminathan, Jayant Narlikar and Samir Brahmachari.