In news– Recently, senior electrochemical scientist Nallathamby Kalaiselvi has become the first woman director general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research(CSIR).
About the CSIR-
- Pioneer of India’s intellectual property movement, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research(CSIR) was established by the Government of India in September 1942 as an autonomous body.
- The CSIR, known for its cutting edge R&D knowledge base in diverse S&T areas, is a contemporary R&D organization.
- It covers a wide spectrum of science and technology – from oceanography, geophysics, chemicals, drugs, genomics, biotechnology and nanotechnology to mining, aeronautics, instrumentation, environmental engineering and information technology.
- It provides significant technological intervention in many areas concerning societal efforts, which include environment, health, drinking water, food, housing, energy, farm and non-farm sectors.
- CSIR today is strengthening its patent portfolio to carve out global niches for the country in select technology domains.
- CSIR filed about 225 Indian patents and 250 foreign patents per year during 2015-20.
- It has put in place [email protected]: Vision & Strategy 2022 – New CSIR for New India.
- CSIR’s mission is “to build a new CSIR for a new India”, and CSIR’s vision is to “Pursue science which strives for global impact, the technology that enables innovation-driven industry and nurtures trans-disciplinary leadership thereby catalyzing inclusive economic development for the people of India”.
- Prior to CSIR, the Industrial Intelligence and Research Bureau was set up in April 1935.
- At the onset of World War II in 1939, by the efforts of Arcot Ramaswamy Mudaliar, a member Board of Scientific and Industrial Research(BSIR) was created on 1 April 1940 for a period of two years.
- Mudaliar became the chair of the board.
- It was at this point that Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar was appointed as the Director.
- Major achievements of BSIR included development of the techniques for the purification of Balochistan sulphur anti-gas cloth manufacture, vegetable oil blends as fuel and lubricants, plastic packing cases for army boots and ammunition, dyes for uniforms and the preparation of vitamins, and the invention of a pyrethrum emulsifier and cream.
- Bhatnagar persuaded the government to set up an Industrial Research Utilisation Committee (IRUC) in early 1941 for further investment into industrial research.
- The constitution of the CSIR as an autonomous body was prepared under Mudaliar and Bhatnagar which came into operation on 26 September 1942.
- The BSIR and IRUC became the advisory bodies to the governing body of the CSIR.
- In 1943, the governing body of CSIR approved the proposal of Bhatnagar to establish five national laboratories – the National Chemical Laboratory, the National Physical Laboratory, the Fuel Research Station, the Glass & Ceramics Research Institute and the National Metallurgical Laboratory.
- CSIR, today is perhaps among the world’s largest publicly funded R&D organisations.
- It has a chain of 38 world class R&D establishments with 80 field stations spread across India. Its patrons and partners hail from over 50 countries.
Organisational structure of CSIR:
- President: Prime Minister (Ex-Officio)
- Vice President: Minister of Science & Technology, India (Ex-Officio)
- Governing Body: The Director General is the head of the governing body. The other ex-officio member is the finance secretary (expenditures). Other members’ terms are three years.
- CSIR Advisory Board: 15-member body (with a term of 3 years each) composed of prominent members from respective fields of science and technology. Its function is to provide S&T inputs to the governing body.
- CSIR has granted 90% of US patents granted to any Indian publicly funded R&D organization.
- On an average CSIR file about 200 Indian patents and 250 foreign patents per year. About 13.86% of CSIR patents are licensed – a number which is above the global average.
- CSIR is the only Indian organization among the top 100 global institutions, according to the Scimago Institutions Ranking World Report 2014. It holds the 17th rank in Asia and leads the country at the first position.
- Developed India’s first synthetic drug, methaqualone in 1950.
- Developed Optical Glass at CGCRI for defence purposes.
- The Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize was established by CSIR in 1958. The prize is named after the Founder Director Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar.
- Developed the first Indian tractor Swaraj in 1967 completely based on indigenous know-how.
- Achieved the first breakthrough of flowering of Bamboo within weeks as against twenty years in nature.
- First to analyse genetic diversity of the indigenous Andamanese tribes and to establish their origin out of Africa 60,000 years ago.
- Developed the first transgenic Drosophila model for drug screening for cancer in humans.
- Invented, once a week non-steroidal family planning pill Saheli and non-steroidal herbal pill for asthma called Asmon.
- CSIR developed cheaper processes for manufacture of anti-HIV drugs and transferred the technology to CIPLA, which introduced the drug in India and other third world countries at a fraction of the original price of expensive drugs.
- Flosolver, India’s first parallel computer to get supercomputing power was built in 1986.
- Rejuvenated India’s one-hundred-year-old refinery at Digboi using the most modern molecular distillation technology.
- With TCS, developed a versatile portable PC-based software ‘Bio-Suite’ for bioinformatics.
- Design of 14 seater plane ‘SARAS’.
- Established first ever in the world ‘Traditional Knowledge Digital Library’ accessible in five international languages, English, German, French, Japanese and Spanish.
- Successfully challenged the grant of patent in the US for use of haldi (turmeric) for wound healing and neem as insecticide.
- In 2009, completed the sequencing of the Human Genome.
- In 2011, successfully tested India’s 1st indigenous civilian aircraft, NAL NM5 made in association with National Aerospace Laboratories and Mahindra Aerospace.
- In 2020, initiated clinical trials to evaluate Sepsivac’s efficacy to reduce mortality rate in COVID-19 patients.