India to remove hundreds of science awards and bring in ‘Vigyan Ratna’.
The Home Ministry has asked eight science and health departments to remove over 300 awards handed out by them and institute honors of “high stature” for “really deserving candidates”. In a meeting with secretaries of science and health departments, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla also suggested instituting a Nobel Prize-like award – Vigyan Ratna – for scientists. The home secretary has asked the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to continue with the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awards. The Department of Science and Technology, which gives away over 200 awards, has been asked to discontinue all private awards. A new scholarship/fellowship program with a reasonable honorarium, complete justification, and comprehensive criteria has been requested from the Department of Science and Technology, and internal rewards will also be incorporated into the new effort. ISRO only has three internal awards and doesn’t give any other awards. However, now even those internal awards will also be removed.