Jayant Narlikar to be honored with Nayudamma Memorial Award
Prof Jayant Vishnu Narlikar has been chosen for the prestigious Dr Yelavarthy Nayudamma Memorial Award for the year 2013
Tenali-based Dr Nayudamma Memorial Trust chose Narlikar for the coveted award for his “epoch-making contributions in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics and for his commitment to demystify the wonders of space,” according to the Trust founder and managing trustee P Vishnu Murthy.
The award, instituted by the Trust in 1986 to commemorate the distinguished scientist and internationally-renowned leather technologist Nayudamma, is given annually to persons chosen for their significant contribution to the development of science and technology in the country.
Murthy said the award would be conferred on Prof Narlikar at a special function at Tenali, the native town of Dr Nayudamma, on March 1 by former Union Home Secretary K Padmanabhaiah.
He would deliver the 22nd Dr Y Nayudamma Memorial Lecture on the theme “Are we alone in the Universe” on the occasion.
With this, Narlikar joins the galaxy of eminent recipients of the award like Dr Lalji Singh, Dr Rajendra Pawar Dr V Shanta, Dr V K Saraswat, Dr T Ramasami, Dr A Sivathanu Pillai, Dr Nori Dattatreyuudu, Dr Sam Pitroda, Dr G Madhavan Nair, Dr Kota Harinarayana, Dr V K Aatre, Dr R Chidambaram, Dr R A Mashelkar, Prof J S Bajaj, Dr K Kasturirangan, Dr Verghese Kurien, Dr S Z Qasim, Prof M G K Menon and Dr M S Swaminathan.
Narlikar broke new grounds in space research along with his Cambridge mentor Dr Fred Holyle during 1966-72 and brought laurels to the country by propounding the famous Hoyle-Narlikar theory which synthesises Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and Mach’s Principle.
Since 1999, he has been heading an international team in pioneering experiments designed to sample air for micro-organisms in the atmosphere at heights of up to 41 km.
After a prolonged stint in Cambridge, Prof Narlikar returned home to join TIFR, where under his stewardship the Theoretical Astrophysics Group got international recognition.
The UGC invited him to establish the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy for Astrophysics (IUCAA). As its founder Director, he developed IUCAA as a centre for excellence in teaching and research in those disciplines. He is now its Emeritus Professor, and a consultant for science and mathematics textbooks of the NCERT.
He was conferred Padma Bhushan at a young age of 26 years in 1965 and Padma Vibhushan in 2004.
In 2011, the Maharashtra Government presented him the state’s highest civilian honour, ‘Maharashtra Bhushan’.
The 76-year-old luminary has authored several books that could be categorized as science literature, besides science fiction, in English, Hindi and Marathi, according to a release from the Nayudamma Trust.