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Janaki Ammal National Award

Janaki Ammal National Award for Taxonomy 2016 
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FORESTAND CLIMATE CHANGE
 
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
 
Taxonomy is the science of identification, classification and naming of organisms. Taxonomic work involves study of morphological characteristics and phylogenetic relationship of organisms which is essential for applied biological sciences including medicine, agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Current requirements of taxonomic work and available expertise and studies indicate a dire need to encourage excellence and motivate experts to do work in hitherto neglected groups of organisms e.g. microbes, lower groups of plants, animals, etc. The challenge is quite serious because while on the one hand the existing expertise is ageing and retiring, on the other not many young scholars are opting for studies in taxonomy.
 
In order to encourage work of excellence in taxonomy and also to encourage young students and scholars to work in this science, the Ministry has instituted a National Award in Taxonomy, named after the late Prof. E.K. Janaki Ammal. The award has been approved by the Minister for Environment and Forests, Prime Minister and the President of India. Late Prof. Janaki Ammal did taxonomic work of outstanding merit and excellence particularly in the area of cytotaxonomy and was a source of inspiration to many young scientists. She devoted her entire life to taxonomic work. She was associated with the Botanical Survey of India also in the capacity of Director, Central Botanical Laboratory, BSI, Allahabad.
 
This award carries a cash prize, medallion and a citation. It has been decided to have three awards one each for Plant Taxonomy, Microbial Taxonomy and Animal Taxonomy w. e. f. the year 2015.
 
 
A Selection Committee under the chairmanship of Secretary (Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change) and Adviser (Dr. G.V. Subrahmanyam) as Member Secretary has been set up. The other members of the Selection Committee include: Addl. Secretary (CS); DG, CSIR; DG, ICAR; Directors of BSI and ZSI; Dr. T.S. Nayar, Prof. R. Gadagkar and Dr. P.K. Mukhopadhyay.
 
The eligibility criteria for the award are given below:
 
Any Indian taxonomist engaged in taxonomic research work on flora, fauna or micro-organisms in the country is eligible. There will be no age limit. The following is a list of illustrated, though not exhaustive, eligibility criteria for the award:
(a)         Outstanding contribution in the area of taxonomic revision of species/genus/family/order.
(b)         Outstanding original contribution in the area of taxonomic monographic work (assessment of overall aspects of knowledge of species/genus/family/order).
(c)         Ability to recognise new taxa as evident by discovery of new species/genus.
(d)         Outstanding experimental taxonomic work in areas such as cytotaxonomy, molecular taxonomy, chemotaxonomy etc.
(e)         Research experience in the field of taxonomy as evident by number of years spent in taxonomic research and teaching.
(f)          Experience in research guidance in taxonomy as evident by number of M. Phil and Ph. D. thesis guided.
(g)         Number of research publications including original research papers, review and popular semi-technical articles, contribution in symposia and workshops and books published in taxonomy.
 
 
 
Dr. E.K. Janaki Ammal was born on 4 November 1897 in Tellicherry, Kerala. Educated at the University of Madras, Dr. Janaki Ammal began her career as Lecturer in the Department of Botany, Women's Christian College, Madras, in 1921. She was awarded Doctorate degree from the University of Michigan in 1931.
An eminent scientist and botanist of international repute. Dr. Janaki Ammal specialised in Cytogenetics, Plant geography and Taxonomy. She has a distinguished career in USA and UK before coming back to India at the request of the then Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, as special Officer to re-organise the Botanical Survey of India. Dr. Janaki Ammal played a primordial role in organising botanical research in India. She made her mark as botanist of high order by her extensive research and writing.
Dr. Janaki Ammal was well known for her work on cytogenetical studies on sugarcane, egg plant, Cymbopogon, Terminalia, Datura and Dioscorea. She traced the evolution of these crops.
She carried out valuable studies on the cytology of several species of medicinal and economic value. Her interests shifted to ethnobotany in later year when she studied the used of plants by tribals in Kerala.
Dr. Janaki Ammal co-authored a monumental work 'Chromosome Atlas of Cultivated Plants' with Dr. C.D. Darlington, which became one of the standard reference for cytological studies. Her extensive publications in the field of cytogenetics are widely respected. Blessed with the ability to make painstaking and accurate observation, she and her patient endeavours stand as a model for serious and dedicated scientific workers.
She was elected fellow of the Linnean Society of London; Genetical Society of England; Royal Geographical Society, London; Genetical Society of America; Royal Horticultural Society, London; Sigma Xi USA; British Association for the Advancement of Science, Botanical Society of India; Indian Academy of Sciences; Indian National Science Academy; and President, Indian Society of Genetics and Plant Breeding. Dr. Janaki Ammal was the first woman to be elected to the fellowship of Indian National Science Academy.
She was awarded the prestigious Birbal Sahmi Medal in 1961, and the Padma Shri in 1977. The important positions held by her in her long and illustrious career included Director, Central Botanical Laboratory, BSI, Allahabad; and Emeritus Scientist in RRL, Jammu; Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Bombay; and CAS in Botany, Madras University.
She died in Madras on 7 February 1984 at the age of 86.
Instituting a National Award in taxonomy in her name is a befitting tribute to her contributions to this field of science.
 
 
 
List of Previous Awardees
 
 

 

1.      The E. K.  Janaki Ammal National Award for Taxonomy was instituted in the year 1999.

2.      List of Previous recipient along with the specialized area is as below :

 

Sr. No.

Name of Recipient

 Area of  Taxonomy

Year

1.

Prof. Mohammad Shamim Jairajpuri

Plant

1999

2.

Prof. C.V Subramanian

Plant

2000

3.

Prof. M.S.Mani

Plant

2001

4.

Dr. G. Panigrahi

Plant

2002

5.

Prof. K.S. Manilal

Plant

2003

6.

Prof. T.C. Narendran

Plant

2004

7.

Prof. C. Manoharachary

Plant

2005

8.

Dr. M. S. Saini

Animal

2005

9.

Dr. N.P. Balakrishnan

Plant

2006

10.

Prof. Veena Tandon

Animal

2006

11.

Dr. M. Sanjappa

Plant

2007

12.

Dr. Y. Ranga Reddy

Animal

2007

13.

Dr. V.J. Nair

Plant

2008

14.

Dr. Ramakrishna

Animal

2008

15.

Dr. D.K. Singh

Plant

2009

16.

Dr. Wasim Ahmad

Animal

2009

17.

Dr. Dalip Kumar Upreti

Plant

2015

18.

Dr. Waikhom Vishwanath

Animal

2015

19.

Dr. Subrata K. Das

Microbiology

2015

20.

Dr. K.P. Singh

Plant

2016

21.

Prof. Neelima Gupta

Animal

2016

22.

Prof. Venkataraman

Microbiology

2016

 

 It is further stated that from 1999 till 2004 the E.K. Janaki Ammal award was awarded only in the field of Plant Taxonomy but since 2005 till 2009 the E.K Janaki Ammal award was awarded in two field i.e. Plant and Animal Taxonomy and from 2010 to 2014 the award was discontinued due the reframing of the SFC for the All India Coordinated Project on Capacity Building in Taxonomy and from 2015 onward one additional field i.e. Microbiology Taxonomy was started under E.K. Janaki Ammal National Award for Taxonomy thereby  three awards in the Name of E.K. Janaki Ammal National Award in Plant Taxonomy, E.K. Janaki Ammal National Award in Animal  Taxonomy, E.K. Janaki Ammal National Award in Microbial  Taxonomy  are being awarded  since 2015 .

3.      Since 2015, three awards are given one each in Plant, Animal and Microbial Taxonomy.

4.       Botanical Survey of India is an Implementing agency of the All India Coordinated Project on Capacity Building in Taxonomy and the E.K. Janaki Ammal National Award in Taxonomy. Likewise the previous years, this year’s also all the nominations/ applicants  scrutiny is done as per the Taxonomic areas and after internal scrutiny the combined  summary sheet (F/BB) of applicants in the field of Plant, animal and Microbial Taxonomy is submitted to this division for further needful action.                    

 

 

E. K. JANAKI AMMAL NATIONAL AWARD FOR PLANT TAXONOMY 2016

Dr. K.P. Singh

Dr. K.P. Singh, a senior most student of father of Indian lichen taxonomy, Late Dr. D.D. Awasthi, FNA has made outstanding contributions in the field of lichen taxonomy and bears over 46 years of field and research experience, completed several projects, trained and guided several Ph. D. students successfully. He has indeed, played a pivotal role in the development of lichen taxonomy in the country since 1970. Initially, Dr. Singh worked on the lichen flora of Nilgiri and Palni hills and after joining the Botanical Survey of India in 1975, he extensively explored the remotest places in North-east and established one of the richest lichen Herbaria, at BSI, Shillong comprising over 21000 specimens and lichen herbarium (10500 specimens) at BSI, Allahabad. Dr. Singh discovered 2 new genera, over 38 new species of lichens in science; 233 species of lichens, a group Basidiolichen, and 2 species of Fungi as new records to the flora of India. He has published Lichen flora of Nagaland - the first state flora on Indian lichens and another 4 books on lichens (Macrolichens of Sikkim, Indian lichens: an annotated checklist, Lichen flora of Sunderbans Biosphere Reserve and more recently, Foliicolous Lichens of India along with his associates).

Dr. Singh was also involved with capacity building in Taxonomy, being the co­ordinator of an all India co-ordinated project on Taxonomy (AICOPTAX) of lichens and Bryophytes (Dec 1999-March 2012), funded by MoEFCC, New Delhi, and successfully co-ordinated the activities of 5 collaborating units on lichens and bryophytes with interesting results.

Dr. Singh has shown excellence in the taxonomic researches on other groups of plants as well, and published Flora of Mizoram Vol. I and II, edited the fifth volume of Floristic diversity of India, and proceedings of two seminars on topics relevant to North-east India. He has contributed more than 140 research papers in journal of repute and books. In recognition of his work in Taxonomy and Systematics, Dr. Singh was awarded the Prof. B.A. Razi Medal for the year 2004 and Prof. K.S. Thind Medal for the year 2015-16 by the Association for Plant Taxonomy (APT), India and elected Fellow of National Academy of Sciences, India (F.N.A.Sc.) for the year 2006 and also Fellow of Palaeobotanical society of India (F.Pb.S.) in2008.

He retired as Scientist-F (Additional Director) and Administrative Head, Botanical Survey of India, Central Regional Centre, Allahabad and was Emeritus Scientist in BSI, till Feb. 2015 and revising families of Indian lichen flora.

 

E. K. JANAKI AMMAL NATIONAL AWARD FOR ANIMAL TAXONOMY 2016

Prof. Neelima Gupta

Prof. (Mrs) Neelima Gupta, “Vigyan Ratna Awardee”, “Sayyad Asif Ali Hussain Abidi Krishi Vaigyanik Awardee”, M.Sc. (Gold Medalist), M.Phil., Ph.D., D.Sc. is an internationally acclaimed taxonomist having done outstanding work on taxonomy and biodiversity of blood parasites in particular and parasites in general. She is a popular blood parasite taxonomist of India and abroad. Several species have been dedicated in her name.

She is well versed with the families Trypanosomatidae, Cryptobiidae, Hepatozoidae, Plasmodiidae of Protozoa and Helminth parasites, having discovered 50 new species of genera Trypanosoma, Trypanoplasma, Myxobolus, Hepatozoon, Lankesterella, Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, Trichodina, Diplozoon, Oxysomatium, Oswaldocruzia, Proteocephalus, Parapharyngodon, Pallisentis and Allogenarchopsis.

 

She has done outstanding work on molecular taxonomy and protein profile of Oxysomatium and Oswaldocruzia and scanning electron microscopy of Pallisentis, Allogenarchopsis, Cysticercus, Parapharynodon, Heterakis, Eustrongyloides. She has a research experience on taxonomy of 40 years and teaching taxonomy of 31 years.

 

Her research contributions are 457 (6 books, 169 research papers, 282 abstracted in conferences). She has organized national and international symposia and has presented her taxonomical findings in 124 symposia (23 international, 101 national).

She was nominated by the British Council as a Member, Higher Education Inward Mission and by Polish Academy of Science, Poland as a Visiting parasitologist. For her expertise in taxonomy, she was invited by the George Washington University, USA and Arab Society for Medical Research as a Lead Speaker in international conferences. She has international research collaborations on taxonomy of parasites with Wyomong University USA, Wagga Wagga University, Australia, Institute of Ichthyobiology & Aquaculture, Chybie and Institute of Parasitology, Warsaw, Poland; National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt, University of Shiga Prefecture, Shiga, Japan, University of Autonoma, Mexico and Institute of Parasitology, Czech Republic.

 

She is the recipient of more than 35 awards and has been felicitated at different scientific academic and social fora for her notable contributions. She was awarded the “Centre of Excellence” by the Government of Uttar Pradesh to set up a high tech lab on fish parasites and has handled research projects worth more than Rs. 1.3 crores.

 

Being a taxonomist par excellence, she has inculcated taxonomic expertise in a number of students. She has guided 32 post-graduate students, 16 Ph.D. students and has been the mentor of two Post Doctoral Fellows (DS Kothari and DST-SERB).

 

E. K. JANAKI AMMAL NATIONAL AWARD FOR MICROBIAL TAXONOMY 2016

Prof. Ch. Venkata Ramana

Prof. Ch. Venkata Ramana is an eminent bacteriologist, globally known for his valuable contributions on bacterial taxonomy. He has over three decades experience to handle the microorganism towards enriching & understanding the bacterial diversity of India. He has extensively surveyed diverse habitats of India for both cultured and genetic diversity resulting in indexing of bacterial diversity including a large number of novel taxa and guesstimates of extant bacterial diversity in selected habitats.

He is the most prolific publisher of description of valid taxa of bacteria from India. As a bacterial taxonomist, Prof. Ch. Venkata Ramana contributed to the description of one new order and discovered & established one new family, 12 new genera and over 120 new species, in addition he published 16 reclassifications and 13 emended descriptions of various genera. He is an authority, especially on the diversity of anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria with more than two thirds of description of new taxa globally in the last 6 years coming alone from his team. Peer recognition for this excellence has come in the form of election to the “International Subcommittee on the taxonomy of phototrophic bacteria” of International committee on the systematic of prokaryotes.

 

 

Last Updated : 08/12/2017