Infosys Science Foundation introduced a new category of Humanities earlier this year to expand the scope of the prize which has traditionally acknowledged research in the physical, biological and social sciences, as well as mathematics, engineering and computer sciences. Two winners were announced in this category for their contributions in the fields of History and Literary Studies.
In the words of Prof. Amartya Sen, jury chair for the Humanities
category, "The Humanities as a cluster of subjects - Literary Studies, Philosophy, History, Art, and Legal Theory - complement the traditional sciences and have an important role in broadening human lives, like science has. Having a prize in Humanities will add incentive for younger people in the country to pursue these subjects. I am delighted that the Infosys Science Foundation is moving in this direction."
The seven winners of the Infosys Prize 2012 were informed of their selection earlier today by the trustees and jury chairs who evaluated their work along with panel members comprising of eminent scientists and professors from around the world. The jury chairs of the six categories are: Prof. Amartya Sen, Humanities; Dr. Kaushik Basu, Social Sciences; Prof. Shrinivas Kulkarni, Physical Sciences; Prof. Pradeep K. Khosla, Engineering & Computer Science; Prof. Srinivasa S. R. Varadhan, Mathematical Sciences; and Prof. Inder Verma, Life Sciences.
The prize for each category includes a gold medallion, a citation certificate, and prize money of Rs. 50 Lakh (over US$ 90000).
The distinguished winners of the Infosys Prize 2012 are:
Engineering and Computer Science
Dr. Ashish Lele, Scientist, National Chemical Laboratories, Pune, India
Prof. Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Distinguished Professor of History and Navin & Pratima Doshi Endowed Chair in Pre-Modern Indian History, University of California at Los Angeles, U.S.A.
Prof. Amit Chaudhuri, Professor of Contemporary Literature, University of East Anglia, Norwich, U.K.
Dr. Satyajit Mayor, Professor of Cellular Organization and Signaling at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India
Prof. Manjul Bhargava, Professor of Mathematics, Princeton University, Princeton, U.S.A.
Dr. Ayyappanpillai Ajayaghosh, Senior Scientist, National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Thiruvananthapuram, India
Prof. Arunava Sen, Professor, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India
Mr. S. Gopalakrishnan, Executive Co-Chairman, Infosys, and President of the Board of Trustees, Infosys Science Foundation, said: "I congratulate each of the winners for their highly impressive achievements and contributions in their respective fields. Scientific advances are important drivers of healthy economies. The ability to create, distribute, and use knowledge is a major source of competitive advantage, wealth creation, and quality-of-life improvements. We hope the winners will serve as role-models to motivate young Indians choose vocations in scientific research and increase innovative work and discovery being done in the country today."
Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy, Chairman Emeritus, Infosys, and Trustee, Infosys Science Foundation, said: "I am delighted that the Infosys Prize continues to recognize the finest researchers for their unparalleled achievements. It is our aim to promote ground-breaking research, while encouraging young minds in India to explore the sciences. The Infosys Prize is a step in this direction and will inspire many more Indians to achieve these important goals."
The award ceremony for the Infosys Prize 2012 will be held on January 3, 2013 in New Delhi, where Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, the former Prime Minister of Norway and former Director General of the World Health Organization, will felicitate the winners.
In its efforts to elevate the prestige of scientific research in the country, the Infosys Science Foundation is lending a special focus to the development of Mathematics, with 2012 marked as the National Year of Mathematics by the Government of India. The Foundation has already orchestrated lectures across the country and inter-school Fests on Mathematics aimed at fostering enthusiasm and excitement around this academic field.
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