CSIR | ESTABLISHED IN 1942
THE BIG BANG
With a network of 38 national laboratories, 39 outreach centres, three innovation complexes and 4,600 active scientists supported by about 8,000 other scientific and technical staff, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) today is the largest R&D organisation with a panIndia presence. Among CSIR’s major achievements are the development of the light combat aircraft, Tejas, and the supercomputer, Flysolver, and organising expeditions and research studies in Antarctica. Inspired by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, UK, the CSIR came into being after Sir Richard Gregory, then editor of Nature, reported to the British government about the dire need for such a facility after visiting scientific departments and universities in India in 1933. Then viceroy Lord Willingdon rejected the government’s suggestion and agreed only to create an Industrial Intelligence and Research Bureau in 1935. On the insistence of Arcot Ramaswamy Mudaliar, a member of the Viceroy’s council, a board for scientific and industrial research was created in 1940. He assumed office as its chairman while Dr (Sir) Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar was appointed its first director. Less than a decade after they first mooted the proposal, their persistence gave shape to the drafting of a constitution and the founding of CSIR in 1942.
THE ROAD AHEAD
“Our dream is to develop and deploy smart science and technology solutions aimed at bringing in a socio-economic revolution, which is inclusive and sustainable,” says CSIR head Girish Sahni, outlining the vision for CSIR@80. “In fact, we are striving with both emotion and devotion to make India the compassionate technology capital of the world.” Earlier, labs were organised around science domains like chemistry and biology. Now it is on the basis of themes to strengthen links with industry.
SCIENTIFIC TEMPER CSIR head Girish Sahni