Top 10 Indian Science Personalities of 2019

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Each year, Scientific India goes through a year selection process to identify the most inspired scientists and researchers whose ideas will transform the future. Here are 2019's best and brightest.

1. Dr. K. Sivan 

Dr. Kailasavadivoo Sivan is an Indian space scientist and the chairperson of the Indian Space Research Organization. He is the former Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Center and Liquid Propulsion centre. He also led the RLV-TD project and was involved in its design qualification, aerodynamic characterisation and hardware development. ISRO is again at top in Indian science research. ISRO has achieved remarkable goals in the last year. Dr. Kailasavadivoo Sivan leads ISRO to achieve  remarkable goals in year 2019.

2. Dr. G. Satheesh Reddy

Dr G Satheesh Reddy, as Chairman of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Secretary in Department of Defence Research & Development (DDR&D). He leads DRDO to achieve remarkable goals in year 2019.

3. Vanitha Muthayya

 M. Vanitha, Project Director of Chandrayaan-2 mission was named the top scientist to look out for in 2019 by Nature magazine.
She has worked with the India Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for 32 years. She has previously been part of many important missions including Mangalyaan. 

4. Ritu Karidhal

Ritu Karidhal is an Indian scientist working with the Indian Space Research Organisation. She was a Deputy Operations Director to India's Mars orbital mission, Mangalyaan. She has been referred to as a "Rocket Woman" of India. She was Director of Chandrayaan 2 Mission.

5.  Manjula Reddy

Chief Scientist, Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad. She is working on structure of cell walls in bacteria. Through elegant genetic and biochemical analyses, Dr. Reddy and her colleagues have revealed critical steps of cell wall growth that are not only fundamental for understanding bacterial biology but also have important implications for developing new classes of antibiotics. She got Infosys Prize 2019 in Life Sciences.

6.  Nambi Narayanan

Nambi Narayanan, former Indian ISRO scientist falsely implicated for espionage. Nambi Narayanan was accused of selling state secrets like confidential test data from rocket and satellite launches. He was arrested in December 1994 and charged with espionage. The scientist was instrumental in developing Vikas Engine which was used for the first PSLV launched by India. He was finally recognised by Padma Bhushan.

7. Prof. Rohini Godbole

Prof. Rohini Godbole is an Indian physicist and academic. She is a professor at the Centre for High Energy Physics, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. She has received the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in the country, in the field of Science & Engineering-Nuclear.     She is best known for her work at CERN, European Organization for Nuclear Research. Her work on high energy photons could form the basis for the next generation of particle colliders, used to study the fabric and composition of the Universe.

8. Prof. G Mugesh

Professor, Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. Professor G Mugesh and his team at the Indian Institute of Science are working on synthetic molecules such as artificial enzymes, which may help develop novel ways to tackle cardiovascular disorders, including heart attacks. Endothelial dysfunction, a risk factor for plaque build-up inside arteries, and hypertension are also on the list of “cures”. He won Infosys Prize 2019 in Physical Sciences.

9. Prof. Sunita Sarawagi

Institute Chair Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. Her main research in databases, data mining, machine learning and natural language processing, and for important applications of these research techniques. She won The Infosys Prize 2019 in Engineering and Computer Science.

10. Dr Neena Gupta

Associate Professor, Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata has become the youngest person to ever receive the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize 2019 at the age of 35. Dr Neena Gupta was awarded the Prize for having solved a 70-year-old mathematics puzzle called the Zariski Cancellation Problem. Dr Gupta is not just the youngest, but also only the third woman to win the honour till date.

Note: We have calculated the score on the basis of their research news hits and TV, radio appearances in the past 12 months, plus social media. Finally we scored our candidates on their impact.

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