Vacancy in top science establishment to be filled

As the core of Indian science establishment is functioning without a proper head for the last several months, the central government has finally initiated steps to fill the top positions in the DST and CSIR.

The Union Science Ministry has written to the Cabinet Secretary on filling up the post of the secretary in the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, which is vacant since January, 2014 and secretary in the Department of Science and Technology that is empty since May 2014.

As a stop-gap arrangement, the government has asked Dr K Vijayraghavan, secretary in the department of biotechnology, to double up as the secretary, DST and secretary, DSIR.

Vijayraghavan, a globally acclaimed biologist, who earlier headed Bangalore’s National Centre for Biological Sciences, recently informed the Cabinet Secretary and the Science Minister about his increasing workload, which was affecting his primary responsibility, sources said.

“We have begun the process to look for a new DST secretary and CSIR director general. It may take some time as we want to pick up the best candidate,” union science minister Jitendra Singh told Deccan Herald.

CSIR director general is also the ex-officio secretary in the department of scientific and industrial research (DSIR). In the absence of a full time CSIR chief, Vijayraghavan is functioning as the DSIR secretary while a senior CSIR scientist Dr P S Ahuja is officiating as the CSIR director general.

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