At present, our life is revolving around science and technology. Not too far away in the past, there was a time when there was no smartphone, internet or even computers. However, all that has rapidly changed. It is absolutely essential now in everyday life because it has made things more simple, fast and secured. Its immense contribution to mankind and advanced research in different streams is providing new devices and services that are proving to be a boon for all.
India is known all over the world for advancements in science and technology since the ancient age. That legacy is still continuing. In recent years, India has made growth by leaps and bounds in science and technology, as evidenced by the Chandrayaan and Mangalyaan missions. Indian scientists and technocrats have been showing their scientific prowess all over the world.
Science & technology a priority area
As a result, promotion of science and technology has emerged as a priority area for our government too. Government of India every year presents Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Awards to young scientists for their outstanding contribution and development in the field of science & technology. The purpose of the award is to promote and recognise outstanding contributions made by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) scientists through their research efforts in India in the last five years.
President presents awards
On September 26, 2019, the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind presented awards to eminent scientists at a function held at Vigyan Bhavan on the occasion of the foundation day of CSIR. Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the true test of scientific research lies in its ability to help our society accelerate socio-economic development in various areas of human life such as health and hygiene, sanitation, education and agriculture. In the long run, this ability depends on the extent to which the culture of scientific research and innovation permeates our society, institutions and enterprises.
Stress on girl child education
The President also emphasised on providing equal opportunities for girl-children. He stated, “None of our successes will have any meaning without equal opportunities for our girl-children. As a President, I get an opportunity to attend convocations of Universities and academic institutions across the country.”
DG CSIR, Dr Shekhar C Mande in his opening remarks highlighted the need of science to connect to society and called upon the scientists and students to excel in the pursuit of science.
The President presented the CSIR Technology Awards to teams of CSIR and the G.N. Ramachandran Gold Medal to Prof. Amitabha Chattopadhyay of CSIR-CCMB.
Minister expresses joy
Addressing the gathering, the Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan expressed pride in CSIR contributions and said that the country has high expectations from CSIR in developing solutions and technologies towards sustainable development in the country.
Delivering the CSIR Foundation Day Lecture, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, Dr K Vijay Raghavan said, “The drive, innovation, talent and quality of young people is the insurance of the country and one must try and emulate best practices in the world but not imitate them”.
Award carries Rs 5 lakhs
Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar award itself is a prestigious award for scientists and an excellent platform to get ahead in the field of research. This award carries a cash amount of Rs five lakhs and is presented annually for the promotion of science & technology across the country. The award is given in the name of Dr Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar, the founder Director General of CSIR.
Recipients of awards
In 2019, 12 scientists form different institutions across the country are recipients of the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar prize. Their names are given below.
· Dr Kayarat Sai Krishnan (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune)
· Dr Soumen Basak (National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi)
· Dr Raghavan B Sunoj (IIT, Bombay)
· Dr Tapas Kumar Maji (Jawahar Lal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bengaluru)
Earth, Atmosphere, Ocean and Planetary Sciences
· Dr Subimal Ghosh (IIT, Bombay)
· Dr Manik Varma (Microsoft Research India, Bengaluru)
· Dr Dishant Mayur Bhai Pancholi (Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai)
· Dr Nina Gupta (Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata)
· Dr Dheeraj Kumar (International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi)
· Dr Mohammad Javed Ali (LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad)
· Dr Aninda Sinha (IISc, Bengaluru)
· Dr Shankar Ghosh (TIFR, Mumbai)
Science & technology is the vital cog to achieve our national goal to tackle the various concerns of humanity. Achieving a 5-trillion dollar economy by 2025 and sustainable development are important goals of the country. Apart from this, India has shown concern over climate change too. The solution to all these key issues is hiding in the growth of science & technology in the country.