2 IISER-Kolkata Scientists Get Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize

Two recipients: Swadhin K Mandal and Rahul BanerjeeTwo recipients: Swadhin K Mandal and Rahul Banerjee

Kalyani, Sept. 26: Two scientists from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research-Kolkata’s (IISER-K) Chemical Science department – Swadhin K Mandal and Rahul Banerjee – have been awarded the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, the highest science award in the country annually given by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for notable and outstanding research.

Every year enterprising scientists below the age of 45 are chosen from various institutions across the country and awarded for their outstanding scientific research works during the past five years. On Wednesday the CSIR announced name of 13 scientists as this year’s recipients which include IISER-Kolkata’s two scientists. 

This is for the first time that any scientist from Chemical Science faculty of any IISER in the country received this most coveted award in the multi-disciplinary science research.

The prize includes a cash award of Rupees 5-lakhs, a citation, and a plaque apart from a monthly honorarium of Rupees 15000 up to the age of 65 years.

The prize recipient Swadhin K Mandal, a PhD from IISER Bangalore currently serves as the Head of Department of Chemical Sciences at IISER Kolkata. Mandal hails from Karimpur town in Nadia district. In an official release the IISER-Kolkata authority stated that Mandal’s work addresses one of the major Global concerns on development of sustainable chemical processes protecting our resources and environment. ‘His work conceptualizes and establishes on the fundamental understanding how one can avoid toxic and expensive metals in successfully designing catalysts for various industrially important processes that could be used in pharmaceutical and chemical industries’, the release states.

The other recipient of the prestigious prize Rahul Banerjee, a former recipient of Thomson Reuters Research Excellence-India Citation Award (2015), is presently attached to IISER-K as an Associate Professor who is now working in the field of porous framework structure generation. An official release of IISER-K stated that Banerjee’s research interests include the study of structural chemistry with the flavor of chemical synthesis to design new porous materials. 

Elated over success of the two scientists attached to the premier institution, its Director Professor Sourav Pal said, “This is a significant moment as it highlights the excellence in research work that IISER Kolkata has reached”

The Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, which was introduced in 1958, is named eminent scientist Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar, who was the founder Director of the CSIR.

Picture courtesy: IISER-Kolkata