Two years, top national science prize for young talent is on hold

Syllabus: Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

What’s the ongoing story-

THERE is disquiet in the scientific fraternity that for the first time since it was instituted in 1958, the country’s top annual science prize, the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awards, that have celebrated and nurtured the best science talent under 45, have been put on hold. The list of awardees for 2022 — for work done between 2017-21 — had been decided but was not announced on September 26, the CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) Foundation Day, as it used to happen every year.

For Your Information

  • Named after Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar, the first director of CSIR, these awards are given every in seven scientific disciplines — physics, biology, engineering, mathematics, medicine, chemistry, and earth sciences.
  • Each award — there cannot be more than two per discipline — carries a cash component of Rs 5 lakh and, since 2008, an honorarium of Rs 15,000 per month till the scientist is serving in a publicly funded institution.
  • The award has a formidable track record of identifying future science leaders: According to an article published in Current Science some time ago, of the 500 plus Bhatnagar awardees (till 2020), 16 have been honoured with Padma Vibhushan; 49 with Padma Bhushan and 69 with Padma Shri.
  • Seven Bhatnagar Awardees have been honoured with all three.
  • CNR Rao is the lone Bharat Ratna.
  • As many as 25 Bhatnagar awardees have become Fellow of the Riyal Society; 15 of them foreign associates of National Academy of Sciences in US, and 143 of them are fellows of The World Academy of Sciences.

Do You Know

  • The Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology is named after the founder Director of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), the late Dr (Sir) Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar and is known as the ‘Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar (SSB) Prize for Science and Technology’.
  • The Prize is given each year for outstanding contributions to science and technology.
  • SSB Prizes, each of the value of Rs 5,00,000 (Rupees five lakh) are awarded annually for notable and outstanding research, fundamental or applied, in the following disciplines: (1) Biological (2) Chemical (3) Earth-Atmosphere-Ocean-Planetary (4) Engineering (5) Mathematical (6) Medical and (7) Physical Sciences.
  • Any citizen of India engaged in research in any field of science and technology up to the age of 45 years as reckoned on 31st December of the year preceding the year of the Prize.
  • Overseas citizen of India (OCI) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) working in India are also eligible.
  • The Prize is bestowed on a person who, in the opinion of CSIR, has made conspicuously important and outstanding contributions to human knowledge and progress – fundamental or applied – in the particular field of endeavour, which is his/her specialization.
  • The Prize is awarded on the basis of contributions made through work done primarily in India during the five years preceding the year of the Prize.

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