SHANTI SWARUP BHATNAGAR AWARDS (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 - Awards)

News-CRUX-10     10th August 2023        
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Context: There is disquiet in the scientific fraternity that for the first time since it was instituted in 1958, the country’s top annual science prize, the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awards, that have celebrated and nurtured the best science talent under 45, have been put on hold.


Key Points

  • The list of awardees for 2022 - for work done between 2017-21 - had been decided but was not announced on September 26, the CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) Foundation Day, as it used to happen every year.
  • The government had decided to withhold the Bhatnagar Awards as part of efforts to “rationalise” the awards given by science ministries and departments.
  • The Bhatnagar awards for 2022 haven’t been announced and, this year, too, there is no sign that the awards will be reinstated.
  • Indeed, this year, the nominations for Bhatnagar Awards 2023 were not called for. 
  • Usually, the window of applications is open between January and March. That window is over for this year..


Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awards

  • Named after Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar, the first director of CSIR, these awards are given every in seven scientific disciplines - physics, biology, engineering, mathematics, medicine, chemistry, and earth sciences. 
  • Each award - there cannot be more than two per discipline - carries a cash component of Rs 5 lakh and, since 2008, an honorarium of Rs 15,000 per month till the scientist is serving in a publicly funded institution.
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