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