Thiruvananthapuram: Eminent statistician C.R. Rao has been named for India's top science award in recognition of his distinguished services to the country.
The India Science Award, instituted by the Union government under the science and technology department in 2006, carries Rs.2.5 million (Rs.25 lakh) cash prize, a citation and a gold medal.
The award is announced and presented every year at the Indian Science Congress (ISC) to an outstanding scientist.
Though little known in India barring academic and scientific circles, nonagenarian Rao lives in the US in Pennsylvania.
Intervening during the presentation of other science awards by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the inaugural session of ISC 2010 here on Sunday, Indian Science Congress Association General President G. Madhavan Nair told the audience that Science Award for 2010 goes to C.R. Rao.
"Though many of you are aware of popular C.N.R. Rao, the prestigious India Science Award for 2010 goes to Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao or C.R. Rao in short," Nair said evoking laughter and resounding applause.
Incidentally, distinguished scientist C.N.R. Rao was the first recipient of the India Science Award in 2006.
Rated as one of the brightest stars in the Indian sky of statistics and mathematics, the 90-year-old C.R. Rao was born at Hadagali in Bellary district of north Karnataka.
The statistical wizard caught the attention of the world with his 'theory of estimation'. He was made Fellow of the Royal Society, Britain.
After post-graduation in statistics from Calcutta University, Rao joined the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) as a technical apprentice in mid-forties.
Padma Bhushan Rao did his doctorate (PhD) from Cambridge University in Britain under the guidance of Ronald A. Fisher, a distinguished English statistician (1890-1962).
On his return to India, Rao re-joined ISI as a professor. He, however, left ISI in 1978 to join University of Pittsburgh in the US.
Prime Minister Dr. Singh also honoured 15 other noted scientists with various awards instituted in the names of distinguished scientists by the Indian Science Congress Association (ICSA), the main organizer of the annual premier science event in the country.
Similarly, former ISRO chairman U.R. Rao, ISRO Satellite Centre director T.K. Alex were awarded the General President Gold Medal.
Two Nobel laureates - John Cromwell Mather, senior astro-physicist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and Roger Yonchien Tsien, University of California, San Diego, in the US were honoured with the General President Gold Medal.
Recently appointed Atomic Energy Commission chairman Srikumar Banerjee was given Excellence in Science and Technology Award.
Among the noted awardees is Rajinder Jeet Hans Gill of Chandigarh (Srinivasa Ramanujan Birth Centenary Award), National Chemical Laboratory director Ganesh Prasad Pandey (C.P. Ray Memorial Award), IIT Delhi professor N.K. Gupta (J.C. Bose Memorial Award), Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology director Lalgi Singh (B.P. Lal Memorial Award) and Harish-Chandra Research Institute professor Satya Deo of Allahabad (M.K. Singal Memorial Award). IANS