VASVIK’s 50th Annual Awards: Celebrating the Genius of Indian Scientists in Atma Nirbhar Bharat

VASVIK's 50th Annual Awards: Celebrating the Genius of Indian Scientists in Atma Nirbhar Bharat

Mumbai, January 2024 — VIVIDHLAXI AUDYOGIK SAMSHODHAN VIKAS KENDRA (VASVIK) marked a historic milestone at its 50th Annual Industrial Research Awards on January 19, 2024, at B. J. Hall, Vile Parle (West), Mumbai. The event was attended by eminent scientist Dr. R. A. Mashelkar as the Chief Guest even as it recognised and celebrated exceptional contributions to applied research, aligning with India’s principles of Atma Nirbhar Bharat and Make in India.

Industrial research plays a major role in driving technological advancements and innovation across various sectors. Over the years, researchers and scientists have been instrumental in addressing complex challenges and creating solutions that contribute to the growth of industries and the nation as a whole.

VASVIK, a non-profit organisation established in 1973, has been at the forefront of promoting science and technology in India. Now in its 50th year, it has recognised and awarded over 450 Indian scientists who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of science and technology or provided leadership leading directly to national prosperity in India. Scientists with achievements in design, production techniques or methods, particularly about their impact on industrial and economic growth, import substitution, saving of foreign exchange, cost reduction, etc. are considered for the award. Nine different committees, comprising nationally and internationally renowned scientists act as the jury to decide the deserving awardees.

At the event, Dr. Mohan I. Patel, Chairman of the Board of Directors, welcomed attendees and congratulated the recipients of the VASVIK Industrial Research Awards for their contributions across fields, including agriculture, biology, chemical sciences, electrical and electronic sciences, environmental sciences, information and communication technology, material and metallurgical sciences, and mechanical and structural sciences.

In an inspiring address, Dr. R. A. Mashelkar said, “Witnessing their achievements and contributions to the country is a great honour for me. I urge young Indians to work hard; there is no substitute for hard work and focus. There is no limit to imagination and no limit to your endurance.”

Professor M.M Sharma, former Director of UDCT (ITC) and Chairman of the Board of Advisors of VASVIK, introduced the awards and said, “Scientists’ contributions lead to economic growth and technology is the best driving force for rapid economic growth. Without fundamental research, there can be no innovation or economic growth.”

Mr. Punit Patel, Global Partner of Davidson Kempner in Hong Kong, shared his perspective on India’s progress and lauded the reforms undertaken by the Modi government to boost the country’s economy. He shared, “Investing in technology and innovation is the only way forward for a nation’s economic growth—it’s the biggest marker of fund flow.”

Meanwhile, the coveted Dr. Mohan Patel Industrial Research Leadership Award was bestowed upon Dr. Pramod Chaudhari, Executive Chairman of Praj Industries, for his exemplary work in converting Cellulosic Biomass to 2nd Generation Renewable Fuels, Biogas, and Renewable Chemicals & Materials. Expressing his honour for receiving the prestigious award, he said, “The awards promote innovation across various sectors. Innovation and entrepreneurship are crucial for India’s growth. I believe any innovation should be commercialised at the earliest. A lot of technology will be unleashed in the coming years, available for commercialisation.”

Dr. Anirudh Pandit, Vice Chancellor of the ICT University and Principal of Mumbai read out the citations, while Mr. Nayan Patel, Director of the Board of Directors, proposed a vote of thanks, saying, “Thank you, Dr. Mashelkar, for inspiring us to think high, aim high and stressing the importance of innovation and technology. A heartfelt thanks to the awardees whose scientific research brought us here today. Let’s hope more scientists will contribute to India’s growth.”

The awards ceremony recognised over 16 scientists from various research organisations, each receiving a prize of Rs 1.51 lakhs and a Citation for the years 2022 & 2023. The awardees showcased their prowess in contributing to Atma Nirbhar Bharat and Make in India through their groundbreaking research. As a further motivation for applied researchers, to mark its 50th year, VASVIK has announced that the cash award henceforth will be Rs. 2,51,00 along with a citation. In continuation of its support for the scientific community, VASVIK has also set up a Research Wing in the Bombay College of Pharmacy, and auditoriums at the Institute of Engineers Ahmedabad and Vadodara.

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