Some Indian Achievers

In last week, I came across some Indian achievers who brought laurels to the country. Though not any way very close, many like me feel equally elated with their achievements

Technology Pioneers 2007: Indian companies Strand Life Sciences and Drishtee are among 47 ‘visionary’ firms worldwide that were selected by the World Economic Forum as ‘Technology Pioneers 2007’ for their life-changing innovations. Their innovations have been considered to have the potential for long-term impact on business and society.

Global Indus Technovators Awards: The ten young under-40 innovators and entrepreneurs recognised by the Indian Business Club at Massachusetts Institute of Technology for their outstanding contributions to biotechnology, information technology and grassroots technology, are:

Biotechnology/medicine/healthcareAnita Goel (Nanobiosym Inc), Krishna Kumar (Tufts University) and Shiladitya Sengupta (MIT)

Materials and Devices: Aref Chowdhury (Bell Labs), Rajeev V Ram (MIT) and Adam Rasheed (GE)

Information technology: Anuj Batra (TI) and Rajit Manohar (Achronix Semiconductor).

Indian entrepreneurs Vikram Akula, founder of SKS Microfinance, and Sameer Sawarkar of Neurosynaptic Comm are the winners in the Grassroots category. Akula, founder of SKS Microfinance – one of the fastest growing microfinance organisations in the world, has provided over $33 million in loans and helped over 300,000 people in becoming economically self-reliant.Sawarkar, founder Neurosynaptic Communications Pvt, Ltd, who works in the areas of remote medical diagnostics and telemedicine, has developed ReMeDiV solution for rural telemedicine.

Scientific American’ 50 achievers: ‘The ‘Scientific American’, said to be the oldest published magazine in the US named two Indian Americans Pulickell Ajayan and Prabhakar R. Bandaru in the list of 50 achievers in the field of science and technology.

Ajayan is an assistant professor at the material science and engineering department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York and was recognized for his research on carbon nanotubes by the Materials Research Society.Ajayan’s research work involved creating super-resilient springs from thin carbon tubes that could one day be used to create artificial joints. Ajayan graduated in metallurgical engineering from BHU and got his doctorate in materials science and engineering in 1989 from Northwest University in Illinois.

Bandaru is a professor in the Jacobs School of Engineering’s materials science program at the University of California, San Diego. Bandaru and his colleagues demonstrated a radical nanotube-based transistor. Scientific American described graphitic structures, the area of Bandaru’s research as ‘Chicken Wire’. Bandaru received his doctorate from the material sciences and engineering department at the University of California, Berkeley, in1998, with a master’s thesis in the thermodynamic phase transformation issues in magneto-optic media.

Right from our great President every one down the line are talking of encouraging science education and making it more lucrative. Our universities must work on basic research. The country that produced Jagdish Chandra Bose, CV Raman, Satyen Bose and Meghnad Saha with very little facilities available in the pre-independence era seems to have lost the race of scientific research.

I am sure many in our national research laboratories, IITs, IISc and many universities too must be doing outstanding research work, but the country is so little informed about them. Why is it so? Is it because of the irresponsible media that are too busy to cover our crooked politicians and hot and marketable news or because of institutional restrictions to write about the research work?

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