Question:- 47. Discuss the contributions of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in developing and promoting the science, technology and innovation ecosystem in the nation. Also, explain how CSIR has helped in inclusive development of the country (250 words).
Aug 24, 2022
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 with the Prime Minister as its President.
The objectives of the Council are scientific and industrial/applied research of national importance.
CSIR covers a wide spectrum of streams – from radio and space physics, oceanography, geophysics, chemicals, drugs, genomics, biotechnology and nanotechnology to mining, Leather industry, aeronautics, instrumentation, environmental engineering and information technology.
1.CSIR’s Jigyasa programme is a unique platform for bringing scientists and teachers together for nurturing young minds. It envisages opening up the national scientific facilities to school children, enabling CSIR scientific knowledge base and facility to be utilised by schoolchildren.
2.Pioneer of India’s intellectual property movement, CSIR today is strengthening its patent portfolio to carve out global niches for the country in select technology domains. CSIR filed about 225 Indian patents and 250 foreign patents per year during 2015-20.
3.CSIR has pursued cutting edge science and advanced knowledge frontiers. In 2019, CSIR published 5009 papers in SCI Journals with an average impact factor per paper of 3.714.
4.CSIR has operationalized desired mechanisms to boost entrepreneurship, which could lead to enhanced creation and commercialization of radical and disruptive innovations, underpinning the development of new economic sectors.
1.The Indelible Mark: The Indelible ink used to mark the fingernail of a voter during elections is a time-tested gift of CSIR to the spirit of democracy. Developed in 1952, it was first produced in-campus. Subsequently, the industry has been manufacturing the Ink. It is also exported to Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Turkey and other democracies.
2.CSIR has established the first-ever ‘Traditional Knowledge Digital Library’ in the world. It is accessible in five international languages( English, German, French, Japanese and Spanish). CSIR successfully challenged the grant of patent in the USA for use of Haldi (turmeric) for wound healing and neem as an insecticide on the basis of traditional knowledge.
3.Leather Industry: The CSIR’s footprint in this sector has been transformative. Indian exports in this sector are close to $6 billion. More than 40% personnel employed in the leather industry have been trained directly or indirectly in the CSIR-CLRI.
4.Green Revolution: During the Green Revolution, the CSIR’s footprint could be seen in the development of agrochemicals and the mechanisation of agriculture. The mechanisation of agriculture was achieved through the indigenous development of the Swaraj tractor at the CSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI), leading to the formation of Punjab Tractors Ltd. in 1970.
5.Chemicals:Two public sector companies were founded, post-Independence, based on technologies developed in the CSIR’s laboratories — the Hindustan Insecticides Ltd. and Hindustan Organic Chemicals Ltd., the former to make agrochemicals. Similarly, production of anti-HIV drugs by processes developed in CSIR laboratories provided the necessary impetus to the growth of generic pharmaceutical companies.
6.Food and nutrition industry: In the 1950s, when solving the infant food problem appeared impossible, the CSIR successfully developed technologies to convert buffalo milk into powder and commercialised it with the help of Amul Industries.
7.Promoting crops to enhance farmers income: The Aroma Mission of the CSIR in recent times has been transforming the lives of thousands of farmers across the country. The cultivation of lavender in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has been attracting attention worldwide as India’s ‘Purple Revolution’.
8.It provides significant technological interventions in many areas with regard to societal efforts which include the environment, health, drinking water, food, housing, energy, farm and non-farm sectors.
Human resource development across all sectors, dominantly that in science, technology and innovation, has been the hallmark of CSIR. Even as we attribute the growing affluence of Indian society to science, technology and innovation-led developments, the challenges for the future are fast- changing. Reducing dependence on natural resources, making all industrial processes circular so that no footprint of human activity is left, making technologies environmentally friendly, providing sufficient opportunities to all for living either in cities or in villages will remain priorities of science and technology.