Software major Infosys Technologies announced the launch of Infosys Science Foundation on Tuesday to encourage scientific research. The foundation will confer a prize of Rs 50 lakh each to five young Indian scientists in recognition of their contributions and achievements across various scientific streams.
The foundation has been set up with a corpus of Rs 21.5 crore contributed by the company’s eight board members. The company will also grant Rs 2 crore a year to supplement the prize money. The winners will be chosen by a jury of five members comprising renowned international experts in the respective fields.
The five streams are Physical Sciences (Physics and Chemistry), Mathematical Sciences (Mathematics and Statistics), Engineering Sciences, Life Sciences (Biology and Medicine) and Social Sciences.
Announcing the Foundation, NR Narayana Murthy, chairman and chief mentor of Infosys Technologies, said the prizes would be given to scientists of below 40 years. He said, “India needs bright minds across all areas of academics, government, business and society to strive for global excellence.”
Asked whether Infosys set up the Foundation as atonement of guilt for having weaned away the best and the brightest from Pure Science to Information Technology, Murthy said, “There is no sense of guilt.”
He said, “We are standing up and saying that we are creating the largest prize. More such efforts must take shape so that we can stand up and cheer them (young scientists) as they run the marathon, so that they feel better and we feel better too.”