PRIME MINISTER Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee presented Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prizes, the most coveted awards in Science & Technology in the country, for the year 2002, to 12 eminent scientists at a glittering function held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, on 12 July 2003. The function was presided over by Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, Minister for Human Resource Development, Science & Technology and Ocean Development. Shri Bachi Singh Rawat, Minister of State for Science & Technology, was also present on the occasion.
Dr R.A. Mashelkar, Director General, CSIR, delivering his welcome address
A special feature of this year's function was the `Bhatnagar Laureates (2002) Symposium', following the presentation of the Bhatnagar Prizes. The symposium was organized at the instance of Minister for Science & Technology Dr Murli Manohar Joshi with the objective to provide a glimpse of the best in Science & Technology that the country has to offer, to the young research workers and school students. In this, each Bhatnagar Laureate presented the gist of his work that got him the prestigious Bhatnagar Prize. A large number of research workers, and students from schools in Delhi and nearby places attended.
Extending a warm welcome to Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Dr R.A. Mashelkar, FRS, Director General, CSIR, said that this was the fifth consecutive year when Shri Vajpayee was presenting these prizes. The practice of presentation of Bhatnagar Prizes by the Prime Minister began in 1961 when Pt Jawaharlal Nehru gave the Prize for 1958. But so far no other Prime Minister has given away these prizes for five consecutive years and thus Shri Vajpayee has set a record. “I wish him to continue to present these awards for many more years”, said Dr Mashelkar.
Welcoming the Minister for Science & Technology Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, Dr Mashelkar said that Dr Joshi has provided a new dynamism to S&T in the country. He has always laid stress on Innovation and been providing guidance to us on all aspects – in fact, the idea for holding the Bhatnagar Laureates Symposium also came from him.
The CSIR Director General also thanked the Minister of State for Science & Technology Shri Bachi Singh Rawat for his guidance.
Regarding the coveted Bhatnagar Prizes, Dr Mashelkar said that the prize money for these awards, which was Rs 10,000 for each of the seven disciplines till mid‑seventies, has increased over the years and today it is Rs 200,000 for each winner. But it is not only the money, of much more importance is the prestige attached to these awards.
The NCL scientists, Dr Mashelkar continued, once wanted to know how one becomes an FRS? And the answer they got from an eminent personality associated with the selection of FRS was: It is not important for us to know how many papers a scientist has published. We ask a simple question – What difference the contributions of the scientist has made to the world of science? Or, in other words, will it would have been any different had that particular scientist not been there. We are starting the practice of holding a symposium, following the presentation of the prizes, where the Bhatnagar Laureates will not only present their work but will also tell us what difference has it made to the advancement of S&T. We shall also bring out a book on the work of Bhatnagar Laureates, he added.
Dr Mashelkar also read out the citations of the prize‑winners, which are given on page221.
Prof. S.K. Brahmachari, Director, Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Delhi, proposed a vote of thanks.
DR Murli Manohar Joshi, Shri Bachi Singh Rawat, Dr Mashelkar, Dr Brahmachari, Bhatnagar Laureates, my young scientist friends and other distinguished guests:
This is the fifth Bhatnagar Awards function that I have the privilege to address. It is always heartening to be in the company of the most outstanding among our country's scientists. But today, I have an additional reason to be pleased. For I see in front of me hundreds of young science scholars, who are participating for the first time in the Bhatnagar Awards function.
Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee delivering his address at the S.S. Bhatnagar Prize function
A view of the distinguish audience at the Bhatnagar Prize presention function
I must congratulate the CSIR for the 'innovation' it has introduced in this event by holding the Bhatnagar Laureates Symposium. This will give the young minds present here an opportunity to interact with the brightest among Indian scientists.
I would like to congratulate the Bhatnagar awardees, who have excelled in their respective areas of research. I am happy to note that most of the Bhatnagar awardees of yesteryears have continued to remain and work in India. They have over the years pioneered new schools of thought, spawned new paradigms for technology, established centers of excellence and won many laurels.
To the new Awardees, I would like to say, "You now have an onerous responsibility. You are the role model for young scientists. You have to set an example to them by your continued pursuit of excellence in science, high levels of ethics in your work, and the larger vision of nation‑building that ought to guide the work of scientists as well as all the rest of us in our respective professions."
Today as I pay tribute to the achievers — both past and present — in Indian science and technology, I naturally think of those of our compatriots who have gone abroad and whose superior research capabilities are now acknowledged all over the world.
While speaking to DRDO scientists on this year's Technology Day, I had said that we are proud of the fact that tens of thousands of Indian scientists and engineers around the world are making valuable contributions to the areas of their specialization and to economies of their countries of domicile. Many Heads of State, including those of industrialized nations, have spoken to me praising their contribution.
This gives us the hope and confidence that by creating the right environment for learning, teaching and working here in India, our talented scientists and engineers can produce path‑breaking discoveries and inventions in our own country.
Here I am reminded of the words of an immigrant scientist in the United States who went on to win a Nobel Prize. "A scientist is like a painter. Michael Angelo became a great artist because he had been given a wall to paint. My wall was given to me by the United States."
So, the first thing all of us should together resolve — those of us in Government as well as those of you in Science & Technology institutions — is to provide a big enough canvas to our researchers right here in India. We should further improve the environment for research and development in India. I am told that much improvement has taken place in recent years, especially in areas such as information technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. But we need to accomplish much more.
The Bhatnagar prize is a national honour. But your ambition should be to benchmark your research with the best in the world and win prestigious international honours. I am happy to see that this year, as many as seven Indians have won the honours of getting elected to the US National Academies of Science & Engineering.
What gladdens me especially is the fact that, although five of them have won the honours for work done in USA, the remaining two — Dr Obaid Siddiqi and Dr Raghunath Mashelkar ‑‑ have done their entire work in India. I would like to congratulate them heartily.
What does their success mean? It means that you can indeed do world‑class research in our own laboratories in India, provided you dare to dream, and provided your efforts match your dreams and your ambitions.
Apart from prestigious international honours, the other criterion to judge the quality of output of India's S&T establishment is the number of research papers published in reputed international journals. Perhaps this is an area that has not received adequate attention.
There seems to be an apparent disconnect between our proven technological capability to harness existing knowledge and unsatisfactory contribution to new knowledge. After all, India has made notable progress in the past two decades in agriculture, space, nuclear energy, and several manufacturing sectors. However, this progress is not matched by globally recognized original research in India.
It should be the endeavour of our scientists and researchers in CSIR laboratories, universities. IlTs, ICMR, ICAR and other organizations to significantly increase their output of globally recognized research papers.
As history tells us, a nation can progress economically in the short term based on `existing knowledge', but such progress is not sustainable in the long run — especially in today's competitive conditions ‑‑ in the absence of creation of 'new knowledge'. Thus, we have to be equally adept at both generating new knowledge and applying it to our various national needs.
On this occasion I cannot help reiterate my concern over the declining interest in science among students. In 1950s and '60's, the best students chose to go for science education. Today's bright students seem to be shying away from science. As a result, in few years' time, all our top research organizations would face a shortage of good science graduates. This issue needs to be addressed effectively, imaginatively and comprehensively.
I am happy that Dr Joshiji has initiated several good measures in this regard, both in respect of technology education and science education.
However, it is not enough to attract the best and brightest students to science education. It is equally important to create sufficient employment opportunities for them in our country.
I would like the S&T establishment, public and private sector industry, as well as the concerned Government agencies to collectively address this issue. Some international firms have started to set up their R&D centers in India, employing large numbers of PhDs. This trend can be broadened by actively encouraging location in India of R&D activities of big and small corporations abroad. Our aim should be to make India a global R&D hub.
We should also seek the involvement of our Diasporic community in this endeavour. I am told that one of the issues that was discussed at the first Pravasi Bharatiya Sammelan early this year was how to synergise India's scientific talent at home and abroad. I would like this effort to be further strengthened.
Friends, I have always looked forward to the Bhatnagar Awards function to share with you my ideas on some of the priorities in India's socio‑economic development and how the S&T establishment can help in meeting these challenges. Today the Nation expects your valuable inputs in many critical areas of development. For example, yesterday the Planning Commission presented to me two excellent reports on promotion of bio‑fuels and bamboo.
These subjects may sound unglamorous to some, but both have an immense potential to generate productive employment, help millions of artisans and farmers to be liberated from poverty, achieve significant import substitution and earn considerable export revenue. To achieve these goals, we need critical R&D inputs from agriculture scientists, energy scientists, and technologists of various disciplines.
Let me mention another issue of overriding national importance — namely, water conservation. India is blessed by nature with bountiful water — it is amongst the 'wettest' countries in the world, yet 'desert‑like' conditions are now prevalent in many parts of the country. We are fast plunging into a water‑emergency era.
Although many parts of India have received timely rains this year, I have appealed to all our citizens and all institutional users of water to conserve every drop of available water. Among other things, this requires low‑cost water‑saving, water‑recycling, and water treatment technologies. Our kisans need to know effective techniques of recharging the sources of ground water.
Thus you, my scientist friends. have a great responsibility to contribute to making, India water secure'. Let us remember that 'Water sustains life, and it is now our duty to sustain all sources of water'.
I have given only a few illustrative examples. But they show how scientists and technologists can become crucial partners in the Nation's development efforts. You are already playing this role in diverse fields, and I commend you for your valuable contribution. But a much bigger challenge awaits you. I have full confidence in your ability as well as in your readiness to meet this challenge.
Once again my congratulations to Bhatnagar prize winners.
HON'BLE Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji; my colleague, Minister of State for Science & Technology, Shri Bachi Singh Rawat ji; Dr Mashelkar; Dr Brahmachari; the proud Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prizewinners and their equally proud family members; young research students who are attending the Bhatnagar Prize function in such large numbers for the first time; distinguished invitees; ladies and gentlemen:
Dr Murli Manohar Joshi delivering his address at the S.S. Bhatnagar Prize presentation function
Let me begin by welcoming all of you to this 29th Bhatnagar Prize function. I am especially happy to welcome our Prime Minister, who has set up, as was told earlier, a record. No Prime Minister of India has given away the Bhatnagar prizes for the fifth time in a row. Our Prime Minister has done it. This reflects the deep commitment that our Prime Minister has in Indian science and also his total faith in the Indian scientists.
His abiding faith has been reflected repeatedly over the last five years through what he has said and what he has done. He not only gave his famous and inspiring slogan of 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan and Jai Vigyan' but also followed this up with several determined actions. His pronouncement during the Pune Science Congress to raise the level of expenditure in Indian Science & Technology to 2% of India's GDP, was followed up with concrete action. Indeed, the last two years have seen a record increase in the budgetary support for science and technology over the previous years, dare I say, the highest in post‑independent India! We thank you Hon'ble Prime Minister for this unstinted support, and assure you that we are determined to use Indian S&T as the most powerful tool for the socio‑economic transformation of India so that your dream of 'twenty‑first century being India's century' will come true.
Let me begin by congratulating all the Bhatnagar Prize winners. This prize continues to remain the most prestigious prize today that an Indian can get. What is very satisfying for me is that you have committed yourself to do science in India rather than some distant land of promise, and this prize comes to you for the work done primarily in India. I am sure this award, which is a recognition of the outstanding scientific research that you have done, will spur you to go on further and higher, bringing all the glory to Indian science.
I was very keen to organise something very special this time that has not been done before. Apart from the actual awards function, there is a Bhatnagar Laureate (2002) Symposium to follow. In this, each one of the Bhatnagar Laureates will present the gist of the work that got him this prestigious prize. The young researchers will get a glimpse of the best in science that India has to offer. They should be inspired by the presentations of the Bhatnagar Laureates. I am sure this event will make the young scientists present here the aspirants for this prestigious prize in the future. We will continue this practice of holding the Bhatnagar Laureate symposia from now on for all future Bhatnagar Prize functions to follow.
The Bhatnagar Prize has been given primarily for the work done in basic science. Today, I want to spend some time on responding to a question that is often asked — Can a poor country like India afford to spend its scarce financial resource in basic scientific research? Should it not just use the scarce funds wisely and just concentrate on converting the currently available knowledge into something useful for the nation? I even heard recently that in a meeting organized abroad, one of the speakers said that scientists working in developing world should forget about Nobel Prizes. Instead they should just work on improving their lot by using known pool of scientific knowledge. I beg to differ completely. Basic research is a foundation. This foundation for Indian science must be strong. Then only can we build a strong edifice of cutting edge technology. There is no high technology without high science.
Let me begin by quoting what Sir C.V. Raman had said once:
"Unless the real importance of pure science is recognized and its fundamental influence in the advancement of all knowledge is realized and acted upon, India cannot make headway in any direction and attain her place among the nations of the world. There is only one solution for India's economic problems and that is science and more science and still more science."
Coming from a scientist, his craving for more and more pure science need not come as a surprise. But let me turn to Homi Bhabha. Not only was he a great scientist himself but he was a great science administrator too. Based on his quarter of a century of experience in India, he was categorical in what he said about the importance of basic scientific research for India. In January 1966, in the last speech that he gave in his life, addressing the International Council of Scientific Unions in Bombay, he remarked:
"What the developed countries have and the underdeveloped lack is modern science and an economy based on modern technology. The problem of developing the underdeveloped countries is therefore the problem of establishing modern science in them and transforming their economy to one based on modern science and technology. An important question, which we must consider is whether it is possible to transform the economy of a country to one based on modern technology developed elsewhere without at the same time establishing modern science in the country as a live and vital force. If the answer to this important question is in the negative — and I believe our experience will show that it is — then the problem of establishing science as a live and vital force in society is an inseparable part of the problem of transforming an industrially underdeveloped to a developed country.”
The Government is fully committed to supporting basic science as well as honoring great achievers in basic science in the best possible way that the nation can. That is why during the Science Congress held earlier this year in Bangalore, I requested our respected Prime Minister to announce the Indian Science Prize of Rs 25 lakh. The Prime Minister graciously agreed and announced it. This will be the highest ever prize in science and I want it to grow in status over the years. Mind you, Rs 25 lakh is not a small sum. If one looks at the purchasing power parity, then this is equivalent to over Rs 2 crore in Europe or USA. So this is a large prize, which we want, to give to our large achievers. And mind you, the recently set up CSIR Diamond Jubilee Prize for Technology, which is again the highest in India, is Rs 10 lakh. Clearly, there is a message here about how deeply we value breakthroughs in fundamental science in India.
My friends, the Government is striving very hard during the last five years to make India a science & technology superpower. It is true that in recent years we have seen that the best of minds do not turn to science. Those who do, unfortunately do not stay in science. Therefore, apart from increase in funding, we have launched several schemes to attract young people to science. These include DST's Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana, CSIR's Programme on Youth for Leadership in Science, and several others. We have set up Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Fellowships for the most exceptional young research scientists. We also have Swarna Jayanti Fellowships for the most talented of our scientists and engineers.
We perfectly realize that the real fountainheads of new scientific knowledge are universities. Furthermore, mere teaching without research is sterile. Therefore, we have a scheme to identify our best universities with potential for excellence and support them enthusiastically. DST has created the FIST programme for supporting basic research in universities. UGC is also launching Centres for Studies in Integrative Sciences where integrated 5 year M.Sc. will be offered with a unique course content, which will create budding researchers of the highest quality.
I am happy to see that a lot of effort that the government has put in over the past five years is beginning to pay a dividend. We had the disappointing news that our basic research output in terms of the papers published in Science Citation Index (SCI) journals had remained almost constant at around 13,000 during two decades, i.e. during 1980 to 2000. This is in spite of the fact that the number of universities more than doubled during that period and the investment in science and technology went up by a factor of 15 in real terms. We inherited this legacy of the past. On this backdrop of our past, I am beginning at last to see the silver lining already. I understand that the cut‑off percentage for admission to science courses in Delhi has gone up by about 5% this year, which was steadily declining so far. This is a good sign. I am told that India's rank of SCI papers was constant at the 15th position during the four years period i.e. 1998 to 2001. In 2002, however, we have moved up to the 14th position by displacing Switzerland to the 15th. We, of course, need to go up much higher, but I believe a good beginning of the reversal of the trend has taken place. Recently, while I was in Mumbai, I met an industrialist. She had just returned from Stanford. She told me as to how she met many Indian young scientists, who felt so positive about India and who were wanting to come back to India. Although these are small signs of change, they are, to me, very satisfying signals of the direction in which we are moving.
In Bhatnagar Prize winners, we have the best in science in India. I want the aspirations of our scientists to rise higher and higher. At the end of the day, one must recognize that in science only those are remembered who say either the first word or the last word. For this, we require daring innovation and creativity. We require self‑confidence. Let us not forget that this country has a great heritage of courageous scientists, who accomplished magnificently in science. We cannot think of better examples of men of science than Ramanujan, Raman and S.N. Bose. Raman was sure that he would win a Nobel Prize when he discovered the Raman Effect. He even booked his voyage for the Nobel Prize function. Such shows his confidence. S.N. Bose, shortly after his post‑graduate studies, had the courage to send his research results to none other than Einstein for review. It needed tremendous confidence to feel that the work he had done deserved the highest recognition. Einstein, being what he was, recognized the genius of Bose rightaway. Much earlier to this, Ramanujan did something similar. Working as a clerk in a port trust, with no one to help and without a college education, Ramanujan felt that he had discovered something new working on "Orders of Infinity" and sent the result to Prof. Hardy at Cambridge. This led to a new era in Mathematics. My young friends, this is the Indian legacy. You are proud inheritors of this legacy. Feel inspired by this legacy and march on. Glory will come to you and Indian science automatically.
I want to emphasize that basic research must form an integral part of every research body. I have very often emphasized that in the case of CSIR, which is the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the word “scientific” precedes the word "industrial"; and in fact the organization can be effective in industrial research only if this is based on strong scientific research. This is equally true in areas of agriculture, in medicine, in defence and so on.
I have often said that science cannot be left to the market forces. Strangely, this is something that even the Europeans had recognized, when they were competing with the Americans. As a physicist, I recollect what Cecil Powell said when he was arguing in the early 1950s assuring for support for basic research in Europe. United States was then vigorously moving into the field of high energy elementary particle physics. European physicists were trying to obtain support for a common European accelerator. European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN) did not exist then. Cecil Powell then said: "In the long run, it is most painful, and very expensive, to have only a derivative culture and not one's own, with all that it implies in independence in thought, self‑confidence and technical mastery. If we left the development of science in the world to the free play of economic factors alone, there would inevitably result most undesirable concentration of science and scientists in too few centers, those rich in science becoming even richer, and those poor, relatively poorer". This is precisely what has happened today. The gap between the developing and the developed nations has increased enormously. We cannot afford to have such a gap. India simply cannot lag behind. It must surge ahead and be a leader in science.
Finally, let me again congratulate all the Bhatnagar Prize winners once again. Let your work bring a great fame to Indian science. I want to extend my very best wishes to you for your journey up that limitless ladder of excellence.
I am extremely grateful to the Prime Minister for his total support to the development of Science and Technology for then only he has been able to spare so much of time for us out of his busy schedule.
Bhatnagar Laureates (2002) Symposium
THE symposium began with the welcome address by Dr R.A. Mashelkar, Director General, CSIR. The first session was chaired by Prof. Asis Datta. It had presentations by Dr R. Varadarajan, IISc, Bangalore and Dr A. Mukhopadhyay, NII, New Delhi in Biological Sciences; by Dr T.K. Chakraborty, IICT, Hyderabad and Dr M. Sastry, NCL, Pune, in Chemical Sciences and by Dr S. Pradhan, SGPGIMS, Lucknow, in Medical Sciences.
Chaired by Dr S.C. Datta Roy, the second session had presentatios by Dr G.S. Bhat, IISc, Bangalore and Dr S.K. Nath, IIT, Kharagpur, in Earth, Atmosphere, Ocean & Planetary Sciences, and by Dr A. Sharma, IIT, Kanpur in Engineering Sciences.
The third session had presentations in Mathematical Sciences by Dr D.Prasad, TIFR, Mumbai and Dr S. Thangavelu, ISI, Bangalore. The session was chaired by Dr Vikram Kumar.
Each session was followed by a lively `Questions-Answer' session.
The symposium was attended by a large number of research fellows and school students in addition to CSIR scientists and other guests.
The two prize-winners in Physical Sciences, Dr A.A.Deshpande and Dr Mohit Randeria, had gone abroad and therefore could not attend the function and present their work.
The work of the Bhatnagar Laureates: 2002 has been already covered in CSIR News:
Dr R. Varadarajan, p 25 (2003); Dr A. Mukhopadhyay, p 58 (2003); Dr T.K. Chakraborty, p 43 (2003); Dr M. Sastry, p 335 (2002); Dr G.S. Bhat, p 26 (2003); Dr S.K. Nath, p 177 (2003); Dr A. Sharma, p 59 (2003); Dr D.Prasad, p75 (2003); Dr S. Thangavelu, p 73 (2003); Dr S. Pradhan, p 180 (2003); Dr Avinash Anant Deahpande, p 147 (2003); and Dr Mohit Randeria p 145 (2003)
Dr Raghavan Varadarajan
Dr Raghavan Varadarajan of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, has made outstanding contributions in the area of protein folding. He has incisively explored the relationship between protein sequence, three- dimen- sional structure and thermodynamic stability. His work has led to the development of new methods for depth probing in protein structure and for predicting temperature sensitive mutants from sequences. His work has provided experimental tests of sequence-stability relationships. His work has also provided new insights into the forces driving fragment complementation and the nature of disordered states in proteins.
Dr Amitabha Mukhopadhyay
Dr Amitabha Mukhopadhyay of the National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, has made outstanding contributions to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of host-parasite interactions in respect of two microbial pathogens, Salmonella and Leishmania. He has delineated the processes by which the Salmonella bacterium avoids being killed in lysosomes of the host macrophage. He has also discovered a new receptor system that mediates hemoglobin endocytosis in Leishmania. His research investigations have given important leads for the identification of new targets for therapeutic interventions in human infectious diseases such as typhoid fever and kala azar.
Dr Tushar Kanti Chakraborty
Dr Tushar Kanti Chakraborty of the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad, had made significant contributions in the design and synthesis of unnatural amino acids, cyclic peptides and biologically active natural products.
Dr Murali Sastry
Dr Murali Sastry of the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, has made incisive contributions in the areas of surfaces, films and materials chemistry.
Earth, Atmosphere, Ocean and Planetary Sciences
Dr Ganapati Shankar Bhat
Dr Ganapati Shankar Bhat of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, has made outstanding contributions to our understanding of atmospheric convective processes and air-sea interactions.
Dr Sankar Kumar Nath
Dr Sankar Kumar Nath of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, has made outstanding contributions to geotomography and its innovative applications.
Dr Ashutosh Sharma
Dr Ashutosh Sharma of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, has made significant contributions to the understanding of the behaviour of thin films and other highly confined nanoscale systems. He has explained the instability and evolution of morphology of thin films on homogeneous substrates by 3D nonlinear stability theory and experiments. He has proposed a new theory for dewetting of thin films on heterogeneous and patterned substrates leading to a novel method for the small scale patterning of polymer films by templating. He has also discovered a new surface instability of the soft solid films that governs adhesion, peeling, friction and associated interface phenomena.
Dr Dipendra Prasad
Dr Dipendra Prasad of the Harish-Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad, (presently at TIFR-Mumbai) has made significant contributions in the area of automorphic representation. His paper on trilinear forms solves a nontrivial case of a conjecture made with Gross. He has also solved a conjecture of Jacquet on distinguished representation of general linear groups. The techniques he has initiated have proved extremely useful to people working in the Langlands' programme.
Dr Sundaram Thangavelu
Dr Sundaram Thangavelu of the Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore, has made significant contributions in harmonic analysis on Heisenberg group and associated special functions. His results on Hardy-like theorem, as well as Paley-Wiener theorems on the same group are highly rated as are his two monographs on the subject.
Dr Sunil Pradhan
Dr Sunil Pradhan of the Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, has made outstanding contributions in the field of clinical neurology, described some new signs, elaborated the pathogenic mechanism of a number of neurological syndromes, utilizing the most recent technologies.
Bhatnagar Prize winners with Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Dr Murli Manohar
Dr Avinash Anant Deshpande
Notable contributions of Dr Avinash Anant Deshpande, Raman Research Institute, Bangalore, include delineation of the configuration and dynamics of the pulsar magnetospheric emission regions, resolving the puzzle of unphysically ultradense neutral hydrogen irregularities in the interstellar space, and developing a novel receiver for high time-resolution studies of pulsars at low radio frequencies.
Dr Mohit Randeria
Dr Mohit Randeria of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai (presently at University of Illinois, USA), has done important work leading to better understanding of high temperature superconductors and theoretical analysis of photoemission spectroscopy experiments.
THE development of technologies for Spirulina and Mushroom production by the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore, their transfer to various industrial units and commercial launch of the products have been recognized by the Department of Biotechnology. Government of India, and the `Team Spirulina' and `Team Mushroom' of CFTRI have been honoured with mementoes at the National Technology Day function organized by the Ministry of Science & Technology in New Delhi on 11 May 2003. The Mementoes on behalf of the two teams were received by Dr G.A. Ravishankar, Head, Plant Cell Biotechnology Department and Dr S. Rajarathnam, Scientist, Fruits and Vegetable Technology Department, CFTRI.
Rajarathnam (left) and Dr G.A. Ravishankar (right) with the
CFTRI Director Dr V. Prakash , and the Technology Day mementoes
CFRI Technology for Coal
Slurry Beneficiation gets NRDC
ALL CSIR labs/instts celebrated the fifth National Technology Day on 11 May 2003 with great enthusiasm. Highlights of the Technology Day programmes at some of these labs/instts are presented here.
The programme at CBRI comprised a key‑note address by the Chief Guest Prof. K.G. Ranga Raja, Civil Engineering Department, IIT‑Roorkee, and two film shows in Hindi as well as English, giving an overview of CBRI activities/accomplishments, particularly in the field of building materials and disaster mitigation. Prof. Ranga Raja in his address narrated several success stories of application of simple technologies. He paid rich tribute to the Engineer Prof. V. Cautley for solving the complicated problem pertaining to the flow of Upper Ganga Canal in 1850. In his welcome address, Shri V.K. Mathur, Director, CBRI, stressed the need for developing relevant technologies for sustainable development. Shri N.K. Shangari, Scientist, CBRI, introduced the Chief Guest and, in the end, proposed a vote of thanks.
K.G. Ranga Raja, Civil Engineering Department, IIT-Roorkee being welcomed at
National Technology Day function at CBRI
A special reason for jubilation at the institute was the winning of the NRDC Technology Day Invention Award by Dr Kalyan Sen, Director and Dr D.K. Chakraborty, Scientist, CFRI, for developing the technology for coal beneficiation (details on p. 224). Last year also the institute had won this award. As a part of the celebration, lectures were delivered on three subjects in which the institute has made substantial progress. Dr S.K. Hazra spoke on `High temperature non‑recovery type coke ovens and their importance'. He explained the provision of adequate combustion space and suitable number of control dampers in a battery of ovens, with precise control on the flow of preheated air to appropriate points for efficient combustion of the evolved volatiles resulting in faster rate of coking without emission of pollutants through the chimney. According to Dr Hazra, lower capital cost, high flexibility in operation with respect to market demand, no toxic emission, etc. have been made the non‑recovery coke ovens more advantageous than `by‑product recovery' coke ovens.
from left during National Technology Day Celebrations at CFRI are: Dr S.K. Hazra,
Shri P.K. Bandopadhyaya, Shri S. Biswas and Shri S.R.K. Rao
Shri S.R.K. Rao spoke on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and their importance in technological developments. He stressed that the present century will belong to knowledge management, and creative knowledge and information will play a much more important role than ever before. In this regard IPR will extend its role as the locomotive of this century's knowledge‑based society.
Shri S. Biswas dealt with `Drop tube furnace for combustion studies on pulverized coal'. He said that limitations exist with the traditional parameters for realistic assessment of combustion behaviour of coal in pulverized coal‑fired power plant. Other relevant parameters like coal maceral, coal mineralogy and surface characteristics need to be considered for better understanding of the behaviour of different coals in power generation. According to Shri Biswas drop tube furnace can be a successful tool to generate additional information on combustion characteristics, carbon burn out, fly ash and bottom ash properties. Further, heat release rate and its reactivity towards ignition and combustion can be studied for the efficient use of particular coal under certain specific condition. This system can be suitably utilized for studying the behaviour of coal blends, and help identify the optimum blend components.
Shri P.K. Bandopadhyaya presided over the function, and Shri P.C. Kumar conducted the function.
Shri R.T. Arasu, Joint Managing Director, M/s Cether Vessels Pvt. Ltd, Trichy, was the Chief Guest and in his address he lauded the large number of cost‑effective and eco‑friendly technologies developed by CECRI. Shri J. Tatachari, General Manager, BSNL, Karaikudi, appreciated the notable contributions of the institute towards societal development. Shri S.P. Singaram, Managing Director, M/s Golden Singar Mahal, Karaikudi, also spoke on the occasion.
R.T. Arasu, Joint Managing Director, M/s Cether Vessels Pvt. Ltd, Trichy,
delivering his address at CECRI
The function was presided over by Dr M. Raghavan, Director, CECRI, who highlighted the major accomplishments of the institute. Shri S. Krishnamurthy earlier welcomed the gathering. Shri K.R. Ramakrishnan proposed the vote of thanks.
On the Technology Day, CGCRI took a stock of its achievements and discussed the issues pertaining to technology development and transfer, among its own scientists.
Dr H.S. Maiti, Director, discussed the strategies through which the institute could achieve excellence in certain important areas. He also deliberated on appropriate models for transfer of technologies developed for the various large and medium scale industries and rural and tiny sectors. Shri Kamal Dasgupta talked about the CGCRI's successes in the area of optical fibre, particularly the fibre for amplifier and PM. Dr Gautam De highlighted the achievements in the area of hard coatings on plastics by sol‑gel technique. Development of bio‑ceramics for hard tissue replacement was discussed by Dr Debabrata Basu who highlighted the pioneering work of the institute in hip‑joint prostheses and integrated orbital implants, its successful demonstration through implants in humans at reputed hospitals as well as possibilities for future work. Shri Sacchidananda Chakraborty highlighted the achievements of CGCRI Centres at Naroda and Khurja in the field of conventional ceramics. He discussed the success of technologies transferred by these centres through training‑cum‑demonstration programmes, technology upgradation and the tremendous impact of the ceramic cluster development programme in Gujarat and U.P. The immediate need for getting drinking water, free from arsenic and iron, was discussed by Dr Sibdas Bandopadhyay who elaborated the ceramic membrane‑based technology developed at the institute for simultaneous removal of arsenic and iron from underground water and propagation of the technology to certain rural areas in district of North 24‑Parganas, West Bengal.
Top: Dr Debabrata Basu delivering his lecture on hip-joint prostheses and integrated orbital implant at CGCRI
Prof. S. Bhattacharya (centre), who inaugurated the plant, tasting the
iron-free water, and
a view of the ceramic membrane-based Iron removal plants
Sustained pilot plant trial of 60 LPH capacity as well as successful installation of an upscaled unit of 2500 LPD capacity ceramic membrane‑based arsenic removal plants were earlier accomplished by CGCRI. The institute took a further step forward by commissioning an experimental iron removal plant of 5000 LPD capacity. In a brief function held on the Technology Day, Dr H.S. Maiti, Director, CGCRI, explained the salient features of the ceramic membrane technology developed by the institute and Prof. S. Bhattacharya, Director, IICB, inaugurated the plant for use of the residents. Supply of drinking water was a perennial problem of the CSIR residential complex at Kolkata. The recent installation of a second tube well for drinking water did not solve the problem owing to presence of very fine particles (mostly 0.1‑0.4 <F128M>m<F255D> size) of iron in large amounts (6.4 ppm) resulting in an obnoxious smell. The institute therefore undertook purification of the water by the ceramic membrane technology. The treated water produced by the iron removal plant installed at SIRSA showed only traces of iron (<<100ppb Fe) with other parameters close to packaged natural mineral water as per IS 13428:1998.
The experimental iron removal plant consists of two types of membrane modules having provision to increase the production capacity to 10,000 LPD by increasing the trans‑membrane pressure in the range of 1‑1.5 kg/cm2. It is intended for long‑term performance evaluation of the technology, under varying operating conditions and module combinations. The plant was handed over to Maintenance Section, CSIR General Pool Accommodation, for routine operation and supply of drinking water to the residents.
Dr S.P.S. Khanuja, Director, CIMAP, presented four special awards, `Sathi', `Udyami', `Khoj' and `Unnati', instituted by the institute last year, to 15 lead farmers of U.P. and Uttaranchal, for their outstanding contribution to the area of medicinal and aromatic plants cultivation and processing. Welcoming the farmers and guests, Dr Khanuja said that CIMAP is committed to develop and disseminate the improved technologies among the farmers and entrepreneurs for the overall development of medicinal and aromatic plants in the country. Highlighting the significant contributions made by CIMAP, he told that after making India a top producer and exporter of menthol mint oil and menthol through the development and popularization of improved varieties Himalaya and Kosi, CIMAP has recently released two superior back‑up varieties Saksham and Kushal for future expansion. As a result of plant varieties and technologies developed by the institute, it has been made possible to grow geranium and pyrethrum in north Indian plains and also in Uttaranchal. This year, geranium has been planted by CIMAP on the fields of more than 500 small farmers under a project sponsored by TIFAC. On the intellectual property management front CIMAP had been granted one‑third of the patents obtained by CSIR during the year 2002‑03. Narrating the achievements on plant‑based drugs, Dr Khanuja disclosed that first plant‑based antibiotic, Oenostacin, has been developed as fourth generation antibiotic, besides bioenhancer molecules using molecular genetics approach.
felicitated lead farmers of U.P. and Uttaranchal. Dr S.P.S. Khanuja, Director,
CIMAP is seated third from left
Special invitees from the industry, Shri H.N. Kapoor, President, Attar Association of India, Kannauj (U.P.); Shri Subhash Nanda of Mentha and Allied Products, Rampur (U.P.) and Shri Rama Kant Harlalka of Nishant Aromas, Mumbai, also addressed the farmers and interacted with them. Shri Kapoor called upon the scientists to develop improved technologies for rose oil production. Shri Harlalka presented Vision 2007 for the economically important essential oils. Shri Nanda appreciated CIMAP for its outstanding contribution to the production of menthol mint and said that similar efforts are needed for production of peppermint oil.
On this occasion, a herbal based broad spectrum antifungal cream formulation, MYCONIL, developed by CIMAP, extension literature in Hindi, Annual Report of CIMAP 2002‑03, farm bulletin on Senna and Bhuinamlaki in Hindi and Proceedings of the National Interactive Meet on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (NIMMAP) held last year and Silver Jubilee volume of Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (JMAPS) (both in print form and CD) were also released. About 100 students from local schools and colleges and 200 farmers from various villages in the neighbouring districts visited CIMAP research farm and laboratories and interacted with the scientists.
The recipients of the `Sathi' award are: Shri Vishal Singh of Village Manpur (Sitapur), Shri Mansa Ram of Jainabad village in Lucknow, Shri Chandan Singh of village Kulaon (Bageshwar) and Shri Bhim Singh of village Adhuria (Almora). The farmers who received the `Udyami' award are Shri Ram Kripal Singh of village Behma (Sitapur), Shri Satendra Singh of Nargismau (Barabanki), Shri Subhash Badiyari of Gwaldam (Chamoli) and Shri Girish Singh Rana of Adhuria (Almora). `Unnati' award was conferred to Shri Jaipal Singh of Jalalpur (Barabanki), Shri Ajai Verma of Sonsa (Sitapur) and Shri Pan Singh Khampa of Gwaldam (Chamoli), while Shri Ravindra Singh of Manpur (Sitapur), Shri Raj Bahadur Verma of Haminpur (Barabanki), Shri Shiv Datt Pandey of Jaulgaon (Bageshwar) and Shri Kedar Singh of Kumraura (Bageshwar) received the `Khoj' award. Each award consists of Rs one thousand in cash, a shield and a citation. Three CIMAP staff members: Shri Victor Mukherjee, Shri K.S. Ali and Shri R.K. Gupta were also felicitated for their exemplary services. Shri S. Tandon and Dr A.K. Bhattacharya who received `Young Scientist Award‑2002' and `Young Scientists Award‑2003', respectively, were also awarded the certificate of appreciation. Drs Shruti Sharma, N.S. Sangwan and S. Sangwan were felicitated for their excellent efforts in R&D at CIMAP, leading to the quality publication titled, `Development process of essential oil glandular trichome collapsing in menthol mint' which found place on the cover page of `current science' (Vol. 84, No. 4). The staff members of CIMAP farm and horticulture were also awarded the certificate of appreciation. The function was attended by leading industry representatives, entrepreneurs, scientists, research fellows and students.
CMRI organized a Brain Storming Session on `Value Addition to Beach Sand Minerals'.
Inaugurating the session, Prof. S.P. Mehrotra, Director, National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur, said, “India cannot make the most of the vast reserves of beach placer minerals available in its coastal areas unless suitable technologies are developed. Not only for mining of such minerals but also for preparation of value added products from them”. “If we want to achieve the leadership position in the world in respect of beach placer minerals and value added products from them, we have to be more innovative in ideas, going away from routine R&D activities”. Stating that research in value addition to beach minerals is one area where India can excel and develop leadership quality towards global marketing and knowledge advancement, Prof. Mehrotra stressed for a detailed study on the usefulness of various beach placer minerals available in India, including those having very low concentration, their characteristics and futuristic demand so that a well‑defined road‑map could be drawn for our steady stride in this field.
S.P. Mehrotra delivering his inaugural address during the Brain Storming Session
organized at CMRI.
Seated on dais (from left) are: Prof. D.D. Misra, Dr B.K.P.Sinha, Dr S. Asokan and Shri S.K. Gupta
Earlier, Prof. D.D. Misra, Director, CMRI, in his welcome address explained the real‑time importance of value addition to beach placer minerals and advocated for swadeshi technologies suiting Indian conditions and constraints.
Dr S. Asokan, Chief, Titania Business, Tata Steel, Kolkata and Dr B.K.P. Sinha, Member of the CMRI Research Council, also spoke on the occasion.
The inaugural function was coordinated by Shri S.K. Gupta, Head, BDIL Services of the institute.
The inaugural function was followed by presentations by Dr S.P. Mukherjee, Scientist, RRL, Bhubaneswar; Dr S.C. Maulik, Scientist, NML, Jamshedpur, Dr S.K. Das, Scientist, CGCRI, Kolkata; and Dr J.P. Barnwal, Scientist, RRL‑Bhopal. They discussed at length the potentiality of various beach placer minerals available in India and various technologies for preparation of value added products from such minerals.
The Technology Day Lecture was delivered by Dr Asokan. He emphasized the importance of India's role in global titania business in the light of real‑time statistics and predictive market trends. He stressed on innovative, indigenous value addition technologies to excel in the world market, not only in the ilmenite sector but also in the garnet, zircon and sillimanite markets. He also listed out the thrust areas of research in value addition technologies suggested by CSIR and other R&D institutions.
Proposing a vote of thanks, Dr V.J. Loveson, Scientist, CMRI and convener of the Brain Storming Session, thanked all the experts who enriched the session with their new ideas leading to the formation of nucleus of New Millennium India Technology Leadership Project.
Prof. Roddam Narasimha, FRS, Director, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, delivered a lecture on `The Soaring Promise of Indian Aerospace'. In this, he presented an overview of various technological capabilities built up over the years in the country in different realms of aerospace research, which include the latest high technology light combat and transport aircraft and helicopters, satellites and their launchers and missile systems. He mentioned that India is now on the threshold of an aerospace boom and one of the basic reasons for this spectacular achievement, besides the economic stability of the country, is the establishment of a complete synergy between R&D institutions, industry, academia and the users. This is the time for quick decision taking by the Government and placement of orders for aircraft and helicopters with production agencies like HAL, in large numbers, to spur the boom.
Roddam Narasimha delivering his address, and visitors at a laboratory
during open day observed on National Technology Day at CSIO
Earlier, Dr R.P. Bajpai, Director, CSIO, while welcoming the Chief Guest, stressed upon the need to properly harness the large infrastructure and manpower that the country has. He highlighted the contributions of CSIO towards catering to the needs of Army, Navy and Air force.
The programme concluded with the vote of thanks by Shri J.K. Chhabra.
The institute also observed `Open Day' on this occasion and a large number of visitors including students from various engineering colleges, universities and the general public went around the various laboratories of the institute. They interacted with the scientists and were given exposure to the technologies developed at CSIO.
IIP celebrated the occasion by holding a Technology Day Lecture on `Oil Exploration by ONGC, Role of Institutes and Technical Advancement', by Dr Debabrata Ray, Executive Director‑Head, KDMIPE, ONGC, Dehra Dun, and a Seminar on `Increasing Road Accidents: Causes and Remedies', organized jointly with Technocrat Welfare Society of India (TWSI). Shri Hira Singh Bisht, Minister for Transport, Technical Educa‑ tion, Labour & <%‑2>Employment,<%‑3> Planning & Training, Uttaranchal State, was the Chief Guest. Earlier, two competitions, i.e. Inter‑Divisional Quiz competition on `Role of IIP in Indian Science and Technology', and a Drawing and Painting Competition on the theme `Effect of Nuclear Weapons on Environment' were held for IIP staff and their children.
Hira Singh Bisht inaugurating the National Technology Day celebrations at IIP.
He is flanked by Dr Debabrata Ray and Shri Sudhir Singhal
The Chief Guest, Shri Bisht in his address expressed concern over overloaded vehicles inviting accidents, specially in hilly areas. Also matter of concern, according to him, is the lack of awareness of traffic rules among the general public, and the rapidly increasing number of automobiles, leading to congestion of roads and accidents. He also presented the TWSI's `Technocrat of the Year Award‑2003' to Shri Sudhir Singhal, Director, IIP, for his outstanding technocratic excellence and the research work on alternative fuels, particularly from non‑edible vegetable oils. Receiving the award Shri Singhal said that the mission of Bio‑Fuel Programme has a long way to go as it is the Future Fuel. “Today India can build an entire refinery itself, which reflects the growth of technology advancement in the country”, he added.
Dr Ray in his lecture observed that rapidly increasing energy usage is a measure of progress and development of any country. Starting from pre‑independence era of oil exploration he talked of the technical advancement in this area in the country. He spoke in detail about the role of ONGC and its research institutes, and mentioned that today ONGC's oil output is 78% of the total oil production in the country. He also explained the five D's of exploration and production, i.e. Discover, Define, Develop, Deplete and Divest. Later, he gave away the prizes to the winners of Inter‑Divisional Quiz Competition and Drawing and Painting Competition.
At NAL, Dr V. Sumantran, Executive Director, Passenger Car Business Unit and Engineering Research Centre, TELCO, Pune, told the `Indica Story'.
Two years ago, during his CSIR Foundation Day lecture, Shri R.V. Perumal of VSSC listed India's three biggest success stories in engineering design and development: GSLV, LCA and Indica! Since he was speaking in an aerospace lab, the first two names didn't raise too many eyebrows. But Indica? And the best way to figure out why Indica figured on Shri Perumal's list, it was felt, was to have the complete Indica story straight from the horse's mouth.
Dr Sumantran's lecture took the audience from exclusive strategy meetings inside the Tata empire, discussing what should be the features of `India's first indigenously designed car', to a barren piece of land around Pune that the Tatas transformed into one of Asia's finest car manufacturing units, across CAD visualisations where designers created a new car “with the room of an Ambassador within the size of a Zen”, to punishing schedules to see how the new car would survive in a tortuous environment to, finally, the gleaming and powerful car that is now the pride of the Tata's and a ubiquitous sight on all Indian roads.
Some of the numbers that Dr Sumantran mentioned were also revealing: The Indica programme cost Rs 1700 crores and used 700 engineers over 31 months. 350 cars are produced daily and, as on 3 March 2003, 237,244 Indicas had been manufactured.
By any reckoning, therefore, Indica is a stupendous engineering success. Dr Sumantran also made a heart‑warming comment: if the old British Morris Oxford went on to become the Indian Ambassador in the 1950's, fifty years later, the new Indian Indica is now all set to become the British Morris Rover. As Dr Sumantran aptly put it: “the wheel has therefore turned the full circle”:
The function opened with a warm introduction of the Chief Guest by NAL Director, Dr B.R. Pai: “Sumantran is in the middle of an extraordinarily successfully career in the automobile industry”, and ended with the vote of thanks by Dr R.V. Krishnan.
VT‑HNW flies away
Another HANSA flew away from NAL's Rustom B. Damania hangar. At a pleasant afternoon function on the Technology Day, NAL Director Dr B.R. Pai formally handed over the keys and other documents of the new HANSA aircraft to the Deputy Director General, DGCA (representing the Ministry of Civil Aviation); who, in turn, handed the aircraft over to the Trivandrum Flying Club.
This will be the second HANSA flying at Trivandrum. HANSA aircraft are also flying at the Indore and Hyderabad flying clubs. Before NAL handed over the aircraft, the NAL's Technology Day guest Dr V. Sumantran – who holds an amateur pilot's licence in addition to his many other gifts – went up for a quick sortie on the HANSA. “We had a truly enjoyable flight”, Sumantran said later.
Dr R.H. Tupkary, Chairman, Board of Governors, Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur, was the Chief Guest at the Technology Day function at NEERI. Speaking on the occasion, he remarked that science is universal but technology is not and technology has become an inseparable part of daily life in the society. He said that scientific achievements led to industrial revolution around 300 years ago and technological revolution is the result of industrial revolution. He further said that Technological Revolution was always characterized with modernization, standardization, specialization, synchronization, urbanization and centralization, and that people of modern world are forced to adopt technology in day‑to‑day life. However, the dark side of industrialization was overlooked by the scientists in earlier days.
Speaking about the disadvantages of modernization, he said that people are getting more and more mechanized and urbanization has resulted in various problems like scarcity of power and other environmental problems like industrial waste and solid waste management. He stressed the need for development of energy‑efficient eco‑friendly technology. While developing the technology, he advocated the Eienstenian principle over Newtonian principle in the present day context.
Tupkary, Chairman, Board of Governors, Visvesvaraya National Institute of
delivering his address during National Technology Day Celebrations at NEERI. Seated (from left) are:
Dr R.N. Singh, Director and Dr S.P. Pande, Head, RPBD Division, NEERI
Earlier, Dr R.N. Singh, Director, NEERI, in his welcome address expressed that advancement in technology should help in reducing pollution and preservation of nature and ecological balance. He stressed that molecular nanotechnology will play an important role in the development of technologies of the new millennium.
At NISCAIR, Prof. Karmeshu, School of Computer and Systems Sciences, JNU, New Delhi, was the Chief Guest, and he delivered the Technology Day lecture on `Models of Technology Diffusion'.
Karmeshu delivering his lecture at NISCAIR. Seated (from left) are:
Shri V.K.Gupta, Director and Shri O. N. Chaddha, Scientist, NISCAIR
A research paper on Zero discharge tanning: A shift from chemical to bio-catalytic leather processing' by Shri Thanikaivelan, Scientist, Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), Chennai, has been selected for the Best Research Paper Award in the field of Science & Technology, for the year 2002-03 by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of Tamil Nadu.