The Centre has appointed Dr Ajay Kumar Sood as the Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to the Indian government. He is a distinguished professor of Physics at the Indian Institute of Science and is known for his work on graphene. He also is a member of the Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC).
Dr Sood, the new PSA, is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He is known for his “contributions in both hard- and soft-condensed matter that are profound in experimental discovery and theoretical understanding”. He was the president of the Indian National Science Academy and the secretary-general of The World Academy of Sciences. Dr Sood was honoured with the Padma Shri award by the government in 2013.
The PSA’s office coordinates with ministries and advises the government on science and technology policies and interventions of socio-economic importance. The office also advises institutions, academia and various industries. The PM-STIAC (The Prime Minister’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Advisory Council) is a catalyst for such tasks and oversees the implementation of the tasks.
The body has nine major missions: Natural Language Translation, Quantum Frontier, Artificial Intelligence, National Biodiversity Mission, Electric Vehicles, Bioscience for Human Health, Waste to Wealth, Deep Ocean Exploration, and Accelerating Growth of New India’s Innovations (AGNIi).
The PSA’s office advises the prime minister and cabinet on science, technology, and innovation, focusing on applying science and technology in critical infrastructure, economic and social sectors in partnership with government departments, institutions and industry.