January 24, 2020
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Indians & The Ig Nobel Awards

People of Indian origin have collected quite a few of the award that honours out-of-the-box and weird inventions. Here’s a quick look at desi award winners over the ages.

Indians & The Ig Nobel Awards
Illustration by Saahil
Indians & The Ig Nobel Awards

Ravi Batra of Southern Methodist University, 1993: Won in Economics for selling enough copies of his book The Great Depression of 1990 and Surviving the Great Depression of 1990 to single-handedly prevent worldwide economic collapse predicted in the book.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif, 1998: The then Prime Minister of India and the then Pakistan Prime Minister won the Ig Nobel for Peace for their aggressively peaceful detonations of atomic bombs.

Deepak Chopra, 1998: The guru from the Chopra Centre of Well Being, California, wins in the field of Physics for interpreting the subject of Quantum Physics in such a manner that it applied to increasing life span, curing life threatening diseases and pursuit of economic happiness.

Chittaranjan Andrade and B.S. Srihari, 2001: The Ig Nobel award in Public Health was presented to the duo from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in Bangalore for their probing medical discovery that nose picking is a common activity among adolescents.

K.P. Sreekumar and G. Nirmalan, 2002: The duo from Kerala Agricultural University won in mathematics for publishing an analytical report finding out the total surface area of an Indian elephant.

Lal Bihari, 2003: This gentleman from Uttar Pradesh won the Ig Nobel in Peace for three reasons. One, for leading an active, fully functional life despite being declared legally dead. Second, for waging a posthumous campaign against greedy relatives and bureaucrats. Finally, for successfully creating the association of dead people. Lal Bihari overcame the handicap of being dead, and managed to obtain a passport from the Indian government so that he could travel to Harvard to accept his prize. However, the US government refused to allow him into the country. His friend therefore came to the Ig Nobel Ceremony and accepted the Prize on his behalf. Several weeks later, the Prize was presented to Lal Bihari himself in a special ceremony in India.

The Vatican, 2004: The Vatican was presented the Ig Nobel award for peace for outsourcing its prayers to India.

Ramesh Balasubramaniam of the University of Ottawa along with Michael Turvey of the University of Connecticut, 2005: Won the prize in physics for exploring and explaining the dynamics of Hula-Hooping.

Gauri Nanda of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2005: Gauri Nanda of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology won the Ig Nobel in Economics for inventing Clocky, an alarm clock that runs away and hides repeatedly; ensuring people get out of bed.

Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan and Enrique Cerda Villablanca, 2007: Won the Ig Nobel in Physics for their theoretical study of how sheets become wrinkled.

Sonal Saraiya along with Walter Belenky, Ian Humphreys and James Dworkin, 2014: Were awarded the Ig Nobel in Medicine for coming up with the method of nasal-packing with strips of cured pork for treating uncontrollable nose bleeds.

Shubham Bose along with Jie Tian, Kang Lee and a few others, 2014: Won the award in neuroscience for conducting studies to try to understand what happens in the brains of people who see the face of Jesus in a piece of toast.

Rina Sakai and 3 others, 2014: The award in physics for measuring the amount of friction between a shoe and a banana skin and then between a banana skin and the floor, when a person steps on a banana skin that's on the floor.

Naren Ramakrishnan along with Jaroslav Flegr, Jan Havlí?ek and Jitka Hanušova-Lindova, and David Hanauer, 2014: Won the award in public health for investigating whether it is mentally hazardous for human beings to own a cat.

This web-exclusive column does not appear in print magazine.

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