The Government of India set up the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser in November 1999. The role of the office is to evolve science and technology polices, strategies and missions of socio-economic significance. The office of PSA advises the Prime Minister and his cabinet on creating science and technology solutions for issues related to infrastructure, economic and social sectors in partnership with other Government departments, institutions, and industry.
This section talks about the three former Principal Scientific Advisers to the Government of India and sheds light on some initiatives undertaken by them during their tenure in the office.
Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam served as the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, in the rank of Cabinet Minister, from November 1999 to November 2001 and was responsible for evolving policies, strategies and missions for many development applications. Dr. Kalam was also the Chairman, Ex-officio, of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet (SAC-C) and piloted the India Millennium Mission 2020. Read More
Dr. Rajagopala Chidambaram
Dr. Rajagopala Chidambaram served as the Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India and as the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet (SAC-C) from November 2001 to March 2018. Currently, he is serving as the DAE Homi Bhabha Chair professor at BARC, Mumbai.
Amongst the many initiatives Dr. Chidambaram had taken as the PSA, significant ones were the establishment of the National Knowledge Network, development of the Advanced Ultra Supercritical (AUSC) technology for coal-based thermal power generation, the setting up of the Core Advisory Group for R&D in the Electronics Hardware (CAREL), the creation of RuTAG (Rural Technology Action Groups) and the establishment of SETS (Society for Electronic Transactions and Security) headquartered in Chennai. These initiatives continue making significant impact to the STI landscape of the country. Read More
Prof. Krishnaswamy VijayRaghavan
Professor Krishnaswamy VijayRaghavan FRS, succeeded Dr. R. Chidambaram as the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India on April 3, 2018 and occupied the position till April 2, 2022.
Prof. VijayRaghavan chaired the first Prime Minister’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) and Empowered Technology Group (ETG). The committee constituted by the Prime Minister’s Office in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vaccine Task Force (VTF) was co-chaired by Prof. VijayRaghavan and Dr. Vinod Paul, Member, NITI Aayog. The taskforce was formed to focus on vaccines, and other research and development in the country in wake of the pandemic. Read More