• Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, 11th President of India, Felicitated India's Finest Minds in Science and Research;
• Sixth category in Humanities introduced for Infosys Prize 2012.
The Guest of Honour, Former President of India, Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, felicitated the six laureates across five categories - Engineering and Computer Science, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences at a grand ceremony in Bangalore. The prize in each category comprises a 22-karat gold medallion, a citation expounding the laureate's work and INR 50 lakh as prize money.
Expanding the scope of the awards with the aim to recognize research work being undertaken in other fields, the Infosys Science Foundation also announced the introduction of a sixth category for the Infosys Prize 2012. The new category - Humanities will cover Philosophy, History, Archaeology, Linguistics and Literary Studies. The Social Sciences category will continue to include Economics, Political Science, International Relations, Anthropology, Sociology and Psychology.
The ceremony commenced with a welcome address by Mr. T.V. Mohandas Pai, President of the Board of Trustees, Infosys Science Foundation. During the course of the evening, the jury chairs of the five categories - Prof. Pradeep K. Khosla for Engineering and Computer Science, Prof. Inder Verma for Life Sciences, Prof. S. R. Varadhan for Mathematical Sciences, Prof. Shrinivas Kulkarni for Physical Sciences and Prof. Amartya Sen for Social Sciences - described the importance of the winners' work and introduced the laureates. The six winners of this year were drawn from a total of over 240 nominations.
The jury, comprising noted scientists and professors from across the globe, evaluated the achievements of the nominees against the highest standards of international research.
The winners of Infosys Prize 2011 were announced on November 16, 2011 in Bangalore. The laureates of the Infosys Prize 2011, in the different disciplines are:
Engineering and Computer Science
Prof. Kalyanmoy Deb, Gurmukh and Veena Mehta Endowed Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Kanpur, and the Director of the Kanpur Genetic Algorithms Laboratory, Kanpur, India.
Prof. Deb was selected for his fundamental contributions to the emerging field of Evolutionary Multi-objective Optimization (EMO) and for his ideas of optimization and computing principles to devise efficient algorithms that are fast, accurate and scalable.
Dr. Imran Siddiqi, Scientist and Group Leader, CSIR - Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, India.
Dr. Siddiqi was awarded for his breakthrough contributions to the basic understanding of clonal seed formation in plants, which could revolutionize agriculture for poor farmers in developing countries.
Prof. Kannan Soundararajan, Professor of Mathematics and the Director of the Mathematics Research Center, Stanford University, Palo Alto, USA.
Prof. Soundararajan was recognized for his path breaking work in multiplicative number theory and the analytic theory of L-functions which led to the resolution of the holomorphic quantum unique ergodicity conjecture.
Prof. Sriram Ramaswamy, Professor, Centre for Condensed Matter theory (CCMT), Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India.
Prof. Ramaswamy was rewarded for his pioneering work on the mechanics and statistics of active matter, that has given birth and shape to this rapidly growing field.
Social Sciences - Economics
Prof. Raghuram G. Rajan, Eric J. Gleacher Distinguished Service Professor of Finance and the Charles M. Harper Faculty Fellow at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, Chicago, USA.
Prof. Rajan was chosen for his outstanding work in Economics, specifically on financial intermediation and on the economic and financial underpinnings of recent crisis.
Social Sciences - Political Science and International Relations
Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President and Chief Executive, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, India.
Dr. Mehta was picked out for his exemplary contributions to urgent issues of Indian politics and public policy, as well as for his willingness to broaden the sphere of public reason and to challenge reigning orthodoxies, while remaining committed to institution building, as exemplified by his constructive leadership of the Centre for Policy Research.
Congratulating the Jury Chairs and the Laureates, Mr. T. V. Mohandas Pai, President of the Board of Trustees, Infosys Science Foundation said,"Scientific research is the bedrock of social and technological progress of any economy. There is a significant depth of scientific talent in this country and the objective of the Infosys Prize is to identify and encourage such outstanding talent. This award is not only intended to recognise outstanding scientists, but also to motivate the entire research community and persuade bright young people to adopt careers in research."
Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam, 11TH President of India gave a poignant speech after felicitating the winners of Infosys Prize 2011. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Kalam said,"I am extremely delighted to be present here today and would like to congratulate each of the awardees for their highly impressive achievements and individual contributions in their respective fields and society at large."
He further added,"We all live in a knowledge based era and a nation's strength is truly judged by the quality of collective knowledge. It is extremely important to recognize and encourage productive academic pursuits. Such initiatives will certainly boost the confidence of researchers in physical, biological and social sciences and related fields."
Mr. S D Shibulal, CEO of Infosys Limited and Trustee of the Infosys Science Foundation, presented the vote of thanks.
About the Infosys Science Foundation
The Infosys Science Foundation (infosys-science-foundation.com) is a not-for-profit trust set up in February 2009 by the management of Infosys. The Infosys Prize, awarded under the aegis of the Foundation, honors outstanding achievements of researchers and scientists across five categories of scientific research, including Engineering and Computer Science, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences. The Infosys Science Foundation had added a new award category in Humanities for Infosys Prize 2012. The new category will cover Philosophy, History, Archaeology, Linguistics and Literary Studies. The Social Sciences category will continue to include Economics, Political Science, International Relations, Anthropology, Sociology and Psychology.
Each award carries a cash prize of INR 50 Lakh, a 22 karat gold medallion and a citation certificate. The Infosys Science Foundation is funded by a corpus which today stands at INR 100 crore, contributed by the Trustees of the Infosys Science Foundation and Infosys Limited. The Infosys Prize is amongst the highest in terms of prize money for any award in India. The laureates of the Infosys Prize are chosen by individual jury panels, comprising international jurors who evaluate the candidates against international research.
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