Physicist Thanu Padmanabhan on Sunday received the M P Birla Memorial Award 2019 for his contributions to the world of cosmology.
Padmanabhan, a professor of Inter-university Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Pune, received the award at a programme held at M P Birla Planetarium here, a statement said.
In his memorial lecture, ‘Gravity and the Cosmos’, the Padma Shri-recipient scientist spoke about the role gravity in shaping the Universe, it said.
The Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar awardee dwelt on open questions about the Universe “which have not yet been fully resolved”, the release said.
The M P Birla Memorial Award comprises a citation, trophy and a cheque for Rs 2,51,000.
Thanking Prof Padmanabhan, H V Lodha, Chairman of MP Birla Group, said the planetarium, which is currently in its 54th year, played a pioneering role by initiating an Astronomy Awareness Programme in 1965.
Padmanabhan, a visiting faculty to several institutes in the US and the UK, has contributed to the fields of general relativity, gravitation and cosmology, said the release, adding he is currently also an adjunct faculty member of IISER (Mohali), IISER (Trivandrum) and Jamia Millia Islamia. He had been adjunct faculty of TIFR, IISER (Pune), Raman Research Institute and Harish Chandra Research Institute.
He was conferred Padma Shri in 2007.
He has also received numerous prestigious awards, including Infosys Science Prize in Physical Sciences (2009), Third World Academy of Sciences Prize in Physics (2011), Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award (1996), Millennium Medal of CSIR (2000), Vainu Bappu International Award of the Indian National Science Academy (2007), GD Birla Award for Scientific Research (2003), INSA Young Scientists Award (1984) and Miegunah Fellowship Award of University of Melbourne (2004).
The previous recipients of the MP Birla Memorial Award are former president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Prof JV Narlikar, Prof Ashok Sen, Prof Govind Swarup, Prof K Kasturirangan, Prof SM Chitre, Prof KD Abhayankar, Prof PC Agrawal, Prof V Radhakrishnan, Prof R Cowsik and Dr G M Nair. —PTI Inputs