Earlier this day, Narendra Modi became the second Indian head of state to win “Ignoble” Nobel prize 2020.
The name itself is a wordplay, as the word ‘ignoble’, is an antonym of ‘noble’, and thus the name Ig Nobel. The award is usually given to recognize the unusual events taking place or the trivial achievements made in science. It honours all such medical contributions that first make the people laugh, and then make them think.
This Ig Nobel prize isn’t the prestigious award, rather is a satirical and parody award given by a magazine named “Annals of Improbable Research” since 1991. The award specializes in humorous conversations about scientific developments and all the medical contributions made. The heads of governments of Brazil, the UK, Mexico, Belarus, the US, Turkey, Russia and Turkmenistan were also recognized for the same award alongside Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They all were awarded for using the Covid-19 global pandemic to “teach the world that politicians can have a more immediate effect on life and death than scientists and doctors can.”
It was the second time for Belarus though. In 2003, Belarus president was awarded the Ig Nobel prize for making it illegal to applaud in public.
This year, the award was jointly given out to India and Pakistan for “having their diplomats surreptitiously ring each other’s doorbells in the middle of the night, and then run away before anyone had a chance to answer the door”, this is a reference from all the incidents that actually took place 2 years back.
The award ceremony takes place at Harvard University every year, in a rather quirky manner. The winners are allowed to give a max 60-second speech, and on interrupting the rule, stopped by a girl who says “ please stop, I am bored”. The audience is also allowed to throw paper planes at the winners. The whole event is live telecast-ed on the internet. This year was different, as it was covered entirely online.
Similarly, this year’s winners of Ig Psychology Prize are Miranda of Canada and Nicholas Rule from the USA, for “ devising a method to identify narcissists by examining their eyebrows.”
The Ig Nobel prize does not make fun of science or ridicule it in anyway, instead they make science more fun by celebrating even the weirdest of achievements. They motivate the students and give them ideas such as , even the craziest of thoughts can turn into wild ideas and then achievements.