The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) --the premier industrial R&D organization in India was constituted in 1942 by a resolution of the then Central Legislative Assembly. It is an autonomous body registered under the Registration of Societies Act of 1860.CSIR aims to provide industrial competitiveness, social welfare, strong S&T base for strategic sectors and advancement of fundamental knowledge.
The Strategic Road Map designed for CSIR as it stepped into the new Millennium envisaged:
Re-engineering the organisational structure;
Linking research to marketspace;
Mobilising and Optimising the resource base;
Creating an enabling infrastructure; and
Investing in high quality science that will be the harbinger of future technologies.
Interestingly , the Government of India has also announced a new Science and Technology Policy 2003 in the early years of the new century. It presents Science and Technology with a human face and emphasizes realities such as facing open, global competition; need for examining social, economic and environmental consequences of S&T; and, aggressive international benchmarking and innovation. It advocates strong support for basic research. It emphasizes manpower build-up and retention as important challenges. It advocates dynamism in S&T governance, through the participation of scientists and technologies.
Today CSIR is recognised as one of the world’s largest publicly funded R&D organisations having linkages to academia, R&D organisations and industry. CSIR’s 38 laboratories not only knit India into a giant network that impacts and add quality to the life of each and every Indian but CSIR is also party to the prestigious Global Research Alliance with the objective of applying global knowledge pool for global good through global funding. CSIR’s R&D portfolio embraces areas as diverse as Aerospace, Biotechnology, Chemicals…indeed, almost the ABC-Z of Indian Science!
CSIR flying high and higher SARAS
The SARAS inaugural flight
The ‘inaugural’ flight of SARAS took place at 8.20 a.m. on Sunday, 22 August 2004. All those worries about a wet morning disrupting the SARAS flying display evaporated as the SARAS soared stylishly into the skies to a thunderous ovation.
Joining the applause to hail this remarkable step forward in Indian civil aviation were Mr Kapil Sibal, Minister of State for Science & Technology and Ocean Development and CSIR’s Vice President, Dr R A Mashelkar, DG-CSIR, Dr V S Ramamurthy, Secretary, DST, Mr N R Mohanty, Chairman, HAL, Dr T S Prahlad and Directors of 35 CSIR establishments.
In his generous response, the Minister of State for Science & Technology and Ocean Development, Mr Kapil Sibal told the SARAS team: “you have given a great gift to the nation today; an order for 30 aircraft would be a small way to compensate this effort”. In his splendidly articulated address, Mr Sibal described the Sunday morning as a “day of great pride”. “As the SARAS soared skywards, our spirits soared too. You’ve grown wings for the Indian nation today!”.
Dr T S Prahlad, NAL’s former Director and, in many ways, the “Godfather” of the SARAS project, then offered a very detailed narrative of how the SARAS development unfolded. In one of his best-articulated speeches, Dr Prahlad recounted how NAL went through moments both of extreme exultation and deep disappointment. “Building a SARAS kind of aircraft with no legacy databases or expertise to fall back on is indeed a profound challenge”, he said. Dr Prahlad thanked CSIR and Dr Mashelkar for providing “vital energy” to the SARAS project.
"Launching of this product will put India on the global map in the knowledge area encompassing computational biology, post-genomic drug discovery and so on. The sale of Bio-Suite at competitive prices will enable the Indian students to be trained in bio-informatics and the Indian biotechnology Industry to develop newer products by using software at a fraction of the cost of imported software."
President of India
14 July 2004
New TB Molecule
Phase I trial of new TB molecule expected to begin in October
MUMBAI, SEPT 7 (PTI)
The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Director General Dr Raghunath A Mashelkar today said the phase I trial of `sudoterb', the new molecule for the treatment of TB, is expected to begin in October this year.
Sudoterb, the result of a private-public partnership, is expected to get mandatory clearance from the Drug Controller of India to carry out the clinical trial by the end of this month, Mashelkar told media here.
The molecule, which may help reduce the treatment time from eight months to two months, could be easily taken by poor patients, he said while highlighting some of the achievements of CSIR.
The new molecule developement is done under the New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Intiative Project launched by the CSIR and has been discovered by Lupin Laboratories in partnership with four institutions.
The drug may be available to the patients only after four years, he said adding, the venture is also in the process of developing new delivery systems for the benefit of TB patients.
PM's speech at the Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Awards ceremony - September 13, 2004, New Delhi
" Let me conclude by making a few specific commitments for our government.
I reaffirm of India’s commitment to basic science, applied science and the promotion of excellence.
A commitment to rebuild the science base in the universities. This will include creating synergy between new initiatives in S&T and our university system.
A commitment to promote public-private partnerships vigorously, to increase funding for frontier areas of scientific research.
A commitment to the assurance of autonomy, accountability and de-bureaucratisation of S&T institutions.
A commitment to restructure our S&T support systems.
A commitment to create career opportunities and the potential for retaining talent in the S&T sector. "
"Science and technology is an area of special concern for our Government. I want to renew the commitment that our great leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Indiraji made to the development of science and technology in India. We have had a rich tradition of building a modern world-class knowledge economy in an economically developing country. Perhaps in recent times we have not done enough. But I am convinced that our country’s future and the prosperity of our people are vitally dependent upon the development of science and technology and the harnessing of the gains of S&T for development. Equally, we must renew our commitment to fostering a scientific temper among the people so that we are able to deal with the challenges at hand in a rational and reasonable manner. In this context, I propose to constitute a Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, to be headed by a very distinguished scientist. The SAC will advise us on strategies, policies and programmes for the development and utilisation of science and technology as an essential input for all our developmental processes "
"....... there is an under-explored international dimension to S&T in our country. This pertains to engaging with the developing world. Developing countries seek to benefit from our experience in building a good base in R&D. There is a great opportunity for us to increase our presence, influence and future trade prospects in the developing world by strengthening S&T linkages through cooperation and networking. These can be achieved through a mix of governmental outreach and academic and non-governmental contacts. Special attention should be given to forging new collaborative programmes and research links, particularly with countries in Africa, Central Asia and our neighbourhood."
INDIA-UK Joint Declaration, September 20, 2004 London (Signed by Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Tony Blair in London.)
The UK and India already co-operate closely on science and technology. We have established a Joint Committee on Science and Technology and a networking scheme that enables scientists to meet each other, exchange research ideas and establish links. We will now enhance existing collaboration and identify new areas for co-operation in fields such as: climate change, alternative and clean energy technologies, environmental science, commercial applications of high technology like biotech and bio-informatics, nano-technology, agriculture, and health research and development. We will encourage collaborative opportunities in these areas.