General Studies IIIScience and Tech

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)


  • The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
  • It is an autonomous body established in 1942.
  • funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology and it operates as an autonomous body through the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
  • It covers a wide spectrum of streams – from radio and space physics, oceanography, geophysics, chemicals, drugs, genomics, biotechnology and nanotechnology to mining, aeronautics, instrumentation, environmental engineering and information technology.
  • It provides significant technological intervention in many areas with regard to societal efforts which include the environment, health, drinking water, food, housing, energy, farm and non-farm sectors.

Since its inception, the CSIR has become the largest research and development organisation in India with over 38 laboratories/institutes, 39 outreach centres, 3 Innovation Centres and 5 units throughout the nation.

History of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research

In the 1930s there was a growing need for establishing research organisations for the development of natural resources and new industries in India. Prominent scientists such as C.V. Raman (passed on November 21, 1970) and J.C. Ghosh proposed and an advisory board of scientific research.

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 co-ordinating forum for industrial research. Lord Willingdon, the Viceroy of India at the time found it unnecessary to promote the application of research to natural resources. Instead, he offered to create an Industrial Intelligence and Research Bureau, which came into operation in April 1935. 

When World War II broke out in 1939, the British government decided to divert funds to help the war effort.  It was when Arcot Ramaswamy Mudaliar recommended that the Bureau be terminated but not for economic reasons, instead to make room for a Board of Scientific and Industrial Research. Since he was a member of the Viceroy’s executive council, his recommendation held sway. His recommendation paid off when the Board of Scientific and Industrial Research (BSIR) was created on 1 April 1940. Mudaliar was made chair of the board. 

Since its inception, the achievements of BSIR included the development of the research on vegetable oil blends as fuel, plastic packing case for army boots and ammunition, dyes for uniforms and preparation of vitamins.

Then 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 when a decision was made to create an organisation to further the advancement in industrial research.

Organisation Structure

  • President: Prime Minister of India (Ex-officio)
  • Vice President: Union Minister of Science and Technology (Ex-officio)
  • Governing Body: The Director-General is the head of the governing body.
    • The other ex-officio member is the finance secretary (expenditures).
    • Other members’ terms are of three years.
  • CSIR Advisory Board: 15-member body composed of prominent members from respective fields of science and technology.
    • Its function is to provide science and technology inputs to the governing body.
    • Member terms are are of three years.

Objectives & Missions of CSIR

It is a pan-India organisation, with a dynamic network of 38 national laboratories, 39 outreach centres, 3 Innovation Complexes and 5 units. CSIR is supported by over 8000 scientists across the country and was established keeping various objectives in mind.

Discussed below are the main objectives of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR):

  • Radio and space physics, oceanography, geophysics, chemicals, drugs, genomics, biotechnology and nanotechnology to mining, aeronautics, instrumentation, environmental engineering and information technology are the various spectrums which are covered under CSIR
  • It aims to provide significant technological intervention in many areas with regard to societal efforts
  • CSIR also plays an important role in Science and Technology human resource development
  • The Organisation has operationalised desired mechanisms to boost entrepreneurship, which would further lead to enhanced creation and commercialisation of innovations, underpinning the development of new economic sectors
  • CSIR has managed to change the scenario of Science and Technology related opportunities, which has ultimately motivated CSIR towards:
  • Science and Engineering leadership
  • Innovative technology solutions
  • Nurturing talent in transdisciplinary areas
  • Science-based entrepreneurship

Vision & Strategy 2022

  • Vision: Pursue science which strives for global impact, the technology that enables innovation-driven industry and nurtures trans-disciplinary leadership thereby catalyzing inclusive economic development for the people of India.

CSIR Key Achievements

  • Strategic Sector:
    • Drishti transmissometer: It is an Indigenous – Innovative –Cost-effective visibility measuring system that provides information to pilots on visibility for safe landing & take-off operations and is suitable for all airport categories.
    • Head-Up-Display (HUD): CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) made a significant contribution by developing indigenous Head-Up- display(HUD) for Indian Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas.
      • HUD aids the pilot in flying the aircraft and in critical flight manoeuvres including weapon aiming.
    • Indigenous Gyrotron: Design and development of indigenous gyrotron for nuclear fusion reactor have been accomplished.
      • A gyrotron is a vacuum electronic device (VED) capable to generate high-power, high-frequency THz radiation.
  • Energy & Environment:
    • Solar Tree: It designed by CSIR- The Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI) lab in Durgapur. It occupies minimum space to produce clean power.
    • Lithium-Ion Battery: The Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CECRI), Karaikudi in Tamil Nadu, has set up the first indigenous Li-ion fabrication facility that has applications in defence, solar-powered devices, railways and other high-end usages.
  • Agriculture:
    • Medicinal and Aromatic Plants: Enhanced cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants in the country brought through the development of new varieties and agro-technologies.
    • Samba Mahsuri Rice Variety: CSIR in collaboration with ICAR developed an improved bacterial blight resistant Samba Mahsuri variety.
    • Rice Cultivar (Muktashree) for Arsenic Contaminated Areas: A rice variety has been developed which restricts assimilation of Arsenic within the permissible limit.
    • White-fly resistant Cotton variety: Developed a transgenic cotton line which is resistant to whiteflies.
  • Healthcare:
    • JD Vaccine for Farm Animals: Vaccine developed and commercialized for Johne’s disease (JD) affecting Sheep, Goat, Cow and Buffalo so as to immunize them and increase milk & meat production.
    • Plasma Gelsolin Diagnostic Kit for Premature Births, and Sepsis-related Deaths: It is developed to diagnose premature birth and sepsis.
    • GOMED: A programme called GOMED (Genomics and other omics technologies for Enabling Medical Decision) has been developed by the CSIR which provides a platform of disease genomics to solve clinical problems.
  • Food & Nutrition:
    • Ksheer-scanner: It is a new technological invention by CSIR-Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI) to detect the level of milk adulteration and adulterants in 45 seconds at the cost of 10 paise, thereby putting adulterators in the milk trade in notice.
    • Double-Fortified Salt: Salt fortified with iodine and iron having improved properties developed and tested for addressing anaemia in people.
    • Anti-obesity DAG Oil: Oil enriched with Diacylglycerol (DAG) instead of conventional triacylglycerol (TAG) developed.
  • Water:
    • Aquifer Mapping of Water Scarce Areas: Heliborne transient electromagnetic and surface magnetic technique based aquifer mapping carried out in six different geological locations in Rajasthan (2), Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
    • Understanding the Special Properties of the Ganga Water: An assessment of water quality & sediment analysis of Ganga from different parts being done.
  • Waste to Wealth:
    • Non-toxic Radiation Shielding Material for X-ray Protection: Non-toxic radiation shielding materials utilizing industrial waste like red mud (from aluminium industries) and fly ash (Thermal Power Plants) developed which has been accredited by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) for application in diagnostic X-Ray rooms.
    • Waste Plastic to Fuel: Process for conversion of waste plastics to gasoline/diesel or aromatics developed.
  • The Indelible Mark: The Indelible ink used to mark the fingernail of a voter during elections is a time-tested gift of CSIR to the spirit of democracy.
    • Developed in 1952, it was first produced in-campus. Subsequently, the industry has been manufacturing the Ink. It is also exported to Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Turkey and other democracies.
  • Skill development: CSIR is building a structured large scale Skill development Initiative using the state of the art infrastructure and human resources of CSIR.
    • About 30 High Tech Skill/Training programmes are being launched for imparting skills to over 5000 candidates annually.
    • The skill development programmes cover the following areas: Leather process Technology; Leather Footwear & Garments; Paints & coatings for corrosion protection; Electroplating & Metal Finishing; Lead Acid Battery maintenance; Glass Beaded Jewellery / Blue Pottery; Industrial Maintenance Engineering; Internet of Things (IoT); and Regulatory – Preclinical Toxicology.
  • Aviation: The CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories has designed a plane ‘SARAS’.
    • In 2011, successfully tested India’s 1st indigenous civilian aircraft, NAL NM5 made in association with National Aerospace Laboratories and Mahindra Aerospace.
  • Traditional Knowledge Digital Library: CSIR has established the first-ever ‘Traditional Knowledge Digital Library’ in the world. It is accessible in five international languages( English, German, French, Japanese and Spanish).
    • CSIR successfully challenged the grant of patent in the USA for use of Haldi (turmeric) for wound healing and neem as an insecticide on the basis of traditional knowledge.
  • Genome sequencing: CSIR has completed the sequencing of the Human Genome in 2009

Global Recognition

  • Scimago Institutions Rankings: CSIR is recognized to be among the International leader in knowledge creation.
    • CSIR has been ranked 17th in the world amongst the government institutions in the world according to the prestigious Scimago Institutions Rankings 2019 Report.
  • Intellectual Property: Amongst its peers in publicly funded research organizations in the world, CSIR is a leader in terms of filing and securing patents worldwide.
    • CSIR is granted 90% of the US patents granted to any publicly funded Indian R&D organization.
    • On an average CSIR files about 200 Indian patents and 250 foreign patents per year. About 13.86% of CSIR patents are licensed – a number which is above the global average.

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