• Nobel Prize: The Nobel Prize is awarded to scientists with outstanding achievements in the field of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and for peace. The set of annual international awards are bestowed by Swedish and Norwegian committees. Awarded in honor of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, the awards are the top most honors in the field of science.
• The Copley Medal: It is a scientific award given by the Royal Society, London to anyone with outstanding achievements in any field of science.
• Albert Einstein World Award of Science: The award is presented by the World Cultural Council as an incentive to science and technological research and development. The main motto is to honor those scientists whose works have done good to the mankind. The recipient of the award is selected by an interdisciplinary committee, which is composed of world renowned scientists including Nobel laureates.
• Kyoto Prize: It is Japanese award that recognized outstanding work in the field of science and technology along with philosophy and arts.
• Kavli Prize: The prize is awarded to the scientists with outstanding work in the field of astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience. A joint venture between the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letter, the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research and the Kavli Foundation, the organization also awards three international prizes every second year.
• India Science Award: India Science Award is the highest and the most prestigious national recognition by the Government of India for outstanding contribution to science. The primary and essential criterion for the award is demonstrated and widely accepted excellence in science. The award covers all areas of research in science including engineering, medicine and agriculture.
• Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize: The Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology (SSB) is a science award in India given annually by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for notable and outstanding research, applied or fundamental, in biology, chemistry, environmental science, engineering, mathematics, medicine and Physics. The purpose of the prize is to recognize outstanding Indian work (according to the view of CSIR awarding committee) in science and technology. It is the most coveted award in multidisciplinary science in India.
The government supports different programmes aimed at identifying new talent and providing them with financial assistance in the form of fellowships for pursuing research in front-line areas of science and technology.
Some schemes are described as below:
• Ramanujan Fellowships: The fellowship is meant for brilliant scientists and engineers from all over the world to take up scientific research positions in India, especially those scientists who want to return to India from abroad. The fellowships are scientist-specific and very selective. The Ramanujan Fellows could work in any of the scientific institutions and universities in the country and they would be eligible for receiving regular research grants through the extramural funding schemes of various S&T agencies of the Government of India.
• J C Bose National Fellowships: The fellowship is meant to recognize active scientists and engineers for their outstanding performance and contributions. The Department of Science & Technology will administer this scheme. The fellowships are scientist-specific and very selective. All areas of science (in the broadest terms) will be covered by this fellowship.
• Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY): The Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana is a programme initiated by the Government of India to encourage students of the Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to take up careers in research in these fields. The programme aims to identify and select students who demonstrate talent and aptitude, and encourage and assist them in pursuing research careers in their chosen fields. In addition, summer programmes in prestigious research and education institutions in the country are organized, and preferential access to facilities such as libraries, laboratories, museums, etc. are provided.
• Swarnajayanti Fellowships Scheme: Under this scheme a selected number of young scientists, with proven track record, are provided special assistance and support to enable them to pursue basic research in frontier areas of science and technology. The fellowships are scientist specific and not institution specific, very selective and have close academic monitoring. The support will cover all the requirements for performing the research and will include a fellowship of Rs. 25,000/- per month for five years.
• Women Scientists Scheme: The “Women Scientists Scheme (WOS)” provide opportunities to women scientists and technologists between the age group of 30-50 years who desire to return to mainstream science and work as bench-level scientists. Under this scheme, women scientists are being encouraged to pursue research in frontier areas of science and engineering, on problems of societal relevance and to take up S&T-based internship followed by self-employment.
• INSPIRE programme: Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) is an innovative programme to communicate to the youth of the country the excitements of creative pursuit of science, attract talent to the study of science at an early age and thus build the required critical human resource pool for strengthening and expanding the Science & Technology system and R&D base. INSPIRE Scheme has included three components. They are a) Scheme for Early Attraction of Talents for Science (SEATS), b) Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE) and c) Assured Opportunity for Research Careers (AORC).
• KIRAN” (Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing): KIRAN is addressing various issues related with women scientists (e.g. unemployment, relocation etc.) and aimed to provide opportunities in research (WOS-A), technology development/ demonstration (WOS-B), and self-employment (WOS-C) etc. KIRAN is also actively involved in taking proactive measures, under the name CURIE (Consolidation of University Research for Innovation and Excellence in Women Universities) to develop state-of-the-art infrastructure in women universities in order to attract, train and retain promising girls students in S&T domain.