Three Bengaluru scientists have been awarded Swarnajayanti fellowships for their innovative research ideas and their potential to create an impact on research and development in different disciplines.
Sridharan Devarajan and Mayank Shrivastava from the Indian Institute of Science and Subhro Bhattacharjee from TIFR – International Centre for Theoretical Sciences are among the 17 scientists chosen for the award from across the country.
According to the Union Ministry of Science and Technology, “Scientists selected for the award will be allowed to pursue unfettered research with freedom and flexibility in terms of expenditure as approved in the research plan. The scientists with proven track record and selected through a rigorous three-layered screening process will pursue basic research in frontier areas of science and technology.”
According to the Press Information Bureau, Devarajan’s area of work is Cognition, Computation and Behaviour encompassing how our brain enables us to pay attention selectively to some things and ignore others or what happens in the brain when we make important decisions. His research focuses on understanding the neural basis of cognitive phenomena such as selective attention and decision-making.
Shrivastava works on the science and technology of electron devices focusing on power semiconductor devices as well as nanoscale/beyond Si CMOS for SoC applications. He also focuses on a multitude of science threads like physics of semiconductor device reliability, electro-thermal/electron – phonon interaction beyond Si materials/devices, thermometry and thermal/phonon transport in these materials/devices.
Bhattacharjee works on quantum many-body physics and focuses on magnetism (frustrated magnets, quantum spin liquids), topological phases of condensed matter and physics of transition metal oxides (interplay of spin-orbit coupling and electron correlations), strongly correlated metals and many-body chaos.
The Swarnajayanti Fellowship scheme was instituted by the Government of India to commemorate India’s 50th year of Independence. Under the scheme, awardees are facilitated by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) with support for all requirements for performing research, including a fellowship of Rs 25,000 per month for five years. In addition, DST supports the awardees by giving them a research grant of Rs 5 lakh for five years. The fellowship is provided in addition to the salary they draw from their parent institutions. In addition to the fellowship, grants for equipment, computational facilities, consumables, contingencies, national and international travel and other special requirements are covered based on merit, the ministry said.