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INSA Medal for Young Scientists

Introduction

In 1974, the Academy, in association with Kothari Scientific Research Institute, instituted the scheme of Science Academy Medals for Young Scientists with the aim of distinguishing young scientists of extraordinary promise and creativity who have made notable research contributions in Science and Technology. Since 1981, however, this award has been solely managed and funded by INSA. The INSA Young Scientists Award, considered to be the highest recognition of promise, creativity and excellence in a young scientist, is made annually to those distinguished for these attributes as evidenced by their research work carried out in India. Till 2017, 789 young scientists have been thus recognized. Many of them have established a rewarding scientific career and continue to make outstanding contributions winning further honour both in this country and abroad.

Eligibility

The award of an Academy medal to a Young Scientist shall be made in recognition of notable contributions to any branch of science or technology, recognized by the Academy, on the basis of work carried out in India.

Any citizen of India who has not attained the age of 35 years on December 31, of the year preceding the year of award, shall be eligible for the award.

Number of Awards

The number of awards to be made in any year will be limited to 30.

Nominations and Last Date

A notification inviting nominations for the award shall be issued after the Council Meeting of the Academy held in August each year.

A candidate may be proposed by a Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy or by earlier recipients of this award. Scientific societies of national standing, university faculties, post-graduate departments or research institutions may also make nominations of eligible candidates.

A nomination will remain valid for consideration for 3 years or the eligibility age whichever expires earlier. However, a fresh nomination (once only) can be made, if the nominee has not yet crossed the age bar.

The nomination shall be made in the prescribed format. One hard copy and a soft copy (in MS-Word only), along with all supporting documents, must reach the Academy latest by October 31.

Selection Committee for the Award

The Vice-President (Fellowship Affairs), at the very outset, may examine the nominations and assign them to various Sectional Committees for consideration. In selecting the candidates for the award, the Council of the Academy shall consider the recommendations of the Sectional Committees as well as other relevant information.

Circulation of the List to the Members of the Sectional Committees

Not later than the second week of January, the Academy shall arrange to circulate the list of nominees along with their particulars to the members of the respective Sectional Committees with a request to communicate their assessment of the candidate to the Conveners of the respective Sectional Committees, by March 1.

The Convener, if necessary, may refer the particulars of such candidates whose areas of specialization are not clearly represented among the members of the Sectional Committee to appropriate experts amongst the Fellows of the Academy.

Grading

The candidates shall be evaluated by the referees in the following grades:
A. Outstanding;    B. Very Good;    C. Average;    D. Unsuitable

Conveners of the various Sectional Committees shall prepare a list of the grades obtained by each candidate and shall recommend not more than seven candidates in order of merit to be called for presentation of their work, provided that they have been rated ‘B’ by 50% of the members who have sent in their assessment. Assessment from at least five members of Sectional Committees must be elicited before making this recommendation.

The candidates invited to present their work shall do so before the concerned members of the Sectional Committee. Efforts will also be made to ensure the presence of other experts (Academy Fellows) at such presentations. These experts, if they so desire, may give their views to the Convener of the Sectional Committee.

The meetings of the Sectional Committees will normally be held during the second week of March/April every year. The Sectional Committees shall devote one full day exclusively to this work.

Candidates called for presenting their work before the Sectional Committees shall be entitled to II AC return rail fare and local conveyance as applicable. Reimbursement will be made on production of tickets.

Recommendations of the Sectional Committees

Each Sectional Committee shall send its recommendations to the Council in writing, duly signed by all members present. The recommendations shall contain, strictly in order of priority, not more than five names. The main criteria for selection will be the originality of the candidate’s research contributions and his/her understanding as evidenced by publications and performance during the presentation.

The recommendations of the Sectional Committee shall be handed over immediately after the meeting, by the Convener, in a sealed envelope addressed to the Vice-President (Fellowship Affairs) of the Academy.

Selection by the Council

The Council will select candidates for this award at the meeting in the month of April/May, based on the reports received from the Conveners of Sectional Committees.

Announcement of the Awards

The names of the Young Scientists selected for the award by the Council shall be announced at the Ordinary General Meeting in the month of April/May and subsequently communicated to the awardees/Fellowship.

Presentation of the Medals

The presentation of Medals will be made by the President, INSA, at the time of Anniversary General Meeting.

For receiving the medal, the awardees (along with spouse or one accompanying person) will be paid travel expenses to cover the actual II AC rail fare and local conveyance as applicable. Reimbursement will be made on production of tickets.

The Academy would bring out a publication containing contributions of the Young Scientists for the award at the time of the presentation of the award.

Value

The award shall consist of a bronze medal of the following specifications:
(i) Size : 6.35 cm in diameter
(ii) Weight : About 114 grams
(iii)Design
     Obverse : Name of Medal (in Devanagari character)
                   Name of the recipient (in Devanagari characters)
                   Year (in International numerals)
      Reverse : Seal of the Academy

Each awardee will be presented a Medal, a certificate and cash prize of Rs. 25,000/-.

The awardee within five years of receipt of award will be considered for a visit abroad with full support for presenting research work at conferences, and/or participating in collaborative/training research projects (preferably up to a maximum of 10 days) wherever possible.

As part of their career development, those young scientists who have been unable to obtain suitable placement, may be considered for an interim Fellowship (amount depending on the qualification and research experience) and contingency of Rs. 25,000/- per year. To avail of this Fellowship, the awardee should be attached to some research/ academic institution. The tenure of the Fellowship will be for a maximum period of three years.

Appropriate steps will be taken by the Academy to maintain the relevant information in respect of the career development of all young awardees.

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