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Bhatnagar prize money to be increased

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Sept. 26.As part of measures to attract youngsters to a career in science and technology, the Government has decided to increase the prize money for the CSIR's prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar awards for excellence in science and technology and create 25 new special Ph.D fellowships.

While the prize money for the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar awards has been doubled from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh, the special doctoral fellowships would carry a grant of Rs. 15,000 per month. The fellowships would be named after a former Vice- President of CSIR, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookherjee, and would cover studies in the areas of chemistry, biology, physics, earth sciences and mathematics.

The decisions were announced by the Science and Technology Minister, Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, at a function here today to mark the CSIR's Foundation Day. Dr. Joshi also presented the CSIR young scientists awards carrying a cash prize of Rs. 50,000, to five scientists and the CSIR technology awards to four teams of scientists. Noted industrialist and former Chairman of CII, Mr. Rahul Bajaj, delivering the foundation day lecture, accepted that the industry needed to spend more on R&D for India to meet the competition in the global market place in a a better manner.

Dr. P.Guptasarma of Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh and Dr. A.K.Shasany of Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow, jointly received the young scientist awards in Biology, while Dr. P.Mandal of National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad, received the award in the field of earth, atmosphere, ocean and planetary sciences.

In engineering sciences, the award went to Dr. K. L. Sahoo of National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur and Dr. H. C. Barshilia of National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore bagged the award in physical sciences.

A team of scientists at Structural Engineering Research Centre, Chennai, received the CSIR shield for engineering technology, while the shield for process technology jointly went to Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun, Engineers India and Chennai Petroleum Corporation, the CSIR technology award for biological sciences and technology was bagged by a group of scientists at Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad and the prize for engineering technology went to a team at Central Fuel Research Institute, Dhanbad.

The Director General of CSIR, Dr. R.A.Mashelkar, also announced the winners of this year's Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar prizes, the nation's highest awards in science.

The winners include Dr.Dinakar M.Salunke of National Institute of Immunology, Dr. Jayant B. Udgaonkar of National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore for the field of biological sciences; Dr. Pradeep Mathur of IIT, Mumbai and Dr. Sourav Pal of National Chemical Laboratory, Pune for chemical sciences.

For the field of engineering sciences, Prof Partha Pratim Chakrabarti of IIT, Kharagpur, and Prof V.Kumaran of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, have been selected, while Prof. Rahul Mukerjee of Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta gets it for mathematical sciences.

In medical sciences, the Bhatnagar award goes to Dr. Shahid Jameel, while Dr. Sriram Ramaswamy of IISc, Bangalore, and Dr. Varun Sahni of Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune, have been selected for physical sciences.

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