Yesterday, along with several colleagues of mine, I participated in the Infosys Prize presentation ceremony and got to hear Amartya Sen, Srinivasa Varadhan and the Prime Minister among others. I also liked the way several jury chairs introduced the prize winners; specifically, I felt Prof. Inder Verma did a wonderful job in explaining the work of the prize winner in the biological sciences category, Dr. Chetan Chitnis.
This is the first time I heard the Prime Minister; he made a very nice speech; he shared some personal information (somebody at UN told him when he was leaving his UN job for a teaching position at Delhi School of Economics in Delhi “This is a foolish decision; but then, sometimes it is wise to be foolish”, and that he would not have completed his education but for scholarships); he shared his worry about for-profit private players in the educational sector; he also emphasized the Government’s resolve to reduce inequalities in access to higher education.
I personally felt that the Master of Ceremonies was not up to the mark — I could not even make out what he was trying to convey on a couple of occasions. And, as one of my colleagues observed, the music during the prize presentation sounded akin to that played in Tom and Jerry cartoons when they are running after each other. I think there is room for improvement in this department.
The dinner after the ceremony was fabulous. On the whole, a nice evening, well-spent.