On Sunday, on the 80.
The award is given to Indian scientists under the age of 45 for outstanding research in seven areas – biology, chemistry, environmental science, engineering, mathematics, medicine and physics.
For life sciences, Dr. Amit Singh, Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, and Dr. Arun Kumar Shukla, Department of Life Sciences and Bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. As an expert in microbiology, Singh worked on deciphering the role of genes involved in the pathogenesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) during his PhD. Shukla is an Indian structural biologist (cell scientist) who has been with IIT Kanpur since 2014.
In the chemical sciences, two researchers from the Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research, Bengaluru, Dr. Kanishka Biswas from the International Center of Materials Science and Dr. T. Govindaraju from the Bio-organic Chemistry Laboratory, known as the winner. While Biswas’s research area includes thermoelectric materials and devices that use the waste heat to generate electricity, Govindaraju’s work focuses on chemical biology and is concerned with solving challenging problems related to human health and society.
For earth, atmospheric, ocean and planetary sciences, Dr. Binoy Kumar Saikia of the Coal and Energy Research Group of the CSIR North East Institute of Science and Technology, Jorhat, named recipient. The Coal and Energy Group is one of the excellent research groups working in the field of coal science and technology as well as the energy-environment interface in India and abroad.
Dr. Debdeep Mukhopadhyay, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, received the award in the engineering category. At IIT Kharagpur, he initiated the Secured Embedded Architecture Laboratory (SEAL) with a focus on embedded security and side-channel attacks.
In the Mathematical Sciences category, Dr. Anish Ghosh, Faculty of Mathematics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, and Dr. Saket Saurabh, The Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, announced as winner. Ghosh works at the interface between ergodic theory, groups of lies and number theory. Statistical mechanics is based on an ergodic theory, which provides a mathematical means of studying the long-term average behavior of complex systems, for example the behavior of molecules in a gas or the interactions of vibrating atoms in a crystal. Saket has conducted research of the highest quality in several areas of algorithms.
The medical science award went to Dr. Jeemon Panniyammal, Achutha Menon Center for Health Science Studies, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, and Dr. Rohit Srivastava, Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. Panniyammal is a trained epidemiologist with at least a decade of experience in observational epidemiological studies and clinical trials, and Srivastava’s research interests include fluorescent biosensors, nanotechnological sensors, and photothermal therapy for breast cancer.
Dr. Kanak Saha from the Inter-University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Pune received the Physics Award. Saha’s main research focuses on galaxies: their structure, formation, and evolution.
During the ceremony, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu advised the CSIR to reinvent itself and go futuristic while pursuing science at the highest level.
âIn a country as large and diverse as ours, there are many challenges and institutions like the CSIR need to prepare to address sudden and unexpected problems. Each CSIR laboratory must provide a clear roadmap for the new research projects that address different challenges and contribute to the greater good of humanity, âNaidu said at the event.
Naidu also asked CSIR laboratories and institutes to address challenges that require long-term scientific and technological solutions. In particular, he urged researchers to pay more attention to agricultural research and to develop innovations, techniques and solutions to address farmers’ problems.
Among some of the challenges that require focus from the scientific community, Naidu cited climate change, drug resistance, pollution, epidemics and pandemics.
The Union’s Minister of State for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh, also urged the CSIR and all science departments to study scientific and technological innovations that will be needed over the next 10 years to make India globally competitive.
“We shouldn’t limit our ambition to be the best in India, but the best in the world as India is blessed with the demographic dividend of young people and with the right training and motivation they can take on any challenge,” he said.