India becoming global leader in scientific research & innovation: Kofi Annan

The former seventh Secretary-General of UN, and founder and chair of Kofi Annan Foundation, Mr Kofi Annan, was in Bangalore as the chief guest at the Infosys Prize 2013 presentation ceremony which took place at the ITC Gardenia on February 8, 2014.

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Mr Kofi Annan

In his speech, Mr Kofi Annan expressed, "It is a privilege to celebrate the achievements of these extraordinary men and women. India is becoming a global leader in scientific research and innovation. This leadership does bring with it an increased responsibility. It is a responsibility to help identify and develop innovative scientific solutions to our world's complex problems."

In the life sciences discipline, the Infosys Prize 2013 was awarded to Dr Rajesh S Gokhale, director, CSIR - Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi, for his work in the field of lipid metabolism in M. tuberculosis.

After receiving the award from Mr Annan, Dr Gokhale added, "This award is truly special. I want to thank my wife and two sons, without whom this would not have been possible. Bioscience is becoming a truly collaborative enterprise. This is for all of you who believe in doing innovative things in this country."

The prize consists of a gold medal, a citation and a purse. The prize money is valued at Rs 55 lakh for each winner.

Talking about the threat and devastation caused by global climate change, Mr Annan explained, "Whether we talk about the health of our planet or division of our society, there is no doubt that we face serious challenges. Climate change is perhaps the most pressing and complex issue and it is not just an environmental issue. It also poses threat to our water supply, health and security."

Dr Gokhale holds his Master's degree in Chemistry from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay and a Ph.D in Molecular Biophysics from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. He then carried out his post-doctoral work at Stanford University.

 

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