Dr Thirumalachari Ramasami, former secretary, department of science and technology (DST)
During his eight years stint at the DST, Dr Ramasami was intrumental in its budget increase that jumped several fold and launch of many new programs. For his exemplary services for Indian science, he was honored with the Padma Bhushan award by the president of India only a few days back. He was aslo holding the additional charges as the director general, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
Dr Ramasami obtained his BTech and MTech degrees from University of Madras, and PhD from University of Leeds, UK for his work on the chemistry of chromium. He worked at the Ames Laboratory and Wayne State University and University of NewCastle upon Tyne, on research areas relating to homogenous catalysis, electron transport phenomena and bioinorganic chemistry, respectively. Thereafter, he joined the Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), Chennai (1984), worked as its Director (1996-2006).
Dr Ramasami made substantial contributions to the resurgence of CLRI as a global leader in leather research. His contributions to the solution of environmental problems in leather sector in Tamil Nadu resulted in saving 2,50,000 jobs and an annual industrial turnover of Rs 6000 crores. In recognition of his contributions to leather research, he was invited to deliver the Arthur Wilson Memorial Lecture. As the Secretary DST, he has initiated policies, programmes and schemes with potentials for long-term impact. He is currently connecting causes of science with resources and public policy support.