ILC-I’s Pride & Honour- Dr. R. A. Mashelkar
Dr. R. A. Mashelkar, President of ILC-I, has been awarded the second highest national civilian Award, the PadmaVibhushan, by the Indian Government, in recognition of the stellar services rendered by him in the fields of science and technology.
His contribution, as one of the leading international scientists, has been acknowledged by India through this very prestigious award which is given to only a select few individuals for their achievements. He has already been conferred several awards and honorary degrees by different national and international universities, organisations.
Dr. Mashelkar was conferred the Padma Vibhushan Award by the President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Delhi, on the 31st of March 2014 at a glittering function attended by the Vice President, the Prime Minister of India, the leaders of the various political parties, and other eminent personalities.
It is indeed a moment of pride and national honour for all of us at ILC-I to be a part of this glorious occasion.
Dr.R.A.Mashelkar, National Research Professor and is presently also the President of Global Research Alliance, a network of publicly funded R&D institutes from Asia- Pacific, Europe and USA with over 60,000 scientists.
Dr. Mashelkar served as the Director General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), with thirty eight laboratories and about 200,000 employees for over eleven years. He was also the President of Indian National Science Academy and President of Institution of Chemical Engineers (UK).
Dr. Mashelkar is on the Board of Director of several reputed companies such as Reliance Industries Ltd, Tata Motors Ltd, Hindustan Unilever Ltd, Gene Medix Life Sciences Ltd, Indigene Pharmaceuticals Ltd, ICICI Knowledge Park, Thermax Ltd, Piramal Life Sciences Ltd, and KPIT Cummins Infosystems Ltd. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Microsoft.
Dr. Mashelkar is only the third Indian engineer to have been elected (1998) as Fellow of Royal Society (FRS) London in the twentieth century. He was elected Foreign Associate of National Academy of Science (USA) in 2005, Associate Foreign Member, American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2011); Foreign Fellow if US National Academy of Engineering (2003); Fellow of Royal Academy of Engineering, U.K. (1996); Foreign Fellow of Australian Technological Science and Engineering Academy (2008) and Fellow of world Academy of Art & Science, USA (2000)
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 received himself had articulated, when he took over as DG, CSIR in July 1995. On 16 November 2005, he received the Business Weeks (USA) award of ‘Stars of Asia’ as the hands of George Bush (sr.) then former President of USA. He was the first Asian Scientist to receive it.
Deeply connected with the innovation movement in India, Dr. Mashelkar is currently the Chairman of India’s National Innovation Foundation, Reliance Innovation Council, Thermax Innovation Council and Marico Innovation Foundation. He is also the President of the International Longevity Centre-India.
Thirty universities have honoured him with doctorate, which include Universities of London, Salford, Pretoria, Wisconsin and Delhi.
The President of India honoured Dr. Mahelkar with Padmashri (1991) and with Padmabhushan (2000), which are two of the highest civilian honours in recognition of his contribution to nation building. On the 31st of March 2014, Dr. R. A. Mashelkar, was felicitated with the second highest civilian award, the PadmaVibhushan by the President of India.
When Dr. Mashelkar took over as the Director General of the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (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 publicity funded R&D institution. This initiative has transformed CSIR into a user focused, 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.
Dr. Mashelkar has been propagating a culture of innovation and balanced intellectual property right regime for over a decade. It was through his sustained and visionary campaign that growing awareness of Intellectual Property Right (IPR) has dawned on Indian academics, researchers and corporate. He spearheaded the successful challenge to the US patent on the use of turmeric for wound healing and also the patent on Basmati rice. These landmark cases have set up new paradigms in the protection of India’s traditional knowledge base, besides leading to the setting up of India’s first Traditional Knowledge base leading to the setting up of India’s first Traditional Knowledge Digital Library. In turn at an international level, this has led to the initiation of the change of the International Patent Classification System to give traditional knowledge its rightful place. As Chairman of the Standing Committee on Information Technology of World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) as a member of the International Intellectual Property Right Commission of UK Government and as Vice Chairman on Commission in Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation and Public Health (CIPIH) set up by World Health Organisation (WHO), he brought new perspectives on the issued of IPR and the developing world concerns.
In the post liberalized India. Dr. Mashelkar has played a critical role in shaping India’s S&T policies. He was a member of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister and also of the scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet set up by successive governments. He has chaired twelve high powered committee set up to look into diverse issues of higher education national auto fuel policy, overhauling the Indian drug regulatory systems, dealing with the menace of spurious drugs, reforming Indian agriculture research system etc. he has been a much sought after consultant for restructuring the publicly funded R&D institutions around the world; his contribution in south Africa Indonesia and Croatia have been particularly notable.