Prizing knowledge

Has the CSIR been a backbencher in the field of scientific research in India?

 
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

THE Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has announced the winners of the coveted Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awards for the 'year 1995, in Delhi on September 26. These awards were announced by R A Mashelkar, director general, CSIR, marking the csiR Foundation Day - the 53rd anniversary of the formation of the country's apex scientific research body.

Eleven eminent scientists from across the country have been selected for these awards for their achievement in 7 areas of research. In additicz budding CSIR scientists were given CSIR Young Scientist Awards in of research. The CSIR Technoji awards given to institutions under CSIR were also announced.

The Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awards, named after the founder- director-general, CSIR, are given scientists of Indian origin below years of age, for their outstanckw research contributions in India. The awards are considered to be the Ingwo form of recognition for Indian sci"Vla tists. But ironically, not a single M scientist's name figured in the list of although the CSIR is among the large science & technology organisation the country with about 5,600 science and boasts of leaping into the tury through competitive research Instead, the Indian Institute of Scic (rise), Bangalore, bagged 5 out awards. Asked why csiii scientists not make it, Mashelkar said, "We I or 2 awards every year. I am awardee myself. Once in a while, may miss out, but our scient often found hovering among the top few. That issignificantin itself.. On whole, I am happy about the awards he said.

Obviously, the CSIR has not been major performer in the competitive even on the basis of a cumulatrft record. Asked about the usc's perf" mance, Mashelkar said, "The usc h been a winner by tradition, berrigm institution which has the cumulative record of winning the largest numbeo Bhatnagar Awards. The moment you enter the usc, you run into someone who won the award," he said.

One could argue that although is CSIR may be lagging behind in haw research, it has a better record is technology. But, this year's rothng shield for process technology and pn for biological sciences and technolop have gone unawarded, indicating lack of competitive performance between the csiR labs. However Mashelkar opines, "The procedure is very rigorous. We have the toughest possible committees, with 10 to members each, drawn from among the best in the country."

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