The existence of several Academies of Science in India has frequently been commented upon, mainly with regard to why, for instance, there are three and not just one. The discourse does not take long to descend into a discussion of the circumstances, both personal and professional, that gave rise to these three: The Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, The Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi, and the National Academy of Science (India), Allahabad.
Be that as it may, for a scientist, election to any of these academies is a matter of honour, as is the election to other academies of science and technology, agriculture, engineering, medicine and so on.
In our state, the Andhra Pradesh Akademi of Sciences is one such, and this year, two of our colleagues have been elected to their Fellowship: Arun Agarwal and Ashwini Nangia, for services to the sciences…
INSA, the Indian National Science Academy has elected Aparna Dutta Gupta (for her original contributions to the area of hexamerin receptors and their role in juvenile hormone action in insects) and V Suresh (for outstanding contributions to quadratic forms and algebraic geometry. The most impressive results of Suresh include the proof of a long standing conjecture on the value of the u-invariant of the function field of a curve over a local field and establishing the local-global principle for a wide class of homogeneous spaces of algebraic groups. His work has opened up new avenues of research and inspired leading mathematicians in the area.)
IASc, the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore has elected M Durgaprasad of the School of Chemistry for his contributions to theoretical chemistry, while NASI the National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad has elected S Dayananda (for his contributions in microbial remediation of organophosphate insecticides by novel genes from microbes), P B Kirthi and Venapally Suresh.
All in all, our colleagues have made us proud, by underscoring the importance of original research, and by providing a set of standards of achievement that all of us can aspire to. Further, they remind us that peer recognition is invaluable, both for validation of the (often lonely and difficult) choices we make in our careers and in our research, and for establishing new benchmarks for work and performance. In both these aspects, the research that has been carried out at the University has been of the highest quality, setting world standards in many cases, and helping us to stand quite apart from the herd…
The seven named here join many others in our University who have been recognized by INSA, IASc and NASI- and of course other academies, The Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE), the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS), the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (twas), the Royal Society (London) and others*. To all of them, Bravo!
* This information is all I have been able to get so far… Please let me know about omissions if any- I will be glad to add names and fellowships.