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IIT Madras professor Thalappil Pradeep Padma Shri awardee wins VinFuture Prize for tech to remove arsenic from groundwater

IIT Madras professor Thalappil Pradeep Padma Shri awardee wins VinFuture Prize for tech to remove arsenic from groundwater

IIT Madras professor Thalappil Pradeep Padma Shri awardee has won the VinFuture Prize, one of the largest ever annual prizes globally, for his low-cost filtration system to remove arsenic from groundwater.

Professor Thalappil Pradeep of IIT Madras bagged the award in one of the four categories of the annual ‘VinFuture Prizes’. Nearly 1,000 nominations from 71 different countries were scanned through to choose the winners.

Professor Pradeep received the special prize for ‘Innovators from Developing Countries’ in recognition of his work on a low-cost filtration device for the removal of heavy metals such as arsenic and others from groundwater.

This could provide access to clean water for hundreds of millions of people who currently live in areas with dirty water.

The VinFuture Prize was presented to Professor T Pradeep from IIT Madras on December 20, 2022, in Hanoi, Vietnam. He now holds the post of Institute Professor in IIT Madras’ Department of Chemistry.


Professor Pradeep has received numerous awards before, including the Padma Shri, the Nikkei Asia Prize, and the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water. His innovations are providing clean water to more than 1.2 crore people.

One of the highest annual rewards ever given out globally, the VinFuture Grand Prize is valued at US$3 million. It also includes three special awards, each worth US$ 500,000, presented to innovators from developing nations, innovators from women, and innovators who have made remarkable contributions to developing sectors.


Professor T Pradeep, while thanking the awards jury said, “This recognises everyone who worked with me, everyone who has been benefited from the work and those who enabled the translation of our work.”

“At the same time, I am aware of the huge gap yet to be bridged to deliver clean water to everyone. I hope that this recognition will help in realizing that dream. I thank my institute which gave me everything. I thank my country, which made me stand up,” he said.

Professor Pradeep found sustainable and cheap nanoparticles that can be used to create clean water. The removal of arsenic and other substances by these materials has no effect on the surroundings.

This technique, which makes use of straightforward designs, offers a low-cost way to cleanse groundwater and get it to millions of affected households. This technology is more useful in distant locations because it doesn’t need electricity.


The largest Vietnamese conglomerate, Vingroup, was founded by Phm Nht Vng, the country’s first billionaire, and his wife, Phm Thu Hng. At the foundation of their independent, not-for-profit company is the VinFuture Prize.

The prize was established on International Solidarity Day 2020 to honour outstanding researchers and inventors from academic institutions, industry, and research facilities around the world who have made significant contributions to scientific discovery and technological advancement that have a positive impact on the daily lives of millions of people.

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