It was a month of awards recognising some of the brightest stars of Indian science.
First up was India government’s coveted Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar award instituted in the name of the founder Director of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR). Apart from the many scientific laurels it hailed, this time around the awards showcased a novel trend — three among the nine awardees were women. This was the first time ever that so many women were chosen for the award. It does reflect the growing presence of women and their being able to devote more time and energy to science than ever before. The awardees were: Sanjeev Galande, Shubha Tole (biological sciences); Swapan K Pati, Sandeep Verma (chemical sciences); G K Ananthasuresh, Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay (engineering sciences); Mitali Mukerji (medical sciences); Umesh Vasudeo Waghmare and Kalobaran Maiti (physical sciences). The award carried a cash prize of Rs five lakh, a citation and a plaque.
The galaxy of star scientists.
A wonderful private endeavour to honour leaders in Indian science came later in the month from India’s software company Infosys. The group announced awards worth Rs 50 lakh each for six leading researchers of the country working in and out of India. The awardees — Chandrashekhar Khare (mathematical sciences), Sandip Trivedi (physical sciences), Ashutosh Sharma (engineering and computer sciences), Chetan E. Chitnis (life sciences), Amita Baviskar & Nandini Sundar (social sciences) — are from various fields of research including social sciences.
These are promising times for Indian science with these lists featuring so many young researchers.