Context: The Ministry of Science and Technology has instituted the Rastriya Vigyan Puraskar (RVP)—56 annual awards to honour scientists and innovators. The new RVP will replace the long-running Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar (SSB) prizes given by CSIR since the 1960s. However, unlike SSB awards that carried prize money, the new RVP awards will have no monetary component, like the Padma awards.
This move by the government comes nearly a year after it decided to reduce the number of annual science prizes given by its ministries. While RVP aims to felicitate scientists and technologists, the lack of prize money marks a shift from the decades old SSB awards.
Rastriya Vigyan Puraskar
- The Government of India has established the “Rastriya Vigyan Puraskar,” a prestigious set of national accolades bestowed to individuals in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the domains of science, technology, and innovation.
- The Rastriya Vigyan Puraskar (RVP) is set to become a prestigious accolade within the realm of science, technology, and innovation in India.
- Invitations for nominations in this category of awards will be sent annually on the 14th of January. The period for submitting nominations will continue until the 28th of February, which coincides with National Science Day.
- The announcement of these prizes is scheduled to take place annually on the 11th of May, coinciding with National Technology Day.
- The presentation for all categories of prizes is scheduled to take place on August 23rd, which coincides with National Space Day.
- In addition to the accolades, recipients of these honours will also get a diploma and a medal.
- National Technology Day (11th May): This day marks India’s second nuclear test in 1998 in Pokhran.
- National Space Day (23rd August): This day marks successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 near the South Pole of Moon. (Shiv Shakti Point was the site of the landing of Chandrayaan-3).
- National Science Day (28 February): This day marks the discovery of Raman effect by Nobel Laureate Dr. C. V. Raman.
- The primary aim of the Recognizing Valuable Contributions Program (RVP) is to bring attention to the exceptional and motivating achievements accomplished by scientists, technologists, and innovators either individually or together in many areas of science, technology, and innovation.
- Individuals who have made significant contributions in terms of groundbreaking research, innovation, or discovery in any field of science, technology, or technology-led innovation and are employed in government, private sector organizations, or working independently are eligible for the awards.
- The eligibility criteria for the new awards will extend to People of Indian origin (PIOs).
- However, it is important to note that only one PIO will be eligible for the Vigyan Ratna award, while three PIOs may be picked for both the Vigyan Shri and the VY-SSB prizes. However, PIOs will not meet the eligibility criteria for the Vigyan Team prizes.
The awards shall be given in following four categories:
- Vigyan Ratna (VR)awards achievements and& contributions made in any field of science and technology.
- Vigyan Shri (VS) award will recognize distinguished contributions in any field of science and technology.
- Vigyan Yuva-Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar (VY-SSB) award will recognize and encourage young scientists up to the age of 45 years have made an exceptional contribution in any field of science and technology.
- Vigyan Team (VT) award is to be given to a team comprising three or more scientists, researchers, or innovators who have made an exceptional contribution working in a team in any field of science and technology.
Awarded in various fields
- The Rastriya Vigyan Puraskar will be awarded across 13 distinct disciplines, including Physics, Chemistry, Biological Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science, Earth Sciences, Medicine, Engineering Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Technology and Innovation, Atomic Energy, Space Science and Technology, and other related fields.
- This prize will strive to guarantee participation from diverse fields of employment, with a focus on promoting gender equality.
Rastriya Vigyan Puraskar Committee (RVPC)
- The Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to the Government of India will preside over the Rastriya Vigyan Puraskar Committee (RVPC), which will receive the nominations submitted for the award.
- The RVPC will comprise secretaries of Science Departments, individuals from Science and Engineering Academies, as well as distinguished scientists and technicians representing many domains within the realm of Science and Technology.
- The RVPC alone will make the final decision to award the Rastriya Vigyan Puraskar.