Three IITians bag first SAFRAN and French Embassy Award

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New Delhi, Oct 23 (UNI) Three young Indian researchers from country's top technology school -- the IIT -- will be presented the first SAFRAN and French Embassy Award here tomorrow by the French aeronautics major SAFRAN Group.

The first prize of 5,000 euros and one-week travel to France along with his research guide, to visit some of the SAFRAN research and industrial sites, went to Dr S Kumar, from the Bangalore IIT while Dr A M Pradeep from Kanpur IIT grabbed the second prize of 3,000 euros along with a similar week-long trip with his research guide.

Dr G Phanikumar, from the Chennai IIT, won the Special French Embassy prize and was awarded a 4-month fellowship for a post-doctoral research in France.

The award ceremony will be hosted at the French Embassy and prominent members of the Indian and French scientific establishment and industry are expected to participate. The prize will be distributed by French Ambassador Jerome Bonnafont and SAFRAN Deputy Director for Research and Technology Alain Coutrot.

The prize recognises the three best doctoral theses in Indian universities in the field of the SAFRAN Group's business areas -- aerospace and/or technology of communication, a press release said.

Mr Francois Courtot, SAFRAN Senior Vice President, International Affairs, said, ''SAFRAN, the French Embassy in India and the main Indian Research Institutes, aim to highlight and promote the value of research and engineering in the aerospace and technology of communication sectors and the inter-dependence between research and the industry.'' The contest was launched in February 2007 by the SAFRAN and the French Embassy in Delhi in conjunction with the prominent scientific institutions in the country.

There were six eminent scientists on the jury panel, including former head of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Current SIATI President Dr C G Krishnadas Nair, former director and emeritus scientist of DRDO Dr Haridwar Singh and head of the Indo-French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research (CEFIPRA) Shiva Prasad.

One of the members of the jury and Scientific Counselor for Science and Technology at the French Embassy, Professor Bernard Heulin added, ''The level of the theses was high and it was very difficult for the jury to make the selection.'' The award is part of the French Embassy in India's endeavours to increase bilateral cooperation in the field of research and offer fellowships every year, for young doctorates and post-doctorate scientists.


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