Renowned Scientist Dr Mashelkar Speaks to Daijiworld

Interview by Sanjay Borkar in Margao
for Daijiworld Media Network - Goa (mb)

Margao, Dec 15: To enter into the world of Technology and to get the freedom of Technology, India should go ahead with Nuclear deal, said renowned scientist Dr Raghunath Mashelkar, while speaking to Daijiworld.

Dr Mashelkar, who was down in his native state of Goa a few days ago, when asked about the nuclear deal, stressed that it was very important in this era to go with technology. In this direction, the nuclear deal was very vital for the growth of the country, he opined.

"We got our first freedom in 1947. Then in the year 1991, we got the second freedom of commerce and trade. Now we would have had got the third freedom of technology if the government had gone further with talks of nuclear deal, which is very very important for the development of country," he said further.

Dr Mashelkar addresses an august gathering during his visit to home state

"We suffered a lot from export control regime, but once the nuclear deal is implemented, we would be able to use civilian application and the 'Wassenaar dual technology'", he added.

When asked about the opposition from the Left parties to the nuclear deal and whether it was because of the lack knowledge of the leaders of these parties, he said: "I would not say that, but there is a need to explain to them the whole issue and the facts, and how beneficial it would be for the country."

When asked whether the union government had failed to explain to them the same, he reiterated that he would not say that but there was a need to explain about the nuclear deal to those who opposing it.

He also said that there is a lack of knowledge and information about the nuclear deal among the common people. The government should inform the common people also. Once everyone comes to know of the advantages of the nuclear deal, then nobody would oppose it, he emphasized.

Dr Mashelkar is of the firm opinion that if the nuclear deal gets a nod, then within a short time India would make further remarkable progress in the technological field.

Dr Mashelkar
(from Internet sources)

Raghunath Anant Mashelkar, born January 1, 1943 in Mashel, Goa, is a world-renowned leader in science and technology. He is the former Director General of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), a chain of 38 publicly funded industrial R&D institutions in India.

Dr Mashelkar had a difficult childhood. A poor boy on the streets of Bombay, Mashelkar went to school barefoot and almost gave up studies, in spite of being a rank holder in the Maharashtra SSC examination, because his mother could not support his college education. His personal experience of ascendance from dire circumstances, improvements in India's infrastructure, and changing patterns of scientific emigration and immigration have convinced him that India is fated to become one of the world's greatest intellectual and economic engines.

Before becoming a leading architect of his country's science and technology policies, Dr Mashelkar did pioneering work in polymer science and engineering, which earned him many international laurels. Dubbed a "dangerous optimist" in India, he is deeply committed to championing the cause of the developing world.

Dr Mashelkar is BChem Engg (1966), PhD (1969), University of Bombay. He is only the third Indian engineer to have been elected as Fellow of Royal Society (FRS), London in the twentieth century. He was elected Foreign Associate of United States National Academy of Sciences in 2005, only the 8th Indian since 1863 to be selected. He was elected Foreign Fellow of US National Academy of Engineering (2003), Fellow of Royal Academy of Engineering, UK (1996), and Fellow of World Academy of Art & Science, USA (2000). Twenty-six universities have honoured him with honorary doctorates, which include University of London, University of Salford, University of Pretoria, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Delhi University.

In August 1997, Business India named Dr Mashelkar as being among the 50 path-breakers in the post- Independent India. In 1998, Dr Mashelkar won the JRD Tata Corporate Leadership Award, the first scientist to win it. In June, 1999, Business India did a cover story on Dr Mashelkar as "CEO OF CSIR Inc.", a dream that he himself had articulated, when he took over as DG, CSIR in July 1995.

On November 16, 2005, he received the BusinessWeek (USA) award of Stars of Asia’ at the hands of George H.W. Bush, the former President of USA. He was the first Asian Scientist to receive it. He has been a much sought after consultant for restructuring the publicly funded R&D institutions around the world; his contributions in South Africa, Indonesia and Croatia have been particularly notable.

When Dr Mashelkar took over as the Director General of CSIR, he enunciated “CSIR 2001: Vision & Strategy”. This was a bold attempt to draw out a corporate like R&D and business plan for a publicly funded R&D institution. This initiative has transformed CSIR into a user focussed, performance driven and accountable organization. This process of transformation has been recently heralded as one of the ten most significant achievements of Indian Science and Technology in the twentieth century.

Honorary Doctorates in Science and Engineering: University of Allahabad, Allahabad (2002), University of Wisconsin, USA (2002), Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi (2002), Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth, Pune (2002), University of London, UK (2001), Pretoria University, Pretoria, South Africa (2000), Anna University, Chennai (2000), Guwahati University, Assam (2000), Bundelkhand University, Jhansi (2000), University of Delhi, Delhi (1998), Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad (1997), University of Roorkee, Roorkee (1997). University of Kanpur, Kanpur (1995). University of Salford, UK (1993)

Civilian decorations:

Padmashri (1991), Padmabhushan (2000)

  • Awards:

A.   For Scientific Research:

  • Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Medal  (2001) by Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi;
  • Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award (2001) by Indian Science Congress Association, Calcutta;
  • JEPPIAR Educational Trust Award (2001) by Jeppiar Trust, Chennai;
  • Material Scientist of the Year (2000), by Materials Research Society of India;
  • Mehendra Lal Sircar Lecture Award in Chemical Sciences (1998) by Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Calcutta
  • Kamal Kumari National Award for Science & Technology (1997) by Kamal Kumari Foundation, Jorhat;
  • Goyal Prize (1996) by Goyal Foundation, Kurukshetra;
  • Raj Kristo Dutt Memorial Award (1995) Indian Science Congress Association;
  • GD Birla Award for Scientific Research (1993);
  • Professor Santappa Silver Jubilee Award (1983) by Society of Polymer Science, Chennai;
  • Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize (1982) for engineering sciences by CSIR, New Delhi;
  • Herdillia Award for 'Excellence in Basic Research' (1982) by Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers, Calcutta.

 B.  For Technology & Industrial Research:

  • RMK Engineering Award for outstanding work in Science & Technology (2003) by Lakshmikanthammal Educational Trust, Tiruvallur, Chennai
  • Bharat Ratna Dr. M. Visvesvaraya Memorial Award (2002) by Engineers Foundation, Kolhapur
  • H.K. Firodia Award (2000) by H.K. Firodia Foundation, Pune;
  • Atur Sangtani Award (1998) by Atur Foundation, Pune.
  • Durga Prasad Khaitan Memorial Gold Medal (1996) by Asiatic Society, Calcutta;
  • National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) Republic Day Award (1995);
  • OP Bhasin award (1991) by Bhasin Foundation, Delhi;
  • Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru National Award in Engineering & Technology (1991) by Govt. of Madhya Pradesh;
  • Vishwakarma medal (1988) by Indian National Science Academy;
  • Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Award (1987) in physical and mathematical sciences;
  • KG Naik Gold Medal (1985

C.  For Leadership:

  • IMC Juran Quality Medal (2002) by Indian Merchants Chamber for leadership and continuous involvement as a role model for improvement of quality in CSIR
  • HRD Excellence Award (2002) in the CEO (Non-Corporate) Category by National HRD Network, Birla Management Corpn. Ltd., Mumbai
  • Golden Jubilee Award (1998) by Bank of India, Mumbai for excellence in R&D management
  • JRD Tata Award for Corporate Leadership (1998) by All India Management Association for exemplary leadership provided to CSIR.

D.  For All Round Excellence:

  • Maharashtra Ratna Award (2003) by Maharashtra Times, Mumbai for all round excellence
  • Dadabhai Naoroji Memorial Award (2002) by the Dadabhai Naoroji Memorial Prize Trust, Mumbai for      contributions to advancing S&T in India
  • Priyadarshani Global Award (2002) by Priyadarshani Academy, Mumbai for promoting S&T
  • Lifetime Achievement Award (2001) by Chemtech Foundation for all time lifetime achievement
  • Abhimanshreemurti (Person of Pride) Award (1999) by Chaturang Foundation, Mumbai for being one of the leading National Role Models;
  • Shri Guruji Puraskar (1998) Jankalyan Samiti, Pune for protecting India’s traditional knowledge.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award (1998), Indian Analytical Instruments Association for lifetime achievement.
  • UDCT Diamond Award (1994) by Department of Chemical Technology, Mumbai;
  • UDCT Outstanding Alumni Medal (1985) as one of the twenty outstanding performers from UDCT in fifty years

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Title: Renowned Scientist Dr Mashelkar Speaks to Daijiworld

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