Infosys award for Ramakrishna Mission monk, Bengaluru scientist

Bengaluru: A Ramakrishna Mission monk and a Bengaluru scientist were among six winners of the Infosys Prize 2015 for their outstanding contribution in their respective subjects, the software major’s Science Foundation announced here on Monday.

“Mahan Maharaj, associate professor of mathematics in Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University at Belur Math, Howrah, is awarded in mathematical sciences for his contributions to geometric group theory, low-dimensional topology and complex geometry,” Foundation president S.D. Shibulal told reporters.

Mahan Maharaj has joined Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai.

Umesh Waghmare, a professor of theoretical sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research in Bengaluru was awarded in engineering and computer science for his innovative use of first principles theories and modelling in insightful investigations of microscopic mechanisms responsible for specific properties of certain materials such as topological insulators, ferroelectrics, multi-ferroics and graphene.

Set up as a not-for-profit trust in 2009, the Foundation is funded by a corpus of Rs.130 crore ($20 million), contributed by the $8.7-billion company’s former board directors, co-founders and its senior management.

The prestigious prize for each of six categories consists of a purse of Rs.65 lakh, a 22-karat gold medallion and a citation certificate.

A panel of jurors comprising renowned scientists and professors from the world over evaluate nominations for the prize winners.

Four other winners are G. Ravindra Kumar, professor in the nuclear and atomic physics department at TIFR in Mumbai in physical sciences for his pioneering experimental contributions to physics of high intensity laser matter interactions.

Amir Sharma, group leader in International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in New Delhi, in life sciences, for his pioneering contributions towards deciphering the molecular structure at the atomic level of key proteins in the biology of pathogenesis of the deadly malarial parasite.

Srinath Raghavan, senior fellow at Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, in social sciences for outstanding research that synthesizes military history, international politics and strategic analysis into powerful and imaginative perspectives of India in global context.

Jonardon Ganeri, global network visiting professor of philosophy at New York University and recurrent visiting professor at King’s College in London, in humanities for his outstanding scholarship and originality in interpreting and scrutinising analytical Indian philosophy, shedding light on shared ground and the dichotomy between Indian and Greek traditions of philosophical reasoning.

“The winners were selected from 206 nominations in all six categories from universities across the world. I hope their work will stimulate minds of future talent and open up a new world of possibilities for all of us,” Shibulal, a co-founder of the company, said.