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Dr Mashelkar retires

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  • Subbiah Arunachalam
    Friends: Here is a news item on Dr Mashelkar s retirement. Best wishes. Arun [Subbiah Arunachalam]
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1, 2007

      Here is a news item on Dr Mashelkar's retirement. Best

      [Subbiah Arunachalam]


      Top Indian science administrator Mashelkar retires

      Dec 31, 2006, 17:45 GMT

      New Delhi, Dec 31 (IANS) R.A. Mashelkar, who is
      credited with giving new direction to Indian science,
      retired Sunday as head of the Council for Scientific
      and Industrial Research (CSIR), an organisation he
      served for over three decades.

      During his 11 years as CSIR head, Mashelkar turned
      around the organisation into a world-class,
      profit-making, performance-driven, research and
      development organisation.

      Winner of around 50 national and international Awards,
      Mashelkar has been well known for spearheading new
      thinking in the field of science and technology.

      He chaired about 12 high-power committees set up to
      look into diverse issues of national importance, an
      official release said.

      'Dr. Mashelkar will also be remembered for championing
      the cause of protection of traditional knowledge in
      India by fighting the Turmeric and Basmati (patent)
      battles, which set a new paradigm in the protection of
      developing world's traditional knowledge heritage,'
      the release added.

      Mashelkar is only the third Indian engineer to have
      been elected Fellow of Royal Society (FRS), London, in
      the 20th Century. He was also elected Foreign Fellow
      of the US National Academy of Science in 2005,
      becoming only the eighth Indian scientist in over 140
      years to have been so honoured.

      He was the first scientist from Asia to have won the
      Star of Asia Award presented by former US president
      George Bush. Over 25 universities including those of
      London, Salford, Pretoria, Wisconsin and Delhi have
      honoured him with honorary doctorates.

      Post retirement, Mashelkar is slated to become
      president of Global Research Alliance, formed by nine
      CSIR-like institutions from Asia-Pacific, Europe and
      the US, comprising over 60,000 scientists and
      engineers. The organisation has a $6 billion budget.


      Comments by Subbiah Arunachalam

      Among other honours Dr Mashelkar received is the
      Foreign Associateship of the National Academy of
      Engineering, USA. He is the only Indian to have been
      elected to both the National Academy of Sciences, USA,
      and the National Academy of Engineering, USA.

      In an illustrious career, which is truly one of 'from
      a log cabin to the dizzy heights of science
      administration', Dr Mashelkar missed a great
      opportunity - to bring about the culture of open
      access to all CSIR labs and to all of Indian science.
      It was well within his reach and he could have done it
      without much effort. Let us hope his successor, Dr V
      Prakash, gives top priority to this one unfinished
      task of Dr Mashelkar.

      Incidentally, open access to published journal
      literatures makes it possible for anyone, anywhere
      with an Internet connection to access, download and
      use the full text of research papers without any
      barrier. Open access can improve the visibility and
      utilization of research published by Indian
      scientists. The Indian Institute of Science, thanks to
      the vision and leadership of Prof. N Balakrishnan, was
      the first Indian research institution to set up an
      interoperable institutional open access archive and
      now it has more than 5,000 papers by the Institute's
      faculty and students. Only three CSIR labs, viz.
      National Chemical laboratory, Natioanl Aerospace
      Laboratory and national Institute of Oceanography,
      have such institutional archives.

      Subbiah Arunachalam

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