New Delhi, February 14, 2016: President Pranab Mukherjee felicitated the winners of Infosys Prize 2015 at aceremony here yesterday.
The Infosys Science Foundation (ISF) has honored winners for their outstanding achievements and contributions to research in in six categories − Engineering and Computer Science, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences.
The laureate in each category was awarded a purse of Rs 6.5 million and a 22-karat gold medallion and a citation certificate.
The six winners of the Infosys Prize 2015 are Prof. Umesh Waghmare, Prof. Jonardon Ganeri, Dr. Amit Sharma, Prof. Mahan Mj, Prof. G. Ravindra Kumar and Dr. Srinath Raghavan. The six winners of this year were selected from 206 nominees by a six member jury: Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla (University of California, San Diego) for Engineering and Computer Science; Prof. Amartya Sen (Harvard University) for Humanities; Dr. Inder Verma (Salk Institute of Biological Sciences) for Life Sciences; Prof. Srinivasa S. R. Varadhan (New York University) for Mathematical Sciences; Prof. Shrinivas Kulkarni (California Institute of Technology) for Physical Sciences; and Prof. Kaushik Basu (The World Bank) for Social Sciences.
Speaking on the occasion, the President congratulated the winners of the Infosys Prizes and said their research is laying the groundwork for an evolved, enabling, and sustainable world. He stated that awards like the Infosys Prize are an important step towards recognizing path-breaking research being pursued by scientists and academicians across the world. By rewarding excellence in cutting-edge research, the Infosys Science Foundation is spearheading the quest for breakthrough innovation amongst young scientists. Innovation is integral to economic development of a nation, and society at large. The Infosys Prizes will go a long way towards nurturing the innovation ecosystem in our country and inspire young minds to solve real-world problems.
The President said by 2020, India is set to become the world’s youngest country with 64 percent of its population in the working age group. This demographic potential offers India and its growing economy an extraordinary advantage that could significantly contribute to the country’s GDP. The youth of our country need our consistent encouragement to pursue innovation in their chosen fields. The exceptional journey of the Infosys Prize Laureates will inspire youth to take up research and participate in national progress.
The President said India’s future is inextricably linked to the progress we can make in establishing strong foundations for scientific research within our country. To ensure that we continue to lead the world in terms of technology breakthroughs, we need to ensure that our youth has access to a supporting ecosystem, an education system that helps them hone their research acumen and a wide network of industry mentors.
Details of the winners:
Engineering and Computer Science Prof. Umesh Waghmare, Professor, Theoretical Sciences Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bengaluru>
Prof. Umesh Waghmare has been awarded for his innovative use of first-principles theories and modeling in insightful investigations of microscopic mechanisms responsible for specific properties of specific materials such as topological insulators, ferroelectrics, multiferroics, and graphene.
Humanities Prof. Jonardon Ganeri, Global Network Professor of Philosophy, New York University, New York and Visiting Professor, Department of Philosophy, King’s College London
Prof. Jonardon Ganeri has been awarded for his outstanding scholarship and originality in interpreting and scrutinizing analytical Indian Philosophy and shedding light on shared ground as well as the dichotomy between Indian and Greek traditions of philosophical reasoning.
Life Sciences: Dr. Amit Sharma, Head, Structural and Computational Biology Group, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi
Dr. Amit Sharma has been awarded for his pioneering contributions towards deciphering the molecular structure, at the atomic level, of key proteins involved in the biology of pathogenesis of the deadly malarial parasite.
Prof. Mahan Mj, Professor, School of Mathematics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai
Prof. Mahan Mj has been awarded for his contributions to geometric group theory, low-dimensional topology and complex geometry. In particular, Prof. Mahan Mj established a central conjecture in the Thurston program to study hyperbolic 3-manifolds and introduced important new tools to study fundamental groups of complex manifolds.
Physical Sciences: Prof. G. Ravindra Kumar, Senior Professor, Department of Nuclear and Atomic Physics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai
Prof. G. Ravindra Kumar has been awarded for his pioneering experimental contributions to the physics of high intensity laser matter interactions. In particular, for providing for the first time unequivocal evidence of turbulent magnetic fields and the discovery of terahertz frequency acoustic waves, in laser-produced hot dense plasmas. These results have significance to testing stellar and astrophysical scenarios.
Social Sciences Dr. Srinath Raghavan, Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi
Dr. Raghavan has been awarded for outstanding research that synthesizes military history, international politics, and strategic analysis into powerful and imaginative perspectives on India in the global context.
The Infosys Prize is awarded under the aegis of the Infosys Science Foundation, a not-for-profit trust instituted in February 2009. The Infosys Science Foundation is funded by a corpus which today stands at over INR 140 Crore (USD 20 million), contributed by the former Board of Directors and senior management at Infosys.