The Vainu-Bappu Gold Medal for 2008 has been awarded jointly to Dr. Niayesh Afshordi (Perimeter Institute) and Dr. Nissim Kanekar (NCRA). The medals will be presented in a ceremony to be scheduled towards the end of 2011. Citations for the award are as follows.
Niayesh Afshordi: Niyaesh Afshordi has made wide ranging and insightful contributions in a variety of areas of Cosmology, Structure formation in the universe and the physics of accretion. Particularly noteworthy are his work to probe dark energy using both data from the Cosmic Microwave background and galaxy surveys and his ideas to constrain primordial non-gaussianity.
Nissim Kanekar: Nissim Kanekar has made imaginative use of radio astronomy techniques to probe the variation of fundamental constants of physics. His work has also resulted in enlarging significantly the sample of high redshift galaxies detected through their 21 cm absorption, and to a greater understanding of the physical conditions and evolution of their interstellar media.