The Sashakt Scholarship programme is set up in honour of the philanthropist couple, Radha Sasisekharan and Viswanathan Sasisekharan, who have both dedicated their lives to the advancement of education and science in India. They are especially keen on empowering women to step out of the shadows and contribute actively to the country’s scientific dialogue and research.
RADHA SASISEKHARAN has been a motivating and driving force behind the education of many children and young adults, including those from under privileged backgrounds. Her support has gone far beyond financial assistance, as an active mentor to many. As a strong believer in women’s empowerment, she has championed the careers of many young women.
VISWANATHAN SASISEKHARAN, a world-renowned Biophysicist, is known for his pioneering contributions to the structures of biopolymers. In 1962, he developed the (φ, ψ) plot, which provides important information about the energetically allowed conformations of polypeptides. This work laid the foundation for a deeper understanding of protein folding and is still used to this day to validate the designs of new proteins. His later work on the structure of DNA suggested an alternative model for the Watson Crick Double Helix. V. Sasisekharan was a Professor at the Indian Institute of Science for several decades. Among the numerous national and international awards received by him is the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology, one of India’s highest science awards, in 1977, for his contributions to the biological sciences. He has also been a Visiting Professor at Princeton University and an Adjunct Professor at the University of California, San Francisco. Apart from mentoring scores of graduate students at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, he was the Chairman of the Molecular Biophysics Unit as well as Division Chairman of Chemical and Biological Sciences at the institute.