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Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award To Jyotirmayee: Proud Parents Narrate How It Came As A Pleasant Surprise

Bhubaneswar: Odisha-born scientist Jyotirmayee Dash’s parents were over the blue moon when they heard of their daughter winning the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology in Chemical Sciences category.

“I just couldn’t believe myself after hearing the news. I could not control my tears. I used to teach children about the Bhatnagar award as part of their GK education. But I never thought my daughter will bag the award one day,” said Jyoti’s proud father Basant Kumar Dash in his reaction to the announcement while trying to control his emotions.

“Words will fall short of expressing my feelings. We are very proud of her achievement. She is very hard working from her very childhood. Because of her dedication, hard work and blessings of elders she was able to win the award,” said Jyoti’s mother Puspa Kumari Mishra at the Dash family’s humble home in Jagatsinghpur district.

Jyoti is among the 12 researchers to have received the prize, considered to be the most coveted science award in the country. Born in Jagatsinghpur district, Jyoti is the first woman from the state to receive the award which is conferred to scientists below the age of 45.

Jyotirmayee completed her MSC in chemistry from Ravenshaw University and received a Ph.D from IIT Kanpur. She worked at IISER, Kolkata, as an Assistant Professor, before moving to Indian Association For Cultivation Of Science (IACS).

Earlier, she was awarded the Alexander Von Humboldt post-doctoral fellowship at FU Berlin, Germany and Marie Curie fellowship at University of Cambridge, UK.

Jyoti is the eldest among the three children of her parents. Despite a humble background and early education in the village school, all the siblings have established themselves high in academics.

“I was an assistant teacher in Tarikunda High School. I gave just the basics (education) to my children. But they were all scholars and they advanced in their careers by virtue of their own hard work and dedication. I am really proud of them all,” said Jyoti’s father.

Jyoti’s younger brother is working as an assistant professor in SOA University in Bhubaneswar after completing his education from Manchester University, London. Her younger sister is continuing her Ph.D in Delhi IIT.

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