India not getting Fields Medal? Blame it on politics, lobbies

"There are lobbies and there are politics. In any prize selection, decision it is not 100 per cent politics- free. It is a well known fact. French lobby is very strong. Russian lobby is also very strong (at IMU)," Rajat Tandon, Organising Secretary of International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM)-2010 told PTI today.

He was asked about the reasons for Indians not getting the Fields Medal, first awarded in 1936. The top honour eluding India, home to eminent mathematicians like Ramanujan, Bhaskara and Aryabhatta, was a cause of worry, he said.

"We have so many excellent mathematicians, but none of them has got the medal till date. Even a small country like Vietnam has won the medal," Tandon pointed out.

There were as many as 27 speakers from France in the congress, a nine-day event which ended here today, he said.

"This must be the largest contingent from any single country. France is very strong in mathematics."

But Prof Raghunathan, Chairman, Executive Organising Committee, ICM-2010, disagreed with Tandon, saying there was no favouritism in deciding the winner. "The committee which decides the prize performs a difficult job. It has to select the winner from a large pool of aspirants."

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