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YAGNASWAMI SUNDARA RAJAN

YAGNASWAMI SUNDARA  RAJAN

 

1.Yagnaswami Sundara Rajan is currently Honorary Distinguished Professor in Department of Space (DOS), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). He has made major contributions to various aspects of management of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) over the past four decades.

2.Born on April 10, 1943, Y.S. Rajan received his Masters degree in Physics from the University of Bombay in 1964.  He joined the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad as a Research Scholar to work with Dr. Vikram Sarabhai’s team.    Beginning as a developmental engineer, he went on to hold several important positions in ISRO/DOS, Scientific Secretary, ISRO being one of them.  His strategic inputs to Prof. Satish Dhawan, the then Chairman, ISRO, integrating different perspectives from the internal and external systems that ISRO had to deal with, were strategic to the overall management and in giving direction to the nascent space programme of the seventies and eighties.  He was thus, a key figure who played a very important role in the emergence of ISRO as a major space power.  His work at ISRO was recognised internationally and he was elected as Member of International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) (1986), among the first few Indians then.  Recently as Chief Mentor ISRO Strategy Group, he was instrumental in bringing out a unique report (2011) for taking ISRO into the future.

3. Prof. Rajan’s contribution in areas like STI administration, institution building, diplomacy, strategic studies, environmental technologies and natural resources management has been widely recognized. At the peak of his career in ISRO, Y.S. Rajan made a shift in his career and began addressing various national issues and problems.    He was the first Executive Director (ED) of newly created Technology Information and Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), since (1988-2002).   Rajan not only transferred best practices and knowledge from the space system but also pioneered new approaches to deal with the even more complex problems facing India for which  technology could offer solutions.  TIFAC became world renowned.  The popular and path breaking book, India Vision 2020 by Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam with Y.S.Rajan is the outcome of his work at TIFAC. 

4.Prof. Rajan’s work at TIFAC and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) created technology consciousness in Indian Industry and to bring technology to their forefront of priorities as well as to show them how to pursue technology for business success.  His footprints in multidisciplinary applications of science and engineering can be seen in many parts of India, be it Mobile Diagnostic Clinic at Uttarakhand, TIFAC-Centers of Relevance and Excellence (CORE’s) at hitherto left out institutions, with farmers in Bihar, the early work for the Nalanda University, earth quake shelters in Gujarat, animal husbandry, composites materials or sugar technology, to name a few among the many. As a Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Technical University (PTU) and Scientific Adviser, to Punjab Chief Minister, he initiated a number of new institutional innovations which have now borne fruit.  

5.Prof. Rajan has been honoured with many awards including Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering (1998); Fellow of World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS) (2010); Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters (D.Litt) from Jain Vishva Bharati University, Ladnun, Rajasthan (2005)