Prime minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday gave away the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awards for the years 2007 and 2008 to 31 scientists, institutions and also honoured automotive major Mahindra and Mahindra with the CSIR diamond jubilee technology award 2007 for their flagship vehicle Scorpio.
The Bhatnagar award is the most prestigious award for scientific excellence in the country and is given to scientists who are under 45 years of age. The recipients include:
Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prizes - 2007
Narayanaswamy Srinivasan of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore - for outstanding contributions in the area of computational genomics, protein structure analysis, modeling and computational studies on proteins that are involved in cellular signal transduction pathways.His studies at the whole genome level have helped to identify remotely similar proteins sharing structural and functional features.
Upinder Singh Bhalla of the National Centre for Biological Sciences (TIFR), Bangalore - for outstanding contributions in computational and experimental approaches to understanding neuronal and synaptic signaling in memory and in coding of olfactory information.
Amalendu Chandra of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur – for pioneering contributions to microscopic theories and simulations of liquids, interface and clusters, leading to definitive predictions borne out by experimentation.
A Ajayaghosh of the National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram - for significant contributions in supramolecular assemblies and light induced sensor systems.
Anil Bhardwaj of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram - for fundamental contributions and creative ideas to elucidate X-Ray emissions from planetary bodies, including auroras and advancing its subsequent enrichment and futuristic potential by attracting international collaboration.
Rama Govindarajan of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore – for original contributions to the understanding of instabilities in shear and non-parallel flows, flow entrainment, turbulent transition and small-scale hydraulic jumps.
Budaraju Srinivasa Murty of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai - for original contributions in synthesising nano materials by mechanical alloying and in the synthesis and nanocrystallisation of bulk metallic glasses.
B V Rajarama Bhat of the Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore – for outstanding contributions to quantum stochastic calculus, minimal dilations of quantum dynamical semi groups, theory of product systems and semi groups.
Pundi Narasimhan Rangarajan of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore - for outstanding contributions towards understanding gene expression changes induced by neurotropic viruses as well as DNA vaccine development.
Yashwant Gupta of the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, Pune - for novel observations of pulsars leading to new interpretation of these enigmatic objects. He has made a vital contribution to the highly complex digital correlation system of Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) near Pune.
Pinaki Majumdar of the Harish-Chandra Research Insitute, Kolkata - for outstanding contributions in the area of strongly correlated systems in the presence of disorder, leading to definitive understanding of metal- insulator transition, nanoscale texture formation and colossal response driven by external fields.
Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prizes - 2008
Gajendra Pal Singh Raghava of the Institute of Micobial Technology (CSIR), Chandigarh – for significant contributions in the field of bioinformatics, particularly in the searching of potential drug and vaccine targets.
L S Shashidhara of the Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CSIR), Hyderabad – for outstanding contributions to the understanding of appendage development in animals. His studies on the underlying molecular pathways have important implications in deciphering growth control and cancer.
Pradeep Thalappil of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai – for significant contributions to the area of molecular and nanoscale materials, with special focus on metal nanoparticles.
Jarugu Narasimha Moorthy of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur – for significant contributions in physical organic chemistry towards understanding the photoreactivity and organisation of organic molecules.
Earth, Atmosphere, Ocean and Planetary Sciences:
P N Vinayachandran of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – for outstanding contributions to the physical oceanography of the Indian Ocean and its role in air-sea interaction and biological processes.
Ranjan Kumar Mallik of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi – for seminal contributions to the performance analysis of multiple-input multi-output systems, characterization of fading channel statistics, and error analysis under correlated fading conditions.
Jaikumar Radhakrishnan of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai - for fundamental contributions to the theory of lower bounds in general, and to quantum information theory and communication complexity in particular.
Ravinder Goswami of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi – for significant contributions in the field of clinical endocrinology with particular reference to hypocalcaemic disorders. His research work has documented the prevalence, significance and causes of vitamin D deficiency in apparently healthy individuals for the first time in India. His work on sporadic idiopathic hypoparathyroidism has provided valuable information on the etiopathogenesis and clinical feature of this disorder as seen in our country.
Raghunathan Srianand of the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune – for outstanding contributions in obtaining information on redshift evolution on the cosmic microwave background radiation and establishing bounds on the variation of fundamental constants using the absorption line spectra of quasars.
Srikanth Sastry of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore – for his work that had an impact on the theoretical understanding of glass-forming liquids and conditions under which materials end up in structurally arrested states. His work on glass forming ability of materials has lead to the experimental breakthrough of making a monoatomic metallic glass by vitrifying germanium. He has established a novel liquid-liquid transition in supercooled silicon and shown it to be a metal to non-metal transition.
Automative major Mahindra and Mahindra has been conferred with the CSIR diamond jubilee technology award 2007 for development and commercialisation of its vehicle Scorpio.
The Scorpio 'W' is a new improved version of Mahindra's state-of-the-art flagship vehicle, the Scorpio.
The CSIR award for Science and Technology Innovations for Rural Development for the year 2007 was conferred jointly on National Research Centre on Yak and Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute, Paltan alongwith National Laboratory, Pune.
Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute, Bhavnagar and Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow received the CSIR award for Science and Technology Innovations for Rural Development for the year 2008.
''The award recognises past work but are also an inspiration for the winners to achieve even greater successes in the years to come,'' said the prime minister while giving away the awards to the receipients.
The Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awards are named after one of our scientific pioneers and institution builders. Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar was a visionary and laid the foundation of the great institution that is today the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.
'Dr Bhatnagar was a special combination of many things, added to which was a tremendous energy with an enthusiasm to achieve things. The result was he left a record of achievement which was truly remarkable. I can truly say that but for Dr. Bhatnagar you could not have seen today the chain of national laboratories,' Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said about Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar.
''It is this energy and this enthusiasm of our scientists that we honour and celebrate each year on such events. The creativity and innovation of our scientists are a matter of great national pride for our country. They have pushed the frontiers of scientific knowledge to enable us to strengthen our defence capabilities; improve our healthcare and our agricultural economy; extend the reach of our communications and enable us to land on the moon,'' prime minister manmohan singh said.
The Diamond Jubilee Technology Award to Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. symbolises the importance we attach to commercialization of scientific and technological research. The Rural Technology award given jointly to the National Research Centre on Yak for improvement of sustainable Yak husbandry practices in the Himalayan Region and to the Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute along with the National Chemical Laboratory for genetic improvement of Deccani breed of sheep recognizes the difference these innovations have made to the livelihoods of the people in rural areas. My warm felicitations to these award winners.
The government has increased budgetary support to the ministry of science and technology during the Eleventh Plan to three times that of the Tenth Plan, the prime minister said.
''I recognise that if our scientific institutions of higher learning and research laboratories are to flourish, they require high quality manpower particularly at entry levels. We have made strenuous efforts in this regard, which I hope will show visible results in the years to come. We cannot be satisfied becoming a back office for providing Research & Development solutions for multinational companies, '' he added.