On December 6th, 2014 in a packed auditorium attended by all the leading lights in Nanotechnology in India, on the occasion of Bangalore India Nano 2014, Professor C N R Rao, Bharat Ratna of India, announced that Professor Shantikumar Nair, Dean of Research, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, was the recipient of the 2014 Professor C N R Rao India Nanoscience Award. The award is given to one scientist each year for outstanding contributions in nanotechnology research in India and the development of nanotechnology in India. Chief Minister of Karnataka, Honorable Shri Siddaramaiah and Professor C N R Rao handed over the award to Professor Shantikumar Nair. Professor Nair, in accepting the award, said the following:
“What an incredible honor to receive an award instituted in the name of a living legend in science and technology in India, Bharat Ratna Professor C N R Rao. Thank you honorable Minister Shri Siddaramaiah and thank you Professor C N R Rao. Professor C N R Rao, by his dedication, commitment and hard work is mainly responsible for bringing up the field of nanotechnology in India from scratch to where it is now.
We will all agree India has exceeded all expectations. As Professor Rao pointed out India is among the top three nations of the world in the field of Nanotechnology. I would like to say that I do not see this award as an award to me personally, but an award to the Amrita Center for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine. We are really a team there. We have medical doctors, physicists, chemists, materials scientists and molecular biologists, all outstanding faculties whose hard work and brilliance are also behind this award. On a personal note I would like to offer my infinite gratitude to my inspiration and guide, Shri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, internationally renowned humanitarian leader, the founder of our institute, without whose Grace this institution would never have been established and without whose Grace I would not be standing here in front of you with the accomplishments that we are being recognized for today. Thank you.”
In the last eight years, Amrita Center for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine has created a national and international impact with cutting-edge research in nanotechnology. In 2006, the Center was awarded a major Center grant from the Nanomission of the Department of Science and Technology, the Government of India, for research in “Tissue Engineering and Stem Cell Research using Nanomaterials”.
Through this award, the Center published over 200 research publications in international journals and incubated promising technologies that could be translated to people in the biomedical field. Subsequently, in recognition of this, the Center was awarded a Thematic Unit of Excellence (TUE) Status, one of only ten in the country and the only one in the Biomedical area. Under the TUE banner the Center is striving to translate into clinical practice several nanomedicines and nano implants. In addition to the work in the biomedical area, the Center has made a strong showing in the area of energy conversion and storage using nanomaterials. A notable distinction is the development of apseudocapacitor using nanowires with much longer life than a regular battery, but with good storage.