Top France award to physicist Rohini Godbole

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BENGALURU: Prof Rohini Godbole from the Centre for High Energy Physics (CHEP) at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has been awarded the “Ordre National du Mérite”, or the National Order of Merit, considered among the highest distinctions bestowed by France.
“I’m still a bit hazy because this is like our Padma awards, which is not a small gesture and it’s come as a total surprise. I’m very happy,” Godbole told TOI.
IISc, while congratulating Godbole, said she has been recognised for contributions to collaborations between France & India and her commitment to promoting enrolment of women in science.
Godbole, who was awarded the Padma Shri by the Indian government in 2019, said: “…Of course, I’ve had a very long collaboration with the French scientific community. I’ve been a member of their scientific council of the Indo-French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research (IFCPAR), held the Indo-French meetings on women in science both here and in France, and I’ve been engaged with them for long.”
A renowned Indian physicist and academic, Godbole has worked extensively on different aspects of particle phenomenology over the past three decades.
In the official communication sent to Godbole, the French Embassy has noted her “remarkable scientific achievements” in India and internationally that naturally led her to be involved in strong collaboration with French CNRS within the Indo-French Laboratory in Theoretical High Energy Physics (IFLTHEP).
“This collaboration between IISC and CNRS has been of great success and has made Indian and French physicians from these two institutions working closely together. Thanks to your outstanding communication skills you have contributed to a better understanding of physical sciences in India. Your enrolment in the defence and promotion of women in hard sciences has naturally raised our attention and admiration,” the communication to Godbole read.
“…These achievements have motivated France to award you with ‘Ordre National du Mérite’,” it added.
As reported by TOI earlier this month, multiple recommendations of the committee headed by Godbole have been incorporated in the draft of India’s new Science, Technology, Innovation Policy (STIP-2020). Most notably, Godbole had expressed happiness over the inclusion of the ‘Equity and Inclusive (E&I) Charter’ in the policy that she believes would make the scientific ecosystem more accessible to all.

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