Late Shri Pralhad P Chhabria Award


Dr. Soma Biswas, a young researcher and assistant professor at IISC Bangalore and Ms Jayati Vijaywargiya, and engineering graduate from Mody University, College of Engineering and Technology have won the Late Shri Pralhad P Chhabria Award (for the year 2018) that carries a prize of Rs. 1,25,000 each, a medal and a citation of honour.

The Late Shri Pralhad P Chhabria Awards honour young, dynamic and enterprising Indian women who have been doing trail blazing work in the fields of Science, Engineering or Technology. Ms Jayati Vijaywargiya won the Best Female Student (Outgoing Student Category) and Dr. Soma Biswas won the Best Female Engineer (Early Career Category).

The prestigious awards have been instituted by the Hope Foundation and Research Centre (Hope Foundation) established by the Late Pralhad P Chhabria, Founder Chairman of Finolex Group of Companies  in association with IEEE India Council and Women in Engineering Affinity Group, IEEE Pune Section.  The Hope Foundation has been associated with philanthropic activities in the twin fields of education and medical assistance since 1979.

Late Shri Pralhad P Chhabria’s always encouraged and supported education of young women.  He firmly believed that women are far superior to men and have always been.  They have the ability to make whatever they get, greater.  And providing them with good education in turn ensures that they not only share their knowledge and skills for their family; but for the community and the nation. The Hope Foundation carries forward his ethos through its educational institutions – Finolex Academy of Management and Technology at Ratnagiri (  and International Institute of Information Technology, I²IT, Pune ( and the research wing of the Foundation – Pralhad P Chhabria Research Centre, Pune (

The Late Shri Pralhad P Chhabria Awards were given away at the National level IEEE Women in Engineering Symposium 2018 hosted at I²IT, Pune Mrs Aruna M Katara, President of Hope Foundation and Research Centre, Dr. Sivaji Chakravorti, Chairman, IEEE India Council and Mr. Dinanath Kholkar, Chairman of the IEEE Pune Section.

The Symposium was attended by illustrious professionals like Mrs Lila Poonawala, Founder of the Lila Poonawala Foundation and specially invited speakers from Singapore – Mr Chandra Kumar, Founder & CEO of Wisely Wise and Mrs Hamsa Chandra Kumar Co-Founder & COO, WiselyWise.

The winners were selected from an overwhelming number of applications which were then resorted to stringent evaluation criteria decided by the Jury Members and the Award Management Team. On receiving the award, Ms Jayati said that her winning the award has encouraged many other female students to step into the research domain and contribute to the community.  She concluded her acceptance with a quote, “Nirmano ke pawan yug mein hum charitra nirman na bhoole, Swarth sadhana ki aandhi mein vasudha ka kalian na bhoolein”.

The award for Dr. Soma Biswas was received by her husband but she expressed her gratitude and appreciation via an audio recording wherein she thanked the Hope Foundation and IEEE. Also expressed her gratitude towards IISc Bangalore and her family who have always been very supportive of her dreams and success.

These annual awards will soon be opened for the year 2019 for young women aspirants from all over India.

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