The Oscars of Indian Science: 2006 Edition

Yes, the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar (SSB) Prizes have been announced for the year 2006. As I said in my post last year, the SSB Prizes are the most prestigeous in India because (a) they represent peer recognition, and (b) they are rare (just one or two in each field). They do come with some money, but at Rs. 200,000 or about $5,000, it’s not much (but certainly nice!).

I’m pleased to note that Prof. S. Sampath, a colleague in the Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, is among the SSB Prize winners [Congratulations, Sampath!]. He has won one of the two Prizes for Chemical Sciences; Dr. K George Thomas (RRL, Trivandrum) has won the other.

The two SSB Prizes for engineering go to Dr. Ashish Lele (Complex Fluids and Polymer Engineering, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune) and Dr. Sanjay Mittal (Aerospace Engineering, IIT-K).

I have to fault the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the organization that awards these Prizes, for giving just the barest of details about the awardees. Is it so difficult to put together a news story that has details about each awardee’s important contributions? Wouldn’t it be nice — offering a higher profile for the Prize winners, and more information for the others — if full citations are available on the CSIR website? Currently, all that it offers is this press release [pdf] which deserves a prize for minimalism.

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3 thoughts on “The Oscars of Indian Science: 2006 Edition

  1. I checked out the press release. The least CSIR can do is to provide the citations for SSB. Wonder how can we get this message thru to the CSIR top brass!!
    I hope magazines like Resonance will have some sort of write-up on the scientists – a brief background, their contribution, as well as the significance of their work. I guess, the best way to do it would be to invite the scientists themselves to turn in a short write-ups which could then be published in the magazine. That way, people would know the stuff from the horse’s mouth too 🙂

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