Mashelkar appointed 1st chairperson of AcSIR

Raghunath Mashelkar, former director of National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune, has been appointed the first chairperson of the Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR) for a period of four years.

National Research Professor Mashelkar will also be the Chancellor of the AcSIR, said a press release issued by NCL on Friday. The AcSIR was established by Parliament's Academy of Scientific Innovative Research Act, 2011 vide the Gazette of India No.15 dated February 7, 2012 and notified on April 3, 2012 as an Institution of National Importance.

The mission of AcSIR is to maximize the number of qualified researchers and professionals of impeccable quality in the domain of science and engineering and to equip them with cross disciplinary knowledge and skills to innovate and conduct seamless interdisciplinary research. It focuses on imparting instruction in such areas that are not routinely taught in regular academic universities in India.

"This will be a unique academy as it will train highly specialised scientists and engineers. The intake capacity will be 1,000 students a year and they will be allowed to use all the 37 Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) laboratories. They will have a lot of flexibility in selecting their projects. For example, today as per our regular university system of education, an engineering graduate cannot take up a life sciences project, while elsewhere in the world it is fairly common. We will encourage such an inter-disciplinary approach," said Mashelkar.

AcSIR will be open to those who have completed their undergraduate studies, as both masters degree programmes and PhD programmes will be run here.

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