The N. S. Satya Murthy Memorial Award in Physics for young scientists was instituted in the memory of late, Dr. N. S. Sathya Murthy in the year 1992, by his colleagues at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai. This is given by Indian Physics Association to a scientist below the age of 35 years, in recognition of outstanding contributions to the growth of Physics in India by way of research, applications and other activities. The selection of the awardee is made by a committee constituted by the executive committee of IPA. The recipient of this award should have carried out a major part of the reported work within India. This year’s award, which will formally be given on 12 January, goes to our colleague in the School of Physics, Surajit Dhara who works in the area of liquid crystals. The specific work that is being cited is his fundamental contributions on the structure property correlation in unconventional liquid crystals, and the discovery of discontinuous anchoring transition and its applications.
Another piece of good news to share is that our colleague Ganapathy Vaitheeswaran in ACRHEM has been elected as Associate Fellow in Physical Sciences for the year 2011 by the Andhra Pradesh Academy of Sciences. Dr Vaitheeswaran works in the general area of theoretical condensed matter physics.
Earlier, on the 19th of December 2011, the University awarded the D. Sc. (honoris causa) to Professor Girish Agarwal, presently of Oklahoma State University, Stillwater and earlier our colleague, from 1977 to 1995. Writing about him some years ago, his colleagues in the School of Physics had this to say: Professor Girish Saran Agarwal, the founder Dean of School of Physics, is one of the outstanding scientists of India, who has elevated quantum optics research in India on par with the top international levels. A product of the Mecca of optics, the University of Rochester, he dedicated himself to the growth of indian science, ﬁrst as the founder Dean of School of Physics, University of Hyderabad (UH), and then as the Director of Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad. His contributions to quantum and nonlinear optics span every conceivable area ranging from near-ﬁeld optics to EIT-assisted giant nonlinearities, from cavity QED to quantum Information, from optical bistability to tests of non-classicality. Such a broad spectrum is truly rare even in the international context.
Though he was trained as a theoretician, his understanding of modern sophisticated experiments is remarkable. His many collaborative papers with the groups of Prof. Walther and Prof. Boyd speak for that. That he was much ahead of his time is evidenced by many of his path-breaking theoretical predictions which were veriﬁed much later by other experimental groups. His discoveries have frequently led to new directions of research. A long list of collaborators from all over the world who are themselves eminent scientists proves the truly global nature of his science.
The immense contributions of Prof. Agarwal have been recognized: he has received all the major awards of India for scientiﬁc research, including the S S Bhatnagar award and many international recognitions. At UoH he was the ﬁrst to attract some major international awards like the Max Born Prize of the Optical Society of America and the Physics prize of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, the Max Born Award, and the Einstein Medal of the Optical Society of America. He was also the ﬁrst at our University to be honored by the American Physical Society by its Fellowship. Very recently he was recognized by the University of Liege with the award of the honoris causa.
In view of his outstanding contributions to optical sciences and quantum optics and his service to the scientiﬁc community, the University of Hyderabad is honoured to award Professor Agarwal the D. Sc. (hon. caus.).
Hearty congratulations to all!