Council of Scientific and Industrial Research

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (IAST: vagyaniktathāaudyogik anusandhāna pariṣada; abbreviated as CSIR) was established by the Government of India in 1942 is an autonomous body that has emerged as the largest research and development organization in India. It runs thirty-eight laboratories and thirty-nine field stations or extension centres throughout the nation, with a collective staff of over 12,000 scientists and scientific and technical personnel. Although it is mainly funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, it operates as an autonomous body through the Societies Registration Act, 1860.

The research and development activities of CSIR include aerospace engineering, structural engineering, ocean sciences, life sciences, metallurgy, chemicals, mining, food, petroleum, leather, and environmental science. Dr. Girish Sahni was appointed as director general of CSIR, with effect from the 24th August 2015.

In late 2007, the Minister of Science and Technology, KapilSibal admitted, in a Question Hour session of the Parliament, that CSIR has developed 1,376 technologies/knowledgebase during the last decade of the 20th century.


In the 1930s, the need for establishing research organizations for the development of natural resources and new industries in India began to emerge. Eminent citizens such as C. V. Raman, Lt. Col. Seymour Sewell and J. C. Ghosh had proposed the creation of an advisory board of scientific research. Sir Richard Gregory, then editor of Nature, was among the first people who officially reported to the British Government. After visiting scientific departments and universities in India in 1933, Gregory submitted to Samuel Hoare, Secretary of State for India, regarding the need of scientific organization similar to the DSIR in Britain. Indian scientists at Calcutta and Bangalore initiated schemes to launch a National Institute of Sciences and an Indian Academy of Sciences, respectively. At the Fifth Industries Conference in 1933, the Provincial Governments of Bombay, Madras, Bihar and Orissa unanimously reiterated their demand for a coordinating forum for industrial research. Hoare advised the Viceroy, Lord Willington, to support the demand. However, in May 1934, Willington replied Hoare saying, “The creation of a Department of Scientific and Industrial Research in India to promote the application of research to natural resources does not appear to be necessary.” The Indian DSIR was rejected, however, the colonial government provided a small concession. It instead offered to create an Industrial Intelligence and Research Bureau, which came into operation in April 1935 under the Indian Stores Department. The Bureau’s limited resources (with a budget of INR 1.0 lakh per annum) made it impossible to initiate major research and industrial activities as had hoped for. It was mainly concerned with testing and quality control.

the constitution of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) as an autonomous body was prepared under Mudaliar and Bhatnagar. Thus, CSIR came into operation on 26 September 1942. The BSIR and IRUC were incorporated into the advisory bodies to the governing body of the CSIR. In 1943 the governing body of CSIR approved the proposal of Bhatnagar, though the initiative of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, to establish five national laboratories — the National Chemical Laboratory, the National Physical Laboratory, the Fuel Research Station, and the Glass and Ceramics Research Institute. In 1944 in addition to its annual budget of INR 1 million, CSIR received a grant of INR 10 million for the establishment of these laboratories. The Tata Industrial House donated INR 2 million for the chemical, metallurgical and fuel research laboratories. The foundation for the Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute at Kolkata was the first to be laid, in December 1945; and that for the National Chemical Laboratory at Pune was the last, on 6 April 1947, four months before India became independent. All the five establishments were completed by 1950.

CSIR achievements

  • Developed India’s first synthetic drug, methaqualonein 1950.
  • Developed first Indian tractor Swarajin 1967 completely based on indigenous know-how.
  • Achieved the first breakthrough of flowering of Bamboowithin weeks as against twenty years in nature.
  • First to analyze genetic diversity of the indigenous Andamanese tribesand to establish their origin out of Africa 60,000 years ago.
  • Developed the first transgenic Drosophila model for drug screening for cancer in humans.
  • First to introduce DNA fingerprintingin India.
  • Helped India to be the first pioneer investor under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
  • Invented, once a week non-steroidal family planning pill Saheli and non-steroidal herbal pill for asthma called Asmon.
  • Designed India’s first ever parallel processing computer Flosolver.
  • Partnered more than 50,000 companies with turnover ranging from Rs 5 lakhsto Rs 500,000 crores.
  • Rejuvenated India’s one-hundred-year-old refinery at Digboi using the most modern molecular distillation technology.
  • Provided the critical technology for the NMP Lube Extraction Plant of capacity of 2,50,000tonnes per year.
  • With TCS, developed a versatile portable PC-based software ‘Bio-Suite’ for bioinformatics.
  • Design of 14 seater plane ‘SARAS’.
  • Established first ever in the world ‘Traditional Knowledge Digital Library’ accessible in five international languages, English, German, French, Japanese and Spanish.
  • Remained in top 3 in the list of PCT patent applications amongst all developing countries.
  • Topped list of holders of S. patents.
  • Successfully challenged the grant of patent in the USA for use of haldi (turmeric) for wound healing and neemas insecticide.
  • In 2009, completed the sequencing of the Human Genome.
  • In 2011, successfully tested India’s 1st indigenous civilian aircraft, NAL NM5made in association with National Aerospace Laboratories and Mahindra Aerospace.
  • Bhopal Disaster December 1985 Report.
  • On 25 September 2016 CSIR celebrated its Platinum Jubliee .The Platinum Jubilee celebrations were inaugurated by Prime Minister NarendraModi

Shanti SwarupBhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology

The Shanti SwarupBhatnagar Prize was established by CSIR in 1958. The prize is named after the Founder Director of the Council of Industrial Research (CSIR), late Dr. (Sir) Shanti SwarupBhatnagar. To bestow the honor to the outstanding performers in the various research fields of Science & Technology, CSIR has started this award.

The nominees for the award are filtered out from the research categories of – Biological Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Earth Sciences, Atmosphere, Ocean and Planetary, Engineering, Mathematical Sciences, Medical Sciences & Physical Sciences.

The Shanti SwarupBhatnagar Prize comes up with a Citation, a Plaque & a Cash Award of 5 Lakh Rupees with the addition of a stipend of 15,000/- per month (till the age of 65).

Every year, the Award Selection Committee of CSIR presents the award to maximum 2 individuals from each research category. As per the stats, the SSB Prize has been awarded to 525 individuals for their exemplary work in Science & Technology.

To avail such prestigious award, the candidates need to fulfill the following criteria –

  • Indian Nationality
  • Overseas citizen of India (OCI) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) working in India
  • The awardee must have made conspicuously important and outstanding contributions to human knowledge and progress – fundamental and applied – in the field of endeavor, which is his/her specialization.
  • Upper Age Limit – 45 Years.

The above criteria help CSIR Committee to select the eligible candidates for the award but the selection will be based on the results of selection procedure which is conducted by the Advisory Committee of CSIR.


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