Scientists get state honour

Swapna Mahapatra was one of the few women scientists to receive the state award by the Odisha Bigyan Academy of the state science and technology department for their contribution in various scientific disciplines today.

By ANWESHA AMBALY in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 24.08.17
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Chief minister Naveen Patnaik confers Biju Patnaik award for scientific excellence to Digamber Behera at Jayadev Bhavan in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday and (below) other recipients of Biju Patnaik award for scientific excellence. Pictures by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar, Aug.23: Swapna Mahapatra was one of the few women scientists to receive the state award by the Odisha Bigyan Academy of the state science and technology department for their contribution in various scientific disciplines today.

Professor and head of department of physics at Utkal University, Mahapatra feels social barriers is one of the major reasons behind fewer women getting into the field of scientific research.

"There is lack of support from families in our society. We need make sure that the girls are encouraged to study science," said the scientist working in the field of high-energy physics, gravitation and cosmology.

She further said the facilities in the state universities should to be upgraded for better research opportunities.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik today conferred state awards for the years 2015 and 2016 to 28 scientists at Jayadev Bhavan. The scientists were awarded under five categories - veteran scientist felicitation, Biju Patnaik award for scientific excellence, Samanta Chandrasekhar award for outstanding contribution, Pranakrushna Parija popular science award and Odisha youth scientist award.

Scientists Sharat Kumar Pradhan, Sarat Kumar Swain, Bhisma Kumar Patel, Bansidhar Majhi, Sukumar Mishra and Swapna Mahapatra were presented with the Samanta Chandrasekhar Award.

Majhi, who recently became the director of Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design and Manufacturing, Kancheepuram, said the state government should promote interdisciplinary research.

"We need to ensure that students get experience of interdisciplinary scientific research as it extends and challenges the study of science on a number of fronts," he said.

Speaking about the large number of vacant seats at various engineering colleges in the state over the years, he said: "Institutions that provide quality education will only survive. Only setting up engineering colleges will never suffice."

The Biju Patnaik Award for Scientific Excellence was conferred on Prasanta Mohapatra and Digambar Behera.

This apart, Naveen laid the foundation stone of the Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA) office building situated near the Mancheswar Industrial Estate in Bhubaneswar today. Autoclaved aerated concrete block will be used in the building, which will manage the outer heat and control inner temperature.

The chief minister also inaugurated a web portal www.rts.odisha.gov.in. People can establish solar power systems on their roof through help of the portal.