Krishna C Saraswat, an India-born engineering professor at the Stanford University in the US, has become the first recipient of the Techno Visionary award of the Indian Semiconductor Association (ISA) for lifetime achievement in the field of electronics.
The 58-year-old academic received the prestigious award, which carries a citation and a cash prize of Rs 5,00,000 ($12,500) from principal scientific advisor and Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) secretary R Chidambaram at the second annual meet of the ISA in Bangalore on Tuesday.
The Technovation awards, instituted jointly by the ISA and the VLSI (very large system integration) Society of India (VSI), are aimed at building the Indian semiconductor eco-system and encouraging the academic fraternity for its development.
After obtaining a graduate degree in electronic engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) at Pilani in Rajasthan in 1968, Saraswat went on to do his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford in 1974.
"Saraswat has been chosen for the first TechnoVisionary lifetime award by the ISA panel for his outstanding research work and contributions in nano-technology, three-dimensional integrated circuits technology, single wafer manufacturing for a micro-factory and thin film technology for VLSI inter-connections and contacts," the citation said.
Receiving the award, Saraswat told the 120-odd ISA members though he was honoured with many international awards in his academic career spanning over three decades, this was the first time his contributions, including research have been recognised in India.
"India is poised to become a superpower not only economically, but also technologically and militarily, thanks to the rapid strides the country has made in nuclear energy, space, IT and other growth sectors because of its strong education system," he said.
Lamenting the growing shortage of teaching faculty in technical education across the country, Saraswat said lucrative compensations offered by the industry had kept the majority of graduating and lateral engineers away from pursuing an academic career.
"It is ironic that average compensation for teachers is much lower than what their graduate students are given, resulting in scarcity of teaching faculty and domain experts."
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi's professor Jagadish Kumar was presented the ISA's TechnoMentor award for his research abilities and successful mentoring of hundreds of under-graduates and post-graduates.
IIT Chennai and IIT Kharagpur were jointly selected for the TechnoShield trophy in recognition of their contribution in semiconductor research.
The TechnoInventor award was presented to RK Sharma of the National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Kurukshetra and E. Syam Sundar Reddy of IIT Chennai for their post-graduate and doctoral research theses.