Dispelling the perception that Indian scientists are averse to advertising their work,recipient of this years Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar prize,Dr Eknath Ghate and Dr Amol Dighe,said that in science,it is important to publish and publicise ones work globally. While Dighe has won the award for his contribution in high energy physics,Ghate clinched the prize in mathematical sciences category. Both are scientists at Mumbais Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR).
Young Indian scientists are not reclusive today. We compete globally and are interested in showing the world that we have come up with something new. We do advertise our work and believe in getting proper credit for it, said Dighe. The 42-year-old works in the Department of Theoretical Physics at TIFR. He completed his PhD from the University of Chicago.
Dighe is part of one of the largest basic science projects in India,the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO),which will be set up in Tamil Nadu. Neutrinos hold the key to a fundamental understanding of how the universe was created,nature of fundamental forces and energy production in stars among others. My research area focuses specifically on neutrinos that come from stars and change their types while travelling, he said.
Ghate specialises in number theory,a branch of pure mathematics. I look at problems connected to the arithmetic of certain functions called modular forms, said the 44-year-old. He completed his PhD from University of California,Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1996.
The opportunities in India have improved tremendously. Many new science institutes have been established,there are several good jobs available and students are being exposed to cutting-edge global research. Over the last few years,the salaries have also become rather competitive, said Ghate. Both,however,agreed that the intellectual satisfaction of discovering new things is what motivates any scientist.
Dr Yamuna Krishnan,a scientist from TIFRs National Centre for Biological Sciences,Bangalore,won in the chemical sciences category. Science is viable as a career option,but there are opportunities in other fields too. There are cases where students,after they have gone into engineering,come back to do a PhD after a thirst for knowledge strikes them, said Krishnan,who specialises in DNA nanotechnology.