The occasion was the Bhatnagar Award Ceremony, for Prof. Surajit Dhara, who won the prize in 2020. In a departure from the usual practice of the Prime Minister presenting the awards in Delhi owing to the recent Covid pandemic, the award ceremony was postponed with directions to present at the respective institutions of the awardees. The occasion was made special, by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. B.J. Rao a distinguished Biologist himself, who gave away the award on October 31, 2022 in the presence of faculty, staff, many distinguished alumni and guests from the TIFR close to campus at the new School of Physics building.
A brief presentation by the Dean, School of Physics, Prof. K.C. James Raju was followed by the Vice-Chancellor’s insightful remarks, on the arduous path of research, especially in a university environment. He highlighted the need for all faculty and scholars in the university to strive for excellence, regardless of whether an award is garnered as a result of one’s efforts or not and emphasized that recognition for the quality of work can come in other forms too, such as from distinguished peers in their respective fields of research. The fortuitous presence of three past Bhatnagar awardees in Physics amongst the audience occasioned other observations by them that were useful for anyone who embarks on challenging problems in research.
Prof. Surajit Dhara who spoke in the end recollected fond memories from the early days when he had just joined the School and thanked the entire faculty and his students who played a role in his success. The gathering of distinguished academics and scholars made the occasion a special “house warming event” for the new building of School of Physics.