In the Padma Awards announced on January 25, 2023, Distinguished Professor Emeritus Prof. Deepak Dhar from the Department of Physics was conferred Padma Bhushan Award, and Former and Founder Director of IISER Pune (currently Director of IISER Tirupati and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Chemistry of IISER Pune) Prof. K. N. Ganesh was conferred Padma Shri Award. Both the awards were conferred in the field of Science and Engineering.
Padma Awards are one of the highest civilian awards of India, and are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day (January 26) every year. For the year 2023, a total of 6 Padma Vibhushan, 9 Padma Bhushan and 91 Padma Shri Awards have been announced.
Prof. Deepak Dhar is a physicist with a long-standing research career in the area statistical physics and stochastic processes. An alumnus of University of Allahabad and IIT Kanpur, Prof. Deepak Dhar received his PhD in 1978 at the California Institute of Technology. Over a period of four decades, at the Tata Institute for Fundamental Research in Mumbai, Prof. Dhar took on several areas of statistical physics to understand the behaviour of self-organised critical systems, explain the dynamics at phase interfaces, and define the spectral dimension of fractals. Prof. Dhar has been at IISER Pune since 2016 and is working on phase transitions and lattice models.
Prof. K.N. Ganesh's research is in the area of the chemistry and biology of nucleic acids. He is internationally recognised for his original and creative contributions to design of Peptide Nucleic Acid (PNA) analogues for effective cell permeation. Prof. Ganesh obtained his BSc (1970) and MSc (1972) degrees in Chemistry from Bangalore University and did his PhD (1976) in Chemistry at Delhi University. He was awarded a Commonwealth Fellowship to pursue higher studies at University of Cambridge, U.K. which resulted in the award of a second PhD degree to him in 1980. Prof. Ganesh worked at Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad during 1981-1986 and at the CSIR- National Chemical Laboratory (1987 to 2005) before taking on the role of IISER Pune Director during 2006 to 2017 and that of IISER Tirupati 2017 onwards.
Our hearty congratulations to Prof. Deepak Dhar and Prof. K.N. Ganesh on this great honour!!