Bangalore: Six achievers in the field of mathematical sciences, physical sciences, engineering and computer science, life sciences and social sciences Monday won the Infosys Prize of Rs 5 million each for their outstanding contribution to the field.
The winners are Chandrashekhar Khare of California University mathematics department (mathematical science), Nandini Sundar of Delhi School of Economics (social anthropology), Sandip Trivedi of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (physical sciences), Ashutosh Sharma of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (engineering and computer science), Amita Baviskar of the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi (sociology), and Chetan E. Chitnis of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Delhi (life sciences).
Announcing the prize winners, Infosys chairman and chief mentor NR Narayana Murthy said, "Scientific research is the key to sustaining India`s growth, and it is critical for India to ensure that research remains an attractive profession for the nation`s finest minds.
"The Infosys Prize aims to recognize and acknowledge outstanding work done by researchers, creating role models and thereby encouraging the youth to pursue careers in scientific research," he told reporters here.
The prize is offered by the Infosys Science Foundation to recognize outstanding contributions to scientific research that have impacted India.
Besides Murthy, other trustees of the foundation include, K. Dinesh and S. Gopalakrishnan, who are the co-founders along with Murthy of Infosys, India`s second largest IT company. They were present at the press meet.
Gopalakrishnan is the present CEO of Infosys while Dinesh is head of the Foundation.
"The winners of the Infosys Prize 2010 were chosen by jury panels comprising eminent scientists and professors from across the globe. In recognition of their outstanding contributions to scientific research, the winners will receive a cash prize of Rs.50 lakh, a citation certificate and a gold medallion," an Infosys statement said.
The awards will be presented to the winners by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Mumbai on January 6, the statement said.
Applauding the winners, Dinesh, president of the Board of Trustees of the Infosys Science Foundation, said: "Science like business, is planned, executed, learnt and re-executed. Science has the power to transform all impertinent questions to pertinent answers. The Infosys Science Foundation is a step in that direction for recognizing and rewarding world-class researchers."
The Infosys Prize was established as an annual prize across five categories to reward and recognize outstanding inventions or discovery or a cumulative body of work. It is amongst the largest in terms of prize money for any such honour in India.
"The objective of this prize is to elevate the prestige of scientific research in India and to inspire young Indians to pursue a career in scientific research," the statement said.
The Infosys Science Foundation trust was set up by Infosys Technologies in February 2009 to promote research in sciences in India. The foundation has a corpus of Rs.45 crore contributed by Infosys executive board members and an annual grant from Infosys Technologies Ltd, India`s second largest IT company.
At present the corpus stands at Rs.100 crore, the statement said.