New heads for ICMR and DBT

Geneticist Renu Swarup, who has spent nearly 30 years in the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), on Tuesday was chosen as the new DBT secretary.

Renu would be the second woman to lead the DBT after Manju Sharma, who headed the DBT for 10 years between 1995 and 2004.

She replaces K Vijayraghavan, who has been appointed as the government's new principal scientific advisor.

The Centre has also appointed cardiologist Balram Bhargava from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi as the new director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The post was lying vacant since the previous ICMR chief, Soumya Swaminathan, moved to the World Health Organisation in Geneva.

Bhargava will hold the post for the next three years while Renu's tenure would be for about two years, according to the orders issued by the Department of Personnel and Training.

A PhD in genetics and plant breeding, Renu completed her post-doctoral at the John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK and returned to India to take up the assignment of a science manager in the DBT in 1989.

Bhargava, who has spent more than 25 years as a faculty at AIIMS, is also the founder of the Society for Less Investigative Medicine, which promotes ethical medical practice without unnecessary diagnostic investigations.

He was also instrumental in setting up a biodesign centre at AIIMS in collaboration with the Stanford University, USA.

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