Fr. Dr. S. Ignacimuthu SJ, the Director of Xavier Research Foundation at St. Xavier’s College, Palayamkottai, Tirunelveli Dt., and former Vice Chancellor of Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, and University of Madras, Chennai, received the Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam award from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Mr. M.K. Stalin, during the Independence Day celebrations on 15th August 2022, in appreciation of his outstanding contribution for the development of science.
When asked by the media as to what he would do with the award, he said that he would donate the cash prize of Rs. 5 lakhs to St. Xavier’s College, to be kept as a fixed deposit. The interest accrued from it, would be spent on providing scholarships to undergraduate students’ research projects. The award carries a gold medal and citation, besides the cash prize.
Fr. Ignacimuthu is a reputed scientist. He has specialized in the field of biotechnology, published more than 700 research articles, and written/edited more than 60 science books. His articles have been cited more than 26,000 times by other scientists. He has mentored more than 100 students for their doctoral degree. He has thirteen patents. He developed PONNEEM, an eco-friendly pesticide to control insect pests. He has also developed a low cost herbal hand-sanitizer during the Covid pandemic. He has been recognized as an Emeritus Scientist by the UGC, ICMR and CSIR, New Delhi.
The author is the Vice-Principal of St. Xavier’s Hr. Sec. School, Palayamkottai, and Director, JCERT (Jesuit Council for Education Research and Training).