The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (IAST: vagyanik tathā audyogik anusandhāna pariṣada; abbreviated as CSIR) was established by the Government of India in 1942 is an autonomous body that has emerged as the largest research and development organisation in India. It runs thirty-eight laboratories and thirty-nine field stations or extension centres throughout the nation, with a collective staff of over 12,000 scientists and scientific and technical personnel. Although it is mainly funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, it operates as an autonomous body through the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
The research and development activities of CSIR include aerospace engineering, structural engineering, ocean sciences, life sciences, metallurgy, chemicals, mining, food, petroleum, leather, and environmental science. Dr. Girish Sahni was appointed as director general of CSIR, with effect from August 24, 2015.
In late 2007, the Minister of Science and Technology, Kapil Sibal admitted, in a Question Hour session of the Parliament, that CSIR has developed 1,376 technologies/knowledgebase during the last decade of the 20th century.
In the 1930s, the need for establishing research organisations for the development of natural resources and new industries in India began to emerge. Eminent citizens such as C. V. Raman, Lt. Col. Seymour Sewell and J. C. Ghosh had proposed the creation of an advisory board of scientific research. Sir Richard Gregory, then editor of Nature, was among the first people who officially reported to the British Government. After visiting scientific departments and universities in India in 1933, Gregory submitted to Samuel Hoare, Secretary of State for India, regarding the need of scientific organisation similar to the DSIR in Britain. Indian scientists at Calcutta and Bangalore initiated schemes to launch a National Institute of Sciences and an Indian Academy of Sciences, respectively. At the Fifth Industries Conference in 1933, the Provincial Governments of Bombay, Madras, Bihar and Orissa unanimously reiterated their demand for a co-ordinating forum for industrial research. Hoare advised the Viceroy, Lord Willingdon, to support the demand. However, in May 1934, Willingdon replied to Hoare saying, "The creation of a Department of Scientific and Industrial Research in India to promote the application of research to natural resources does not appear to be necessary." While the Indian DSIR was rejected, the colonial government provided a small concession. It instead offered to create an Industrial Intelligence and Research Bureau, which came into operation in April 1935 under the Indian Stores Department. The Bureau's limited resources (with a budget of INR 1.0 lakh per annum) made it impossible to initiate major research and industrial activities as had been hoped for; it was mainly concerned with testing and quality control.
At the onset of World War II in 1939, the bureau was proposed to be abolished. Arguably, Arcot Ramaswamy Mudaliar became the most instrumental in the creation of CSIR in India. As a member of Viceroy’s executive council, and also of Commerce, he recommended that the Bureau should be terminated, not as a measure of economy, but to make room for a Board of Scientific and Industrial Research, which should be endowed with greater resources and wider objectives. It was by this persistence that the Board of Scientific and Industrial Research (BSIR) was created on 1 April 1940 for a period of two years. Mudaliar became the chair of the board. It was at this point that Bhatnagar was appointed to pilot the board, as the Director. The BSIR was allocated an annual budget of INR 500,000 under the Department of Commerce. By the end of 1940, about 80 researchers were engaged, of whom one-quarter was directly employed. Major achievements of BSIR included development of the techniques for the purification of Baluchistan sulphur anti-gas cloth manufacture, vegetable oil blends as fuel and lubricants, plastic packing cases for army boots and ammunition, dyes for uniforms and the preparation of vitamins, and the invention of a pyrethrum emulsifier and cream. In early 1941 Bhatnagar persuaded the government to set up an Industrial Research Utilisation Committee (IRUC) for translating results into application. The government then agreed to make a separate fund out of the royalties received from industry for further investment into industrial research. Mudaliar recommended that an Industrial Research Fund should be constituted, which would have an annual grant of INR 1,000,000 (one million) for a period of five years. This was accepted by the Central Assembly in Delhi at its session on 14 November 1941.
Then the constitution of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) as an autonomous body was prepared under Mudaliar and Bhatnagar. Thus, CSIR came into operation on 26 September 1942. The BSIR and IRUC were incorporated into the advisory bodies to the governing body of the CSIR. In 1943 the governing body of CSIR approved the proposal of Bhatnagar, though the initiative of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, to establish five national laboratories — the National Chemical Laboratory, the National Physical Laboratory, the Fuel Research Station, and the Glass and Ceramics Research Institute. In 1944 in addition to its annual budget of INR 1 million, CSIR received a grant of INR 10 million for the establishment of these laboratories. The Tata Industrial House donated INR 2 million for the chemical, metallurgical and fuel research laboratories. The foundation for the Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute at Kolkata was the first to be laid, in December 1945; and that for the National Chemical Laboratory at Pune was the last, on 6 April 1947, four months before India became independent. All the five establishments were completed by 1950.
The Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize was established by CSIR in 1958. The prize is named after the Founder Director of the Council of Industrial Research (CSIR), late Dr. (Sir) Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar. To bestow the honor to the outstanding performers in the various research fields of Science & Technology, CSIR has started this award.
The nominees for the award are filtered out from the research categories of - Biological Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Earth Sciences, Atmosphere, Ocean and Planetary, Engineering, Mathematical Sciences, Medical Sciences & Physical Sciences.
The Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize comes up with a Citation, a Plaque & a Cash Award of 5 Lakh Rupees with the addition of a stipend of 15,000/- per month (till the age of 65).
Every year, the Award Selection Committee of CSIR presents the award to maximum 2 individuals from each research category. As per the stats, the SSB Prize has been awarded to 525 individuals for their exemplary work in Science & Technology.
To avail such prestigious award, the candidates need to fulfill the following criteria –
The above criteria help CSIR Committee to select the eligible candidates for the award but the selection will be based on the results of selection procedure which is conducted by the Advisory Committee of CSIR.
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