Indian Scientists: Hope for India

Forbes India March2, 2012 issue, ‘Enough about Aryabhata’ may be a pleasant and inspiring reading to technocrats in India. It tells that cutting edge science is coming back to India. The issue also profiles and refers to many Indian scientists who with their pioneering works in their field are changing the world.

Mriganka Sur, the neuroscientist has done pioneer work in revealing how the brain works. 1

Prof. Jayant Baliga working at GE developed the IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor) “because of which the world has not had to build at least 600 hydroelectric dams of the size of the Hoover dam!”.2

Harry Bhadeshia who invented some of the best alloy steel including superbainite, the strongest low alloy steel ever produced that is more than six times stronger than conventional steel. 3

The eighteen scientists selected by a panel of Jury and profiled in the issue are as follows:
The next three
Chaitan Khosla developed a treatment for celiac sprue and also did globally significant work in biodiesel.

Krishna Palem devised a new microchip that uses less energy and also developed solar powered notepad, iSlate.

Rakesh Agrawal works on efficient and cheap energy production from renewable sources such as solar and biomass.

Arvinda Chakravarti, a geneticist has provided insights into many diseases, including hypertension.

Chennupati Jagadish’s work can make solar cells far more efficient through clever use of nanotechnology.

Ajit Lalvani is working on TB prevention and has reported a radical new TB vaccine.

Vivek Sharma is in the research for the Higgs boson that will make us understand the origin of the universe.

Sangeeta Bhatia uses micro- and nano-technology to treat diseases like cancer.

Veerabhadran Ramanathan wants Indian villagers to help fight pollution by using efficient stoves.

Vamshi Mootha showed a correlation between reduced mitochondrial activity inside cell and type2 diabetes.

Anil K Jain is one of the pioneers of biometrics.

Rajiv Doshi developed a new class of therapy apnea.

Prashant Kumta works in the field of energy and medicine, and also in gene therapy, developed a safe and efficient way to deliver genes to cells.
Rakesh K Jain is a pioneer in tumour biology and vivo imaging, and has shown that blood vessels can be exploited to improve cancer therapy.

Ajay V. Bhatt was the lead architect responsible for one of the most ubiquitous technologies in the computing world: The USB.

The list might not be the comprehensive. However, it gives a glimpse of the fields of scientific research being carried out by the Indians.

Forbes India made me feel happy, when I was morose after reading a report: Anand Kumar of Super 30, Patna on a visit to China told The Hindu in an interview in Beijing, “In the coming 15 years, I believe that all Nobel Prize winners and Fields Medal winners will come from China.”

There is a hope. I wish some of the Indian journals start reporting about the scientists and technocrats doing some wonderful jobs in many labs and institutions such as IITs, IISc, TIFR etc. The people of India must know about the innovators. And who knows some from among this lot may be the first to get a Nobel. I do also wish that the IIMs and other management schools discourage brilliant technocrats from taking their courses just for initial high salaries.

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