ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Proxy Indicator of the Vitality of India’s Knowledge Landscape

The Infosys Prize

The current state of knowledge emerging from a variety of public institutions is assessed through the application of a proxy indicator: the Infosys Prize. The prize, which seeks to reward “world-class research” by Indian scientists and scholars, is assessed by reviewing the different laureates through markers such as institutions of education, current research as well as social profile. The article, while recognising the limits of the data presented, raises some crucial questions at epistemic and structural biases that limit the scope of laureates to a set of elite institutions and knowledge systems.

When viewed in terms of knowledge and creativity, both classical and folk, India has an impressive record. India’s status as a knowledge powerhouse in the ancient world is perhaps unrivalled. A comprehensive account of these knowledge contributions requires a multivolume, multi-author effort, such as the Project of the History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture whose general editor D P Chattopadhyaya, in consultation with other scholars, imagined an expansive encyclopedia of India’s knowledge universe.1 Although the project is still a work in progress, the volumes already published give us a sense of a civilisation and a society that was vibrant, plural, rigorous in its thinking, encouraging of different viewpoints, and astonishingly creative. The Murty Classical Library of India, published by Harvard University Press, reveals this amazing intellectual vitality. Amartya Sen applauding the value of these volumes advised us that “the shaping of India’s future depends on understanding its past.”

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Updated On : 13th Mar, 2021

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