Aryabhata award for top defense scientist Saraswat

VK Saraswat, scientific advisor to defense minister and director-general of the state-run Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), has been selected for the Astronautical Society of India (ASI)’s prestigious Aryabhata Award 2011 in recognition of his outstanding contributions and lifetime achievements.

“The selection has been made on the basis of two high-level committees’ recommendations. Besides Saraswat, former noted space scientist AE Muthunayagam has been nominated for 2010 Aryabhata Award,” the ASI said in a statement here Monday.

Muthunagayam was former director of the state-run Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) Liquid Propulsion Systems Center at Mahendragiri in south Tamil Nadu and former secretary of the ocean development department in New Delhi.

The city-based ASI, set up in 1990 to promote astronautics and space science across the country, instituted the awards to recognize talented scientists and engineers making valuable contributions in diverse areas of the two fields.

ASI awards for 2011 and 2010 in rocket technologies have been given to ISRO scientist P. Kunhikrishnan and DRDO scientist G. Satheesh Reddy. In spacecraft technologies, ISRO scientists Yateendra Mehta and P. Chakraborty have been honoured.

In space sciences and applications, the awards have been given to NM Ashok and YYN Krishnamurthy, and in space systems management to senior space official N. Prahlad Rao for 2011.

ASI-ISRO awards for 2011 and 2010 in rocket technology to ISRO scientists G. Ravindranath and SV Sharma; in spacecraft technologies to CC Joseph and Dilip Kumar Das and in space systems management for 2011 to M. Nageswara Rao and in space sciences and applications to K. Krishna Murthy for 2010.

The ASI-ISRO best woman scientist awards for 2011 and 2010 were given to ISRO’s Punam Pradeepkumar and N. Veena.

ASI-ISRO Young Scientist awards to ISRO’s Advaita Goswamy (2011) and Santanu Sinha (2010).

ASI-ISRO team achievement awards for the two consecutive years (211 & 2010) went to BN Murthy and his team and Chayan Dutta and his team for their innovative and critical developments in data handling systems and solid state recorder and very high capacity liquid hydrogen tank with liquid nitrogen cooling system.

The Space Gold Medals went to ISRO scientists Jagannath Das, Muthuchezhian, N. Radha, and A. Ilankumaran for 2011 and Isac Daniel, Paul P. George, K. Thenmozhi Selvi, and Gopal N. Umat for 2010.

The awards were presented to the scientists and engineers at the society’s annual event here on Dec 28.

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