Padma Shri awardee favours honours to scientists

Padma Shri awardee favours honours to scientistsKolkata, Jan 26 : Distinguished 'machine intelligence' scientist Sankar Kumar Pal, who has been named for Padma Shri, India's high civilian award, hopes it will inspire scientists for ground-breaking works.

"It is a great honour. Usually people from arts background are considered for most of the high civilian awards and we scientists receive the science awards," Pal, touched by the appreciation for his achievements, said Saturday.

"I hope this award will draw attention to scientists and recognise their efforts," Pal told IANS. The award was announced Friday.

Pal, who was bestowed Padma Shri in Science and Engineering for his path-breaking contributions in the field of machine intelligence, was a former director of the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) in Kolkata.

"Machine intelligence is a broad term that aims to make a machine intelligent and more creative. So far in the country we have machines that can do calculus, participate in quizzes, play chess, so on and so forth," he said.

"But when it comes to imparting subjectivity, perception and emotions to machines, we are far away," said Pal.

He founded the 'machine intelligence' unit in 1993 and the Centre for Soft Computing Research (a national facility) in 2004 at the institute.

He received a Ph. D. in Radio Physics and Electronics from the University of Calcutta in 1979, and another Ph. D. in electrical engineering from Imperial College, University of London, in 1982. (IANS)

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