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Infosys Science Foundation announces new direction for Infosys Prize

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Bengaluru, May 15 (PTI) The Infosys Science Foundation (ISF) on Wednesday announced that it is steering its 'Infosys Prize' into a new direction by transitioning from a mid-career prize to an early-career one, revising the upper age limit for the winners to 40 from 50.

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This is being done with the objective of rewarding potential and recognising the promise of future achievement, it said.

To further its objective of fostering collaboration and access, the ISF said, it now requires all winners who are based outside India at the time of winning the prize to spend time at Indian institutes of their choice.

It said, winners who are not based in India will be requested to spend 30 days (in a maximum of two trips) at a host institute in India, to build networks and spark conversations with research groups here.

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The ISF hopes that these early collaborations could transform into mutually beneficial long-term partnerships, it added.

The categories that the Infosys Prize recognises would broadly stay the same, the ISF said. Economics, however, will now be a separate category. Previously, it was awarded under the Social Sciences category.

From 2024, the six categories that the Infosys Prize will be awarded in are: Economics, Engineering & Computer Science, Humanities & Social Sciences, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, and Physical Sciences.

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The Infosys Prize is awarded by the ISF, a not-for-profit trust set up in 2009. The award is given annually to honour outstanding achievements of contemporary researchers and scientists in the six categories.

Each prize consists of a gold medal, a citation, and a purse of USD 100,000. The award intends to celebrate excellence in research and inspire a younger generation of scholars to take up science and research as a career, it said.

ISF president Kris Gopalakrishnan said since its inception 15 years ago, ISF has recognised and awarded 92 brilliant minds across disciplines in a demanding global environment.

"This change in the direction of the Infosys Prize stems from our vision to create a generation of young academicians who are passionate about pursuing a career in scientific research and provide a longer runway for individuals to develop their work that would have the potential to benefit society at large," Gopalakrishnan said.

Infosys co-founder and ISF Trustee N R Narayana Murthy said: "We looked at some of the most important inventions in the STEM field, they came from people in their 20s and 30s..... So after looking both within India and outside India, we trustees felt that -- and of course there was discussion with the jury, we all felt that as an innovative and progressive organisation we will take advantage of all the wonderful things that are happening in the current model and experiment with it." In this context, he gave examples of Alan Turing and Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar among other greats who achieved excellence at an early age. PTI KSU RS KH

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