The government has appointed AK Sood as the Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to it. He succeeds Prof. K. VijayRaghavan. Dr. Sood is a physicist and member of the Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) and a physicist known for his work on graphene. He is a Distinguished Professor of Physics at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.
Mr. VijayRaghavan was appointed the PSA in 2018 and played a crucial role in leading taskforces on vaccine and drug development as well as pandemic management. His term ended in 2021 but was awarded an extention.
The PSA’s office coordinates with several Ministries and advises the government in science and technology policies and interventions that are of strategic socio-economic importance. It also advises institutions, academia and industry. The PM-STIAC is one of the catalysts for such tasks and also overseas the implementation of the tasks.
The body has nine major missions: Natural Language Translation, Quantum Frontier, Artificial Intelligence, National Biodiversity Mission, Electric Vehicles, Bio–science for Human Health, Waste to Wealth, Deep Ocean Exploration, Accelerating Growth of New India’s Innovations (AGNIi).
Prior to Mr. VijayRaghavan, nuclear scientist R Chidambaram was the PSA for close to a decade and a half and before that APJ Abdul Kalam.