14th Infosys Prize To Six Academicians; Infosys Science Foundation Awards

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The Infosys Science Foundation (ISF), awarded the winners of the Infosys Prize 2021 today for their outstanding contributions to science and research in six fields – Engineering and Computer Science, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences.

 The work of the laureates this year addresses some of the greatest challenges of our time, studying the effects of climate change on fragile ecosystems and contributing to more effective conservation strategies, designing a robust indigenous platform for rapid testing of deadly diseases like COVID-19 and TB, understanding the nuclear force to better harness nuclear energy for the benefit of humankind, and addressing issues such as sexual violence and jurisprudence in our society. Winners were felicitated by the Chief Guest, Prof. Gagandeep Kang FRS, Professor at CMC Vellore, Infosys Prize laureate 2016, and one of India’s leading virologists.

(ISF), awarded the winners of the Infosys Prize 2021 today for their outstanding contributions to science and research in six fields – Engineering and Computer Science, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences.

The work of the laureates this year addresses some of the greatest challenges of our time, studying the effects of climate change on fragile ecosystems and contributing to more effective conservation strategies, designing a robust indigenous platform for rapid testing of deadly diseases like COVID-19 and TB, understanding the nuclear force to better harness nuclear energy for the benefit of humankind, and addressing issues such as sexual violence and jurisprudence in our society.

 Winners were felicitated by the Chief Guest, Prof. Gagandeep Kang FRS, Professor at CMC Vellore, Infosys Prize laureate 2016, and one of India’s leading virologists.

The winners are: Engineering and Computer Science – Suman Chakraborty; Humanities – Sudhir Krishnaswamy; Life Sciences – Vidita Vaidya; Mathematical Sciences – Mahesh Kakde; Physical Sciences – Nissim Kanekar, Social Sciences – Rohini Pande.

The prize for each category comprises a gold medal, a citation, and a prize purse of USD 100,000 (or its equivalent in Rupees). Panels of accomplished jurors comprising world-renowned scholars and experts shortlisted the winners of the Infosys Prize 2022 from 218 nominations, the statement said.

Over the past 13 years, ISF has recognised the accomplishments of some of the best and creative scientific research that has contributed to every aspect of human life, it said.

The laureates were chosen from a competitive pool of 201 nominations received this year.

The winners of the Infosys Prize 2021 were identified by an accomplished jury of scholars and professors from some of the most prestigious universities across the world.

The eminent chairs of the jury who announced the winners of the 13th Infosys Prize were:

Prof. Arvind (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) for Engineering and Computer Science, Prof. Kaushik Basu (Cornell University and former SVP, World Bank) for Social Sciences, Prof. Akeel Bilgrami (Columbia University) for Humanities, Prof. Chandrashekhar Khare (University of California, Los Angeles) for Mathematical Sciences, Prof. Shrinivas Kulkarni (California Institute of Technology) for Physical Sciences, and Prof. Mriganka Sur (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) for Life Sciences.

The Infosys Prize, the highest prize for science and research in India, has a history of recognizing and felicitating exceptional talent for contributions in science, research, and technology.

Several laureates of the Infosys Prize – past and present – have gone on to occupy positions of influence in academia and the top echelons of government, and win prestigious international honors like the Nobel Prize in Economics, the Fields Medal, and the Macarthur ‘Genius’ Grant.

In recognising these outstanding researchers, ISF is not just celebrating their personal achievements but also encouraging young minds to explore science and research as a career option,” the statement said.

 Elaborating on the importance of funding science and research in India, N R Narayana Murthy, Founder – Infosys, Trustee – ISF, said there is an urgent need for both government and private sectors to invest more in science and research.

“This is the best way forward to solve the many problems that confront us as a nation and humanity as a whole. Our researchers are the country’s frontline warriors in the war against our grand problems. That is why we must encourage them,” he said.

The Infosys Science Foundation believes that, like those before them, the winners of the Infosys Prize 2021 will have a lasting impact on the world stage. By recognizing these researchers and celebrating their achievements, the Infosys Prize hopes to create role models who will encourage young minds to explore science and research as career options.

Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan, President – Infosys Science Foundation, said, “The Infosys Science Foundation has recognized excellence for the last 13 years.

 By recognizing and celebrating the creativity and innovation of these remarkable individuals, we hope to inspire and encourage others and society at large. While results may not always be immediately apparent, we must remember that the long arc of knowledge, discovery, and invention will benefit mankind in unexpected ways as we have seen with mRNA vaccines during this COVID crisis.

 With the Infosys Prize, we not only reward apparent breakthroughs but also the far-reaching potential of the work of these stellar researchers and scholars.”

Among those in attendance at the virtual ceremony were the trustees of the Infosys Science Foundation Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan (President – Infosys Science Foundation), Mr. Srinath Batni, Mr. K. Dinesh, Mr. Narayana Murthy, Mr. Nandan Nilekani, Mr. Mohandas Pai, and Mr. S. D. Shibulal.

 In addition to the trustees and jury members, the event was attended by distinguished scientists and academicians from India and overseas, as well as business leaders, young researchers, and students.

On the occasion of the Infosys Prize ceremony, Chief Guest – Prof. Gagandeep Kang said, “In the past few centuries, and certainly in the future, the history of the world has been, and will be shaped by the countries that lead in science and intellectual exploration.

For any nation and society, world-leading science is a matter of prestige and a contribution to excellence in the country and the world. Recognition of exploration, innovation, and response to scientific and societal challenges is the goal of the Infosys Prize.

 Awards such as these create role models of science and scholarship that future generations can emulate. The Infosys Science Foundation goes beyond the awards to create the opportunities for sharing of the journey of exploration, the many failures and occasional triumphs, and the value of both experiences. It seeks to change the narrative around critical thought and exploration, so essential to our world today.”


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