Pushpito Ghosh to be new CSIR chief

By K.S. Jayaraman, IANS

Bangalore : The long search for a director general to head the Council Of Scientific And Industrial Research (CSIR) is over with the search committee recommending chemist Pushpito Ghosh as chief of the country's top research agency.

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Ghosh is currently director of the Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI) in Bhavnagar, Gujarat.

The CSIR, which has nearly 18,000 researchers in 37 laboratories, has been headless after the departure of Ragunath Anant Mashelkar in December last year.

CSMCRI is known for its work on desalination. When contacted by IANS, Ghosh said he is yet to get an "official order".

According to officials in the science ministry, the selection made by the search committee has to be formally approved by the cabinet. "It may take a few days," the officials told IANS.

Chairman of the prime minister's science advisory council C.N.R. Rao and principal science advisor R. Chidambaram were the prominent members of the search committee.

The unusual delay in appointing the chief of India's largest scientific agency had come under criticism from sections of the science community.

Immediately after Mashelkar's departure, the panel had recommended Visveswaraiah Prakash, director of the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) in Mysore, for the job.

But Prakash did not get the official order – for reasons not made public – and so the search continued.

At its June 18 meeting in New Delhi, the search panel chose Ghosh from among the four short-listed out of about 12 aspirants. Well-informed sources said that two in the short- list failed to appear before the committee.