First woman director general of CSIR

First woman director general of CSIR

News Analysis   /   First woman director general of CSIR

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Published on: August 08, 2022

Source: The Indian Express

Why in News?

Senior electrochemical scientist Nallathamby Kalaiselvi has become the first woman director general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.

Kalaiselvi’s research work of more than 25 years is primarily focused on electrochemical power systems and in particular, development of electrode materials, and electrochemical evaluation of in-house prepared electrode materials for their suitability in energy storage device assembly.

Kalaiselvi also made key contributions to the National Mission for Electric Mobility. She has more than 125 research papers and six patents to her credit.

What is CSIR?


Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is the largest research and development (R&D) organisation in India.

CSIR has a pan-India presence and has a dynamic network of 37 national laboratories, 39 outreach centres, 3 Innovation Complexes and 5 units.

CSIR is funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology and it operates as an autonomous body through the Societies Registration Act, 1860.


CSIR covers a wide spectrum of streams – from radio and space physics, oceanography, geophysics, chemicals, drugs, genomics, biotechnology and nanotechnology to mining, aeronautics, instrumentation, environmental engineering and information technology.

It provides significant technological intervention in many areas with regard to societal efforts which include the environment, health, drinking water, food, housing, energy, farm and non-farm sectors.

Established: September 1942

Headquarters: New Delhi

What is the Structure of the Organisation?

President: Prime Minister of India (Ex-officio)

Vice President: Union Minister of Science and Technology (Ex-officio)

Governing Body: The Director-General is the head of the governing body.

The other ex-officio member is the finance secretary (expenditures).

Other members' terms are of three years.

What are the Objectives?

The objectives of the Council are scientific and industrial/applied research of national importance.

The activities include:

Promotion, guidance and coordination of scientific and industrial research in India including the institution and the financing of specific researchers.

Establishment and assistance to special institutions or departments of existing institutions for the scientific study of problems affecting particular industries and trade.

Establishment and award of research studentships and fellowships.

Utilization of the results of the research conducted under the auspices of the Council towards the development of industries in the country.

Payment of a share of royalties arising out of the development of the results of research to those who are considered as having contributed towards the pursuit of such research.

Establishment, maintenance and management of laboratories, workshops, institutes and organisations to further scientific and industrial research.

Collection and dissemination of information in regard not only to research but to industrial matters generally.

Publication of scientific papers and a journal of industrial research and development.

What is the Vision & Strategy 2022?

Vision: Pursue science which strives for global impact, the technology that enables innovation-driven industry and nurtures trans-disciplinary leadership thereby catalyzing inclusive economic development for the people of India.

What are Awards Associated with the Organisation?

Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar (SSB) Prize for Science and Technology is named after the founder Director of the CSIR, the late Dr Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar.

It was instituted in 1957 as the most coveted and revered prize in the field of science and technology in the country.

What are the Initiatives taken by CSIR?


CSIR has set up five technology verticals for addressing the emerging situation due to pandemic:

Digital and Molecular Surveillance.

Rapid and Economical Diagnostics.

Repurposing of Drugs, Vaccine and Convalescent Plasma Therapy.

Hospital Assistive Devices and PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment).

Supply Chain and Logistics Support Systems.


Head-Up-Display (HUD): It developed indigenous Head-Up- display (HUD) for Indian Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas. HUD aids the pilot in flying the aircraft and in critical flight maneuvers including weapon aiming.

Energy & Environment:

Solar Tree: It occupies minimum space to produce clean power.

Lithium Ion Battery: India’s first lithium ion battery fabrication facility based on indigenous novel materials for making 4.0 V/14 h standard cells has been established.


Samba Mahsuri Rice Variety: It developed a Bacterial Blight Resistant Rice.

Rice Cultivar (Muktashree): A rice variety has been developed which restricts assimilation of Arsenic within permissible limits.

White-fly resistant Cotton variety: Developed a transgenic cotton line which is resistant to whiteflies.


Genomics and other omics technologies for Enabling Medical Decision – GOMED: It has been developed by the CSIR which provides a platform of disease genomics to solve clinical problems.

Food & Nutrition:

Ksheer-scanner: It detects the level of milk adulteration and adulterants in 45 seconds at the cost of 10 paise.

Double-Fortified Salt: Salt fortified with iodine and iron having improved properties developed and tested for addressing anaemia in people.

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