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Nayanjot Lahiri, 6 others win Infosys Foundation awards


Shylaja Varma,CNN-IBN
Nov 12, 2013 at 06:32pm IST

Bangalore: The Infosys Science Foundation has announced the names of the winners of 5th Infosys Prize 2013. There are 7 winners in 6 different categories and include three women and four men.

They are Dr V Ramgopal Rao in the Engineering and Computer Science category, Prof Ayesha Kidwai and Prof Nayanjoti Lahiri in Humanities, Dr Rajesh S Gokhale in Life Sciences, Prof Rahul Pandharipande in Mathematics, Prof Shiraz Naval Minwalla in Physical Sciences and Prof Aninhalli R Vasavi in Social Sciences.

The winners were recognised for their achievements and contributions to scientific research. They will be awarded with prize money of Rs 55 lakh for each category at a ceremony on February 8, 2014.

Nayanjot Lahiri, 6 others win Infosys Foundation awards

They will be awarded with prize money of Rs 55 lakh for each category at a ceremony on February 8, 2014.

"The prize was instituted to create role models for youngsters to take up scientific and engineering research in the country," said Infosys co-founder and chairman Narayana Murthy. "We're quite happy to have recognised several people who've done world-class scientific and engineering research," said Murthy.

Prof Ayesha Kidwai is with the Centre for Linguistics at Jawaharlal Nehru Univeristy, Delhi. She was awarded for her research on the syntactic relations between Hindi and Urdu. Another Delhi-based scholar Nayanjot Lahiri was awarded for her work on the ancient inscriptions of Assam among others.

Meanwhile, Shiraz Naval Minwalla is the youngest of the lot to win the coveted prize for his work in physical sciences.

Speaking of the government's support to scientific research, Murthy remained optimistic about the trend of scientific research in the country. "There are several initiatives that the current government taken. But all these things will take some time," he said.

Though the winners were not present at the announcement, they expressed their joy and excitement in recorded messages. They will be awarded with a prize money of Rs 55 lakh for each category at a ceremony in February 2014 where former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is expected to felicitate the winners. The prize money was Rs 50 lakh for each category in 2012.

The winners: Engineering & Computer Science - V Ramgopal Rao. Humanities - Prof Ayesha Kidwai for Linguistics, Prof Nayanjot Lahiri for Archaeology. Mathematics - Rahul Vijay Pandharipande. Life Sciences - Prof Rajesh S Gokhale. Physical Science - Prof Shiraz Naval Minwalla (youngest winner). Social Sciences - Aninhalli R Vasavi for Sociology & Anthropology.

The jury comprised of eminent leaders from each of the fields and included Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, Kaushik Basu, Inder Verma, Pradeep K Khosla, Shrinivas Kulkarni, Srinivasa SR Varadhan.

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