Six researchers receive Infosys Awards from Kalam news
10 January 2012

Six researchers from five science streams received the  Infosys Prize-2011 at the hands of former president  APJ Abdul Kalam, in Bangalore yesterday.

The function was attended by many eminent personalities including Nobel laureate Prof Amartya Sen.

The prize, which is in its third year, comes with a cash component of Rs50 lakh, a gold medallion and a citation. The jury that selected the winners included renowned academics, including Dr Sen.

 ''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,'' Kalam said, after giving away the awards.

Kalam outlined the challenges facing the country and said attention needed to be focused on provision of drinking water, agriculture, access to green energy, healthcare and balancing of greenhouse gases. He added India could emerge a global leader in science only when the spirit of science was inculcated in classrooms, syllabus and teachers. He added research in basic science, was vital to facing global competition.

Kalam said India needed to invest at least 2 per cent of its GDP in R&D, as opposed to the 0.6 per cent currently allocated to it. ''If we look at the Global Innovation Index, India is ranked 62. While at the Global Competitive Index, it is placed at 56. In order for the nation to move up the ladder in the competitive index and be in the top 10, India needs to be in the top 5 of the innovative index,'' he said.

He urged the scientific and academic communities to look at research in water, sustainable agriculture, energy and health for the nation to grow.

The prizes were awarded for individual their contribution in their respective areas to:

  • Kalyanmoy Deb, professor of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur was awarded the prize in engineering and computer science category,
  • Imran Siddiqi, scientist, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad in life sciences,
  • Shri Kannan Soundarajan, director, Mathematics Research Centre, Stanford University, USA, won the prize in mathematical sciences category,
  • Sriram Ramaswamy, professor, Centre for Condensed Matter Theory, Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore, was thee recipient in the physical sciences category,
  • Raghuram G Rajan, Charles M Harper Faculty Fellow at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business for social sciences (economics), and
  • Pratap Bhanu Mehta, president and chief executive of the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi for social sciences, (political science and international relations)

According to TV Mohandas Pai, president of the board of trustees of Infosys Science Foundation, a new award category in humanities would be introduced from 2012, which 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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Six researchers receive Infosys Awards from Kalam