Srivari Chandrasekhar taking charge as secretary, Department of Science and Technology. Photo: India Science Wire
New Delhi: The Department of Science and Technology (DST) in the Ministry of Science and Technology has got a new head.
Srivari Chandrasekhar today took over the charge of secretary of the department from M. Ravichandran, secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, who had the additional charge of the DST. Council of Scientific and Industrial Research director-general Shekhar Mande and Department of Biotechnology secretary Rajesh Gokhale and other senior officials of the ministry were present on the occasion.
Chandrashekhar was until recently the director of the CSIR Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad. He was associated with the IICT since his doctoral studies in the late 1980s. He joined the institute as an employee in 1994 and has since served in different scientific positions until he took charge as the director in 2015. Between November 2020 and March 2021, he also held the additional charge as director of the CSIR National Chemical Laboratory, Pune.
He is a fellow of all the three science academies in the country, and has to his credit several distinguished national and international awards, including the 2014 Infosys Prize and fellowships of leading science academies.
As a synthetic organic chemist, Chandrashekhar has made significant contributions in diverse areas of organic chemistry, with special commitment to the development of better and more affordable drugs for tropical health-related problems. He has developed technologies to synthesise bedaquiline, a key component of the treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. He is also credited with developing technologies to synthesise an anti-tumour and abortive drug called misoprostol. He also played a key role in introducing polyethylene glycol as a novel and environmentally benign solvent medium.
He has over 280 publications and 19 patents to his credit.
While taking charge, Chandrashekhar expressed his enthusiasm on working closely with all scientific departments aligned with the government’s vision.