IIT Mandi Faculty Member wins the Infosys Prize 2019 for Humanities

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Mandi: Indian Institute of Technology Mandi faculty member Dr. Manu V. Devadevan has been selected for the Infosys Prize 2019, awarded by Infosys Science Foundation, for his substantial contribution to the field of revisionist history of pre-modern South India.

The jury’s citation made special mention of Dr. Devadevan’s book ‘A Pre-History of Hinduism’ stating that it “offers a powerful and refreshing new approach to the study of the cultural history of India, based on his profound knowledge of sources in multiple languages. The book offers a revisionist paradigm for the study of pre-modern India.”

The award was announced by Infosys Science Foundation on 7th November 2019 at Infosys campus, Bengaluru, and will be presented to Dr. Devadevan on 7th January 2020. The prize comprises a pure gold medal, a citation and a prize purse of USD 100,000. A panel of accomplished jurors comprising renowned scholars and professors shortlisted the winners of Infosys Prize 2019 from 196 nominations.

The Infosys Prize is aimed at boosting the prestige of science and research in India and to inspire young Indians to take up a career in research. The award celebrates success in research and stand as a marker of excellence in various fields including Engineering and Computer Sciences, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences. The jury, comprising eminent leaders in each of these fields, evaluates the achievements of the nominees against the standards of international research, placing the winners on par with the finest researchers in the world.

Accepting this recognition, Dr. Devadevan, said, “It is a great honour to be conferred with this prestigious prize. I am humbled. I owe a debt of gratitude to my colleagues, students and staff at IIT Mandi for their constant support and motivation. At the same time, this recognition increases my intellectual responsibilities and makes me reaffirm my commitment to pursue more meaningful research in the years to come.”

Congratulating Dr. Devadevan for this recognition, Prof. Timothy A. Gonsalves, Director, IIT Mandi, said, “This is indeed a remarkable achievement at such an early stage of his career. I wish him many more achievements to come!”

Dr. Devadevan completed a Master’s degree in Sociology at Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu, and in History at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, after which he completed his Ph.D. at Mangalore University. With expertise in multiple languages such as Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Sanskrit, and Odiya, Dr. Devadevan’s work bridges the divide between history and artistic domains, based on his imaginative interpretation of materials from theatre, literature, ritual and religious fields. His publications include A Prehistory of Hinduism (2016) and the edited volume Clio’s Descendants: Essays in Honour of Kesavan Veluthat (2018) in English, and Prithviyallodagida Ghatavu: Karnatakada Ninnegalu (2009) and Sankhakshetrada Kannu: Puri Sri Jagannatha Devalayada Itihasa (2017) in Kannada.