WISE COUN­CIL

CSIR | ES­TAB­LISHED IN 1942

India Today - - STATES - —Amar­nath K. Menon

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.

M. ZHAZO

SCI­EN­TIFIC TEM­PER CSIR head Girish Sahni

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