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PM to award best minds

mumbai Updated: Jan 06, 2011 01:54 IST
Snehal Rebello

Professor Sandip Trivedi’s fascination for the universe started in Class 9 with an Isaac Asimov book that spoke about the history of the universe and scientists who worked on understanding and exploring it.

This early attraction got theoretical physicist Trivedi to explain the mystery behind the accelerating expansion of universe.

On Thursday, it is for this work that Trivedi will receive the Infosys Prize 2010 in the category of physical sciences from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. With him, five other scientists — some of the country’s best minds — in both pure and social sciences will share the same space for their contributions to research that has impacted India.

“It is a prestigious award and gives me the confidence to trust myself as well move on to a new direction if I wish to pursue,” said Trivedi.

Although on the face of it pure science may not better human lives, Trivedi added that down the road and “may not be so far”, it could have important applications.

“Look at the way X-rays have made a tremendous impact, which in the first place was not made for this purpose. Moreover, such awards for high quality science are important to foster an environment of science that is important for a country’s progress if India wants to be a global player.”

The Infosys Science Foundation awards include a cash prize of Rs 50 lakh, a citation certificate and a gold medallion.

An annual affair aimed towards inspiring young students to pursue a career in scientific research.

The winners include two social scientists working in the filed of sociology and social anthropology.

“Complexities and diversities in a society need to be understood to understand problems of economics and social conflicts,” said professor Amita Baviskar, an awardee, who works at the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi.

“Access to abstract science and applied knowledge is important. But one needs to know how societies work before these new technological advances are introduced.”