Nallathamby Kalaiselvi Becomes The First Ever Woman Director General Of CSIR 

N Kalaiselvi

Known for her work in the field of lithium ion batteries, N Kalaiselvi is at present director of the CSIR-Central Electrochemical Research Institute at Karaikudi in Tamil Nadu

Nallathamby Kalaiselvi has become the first ever woman director general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the first woman to lead the consortium of 38 research institutes across the country.

This senior scientist who is making waves in the field of STEM, would also be appointed as the secretary for the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), a Ministry of Science and Technology wing.

After completing her schooling in a humble Tamil medium school in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, she picked up her interest in the subject of science and built up on it admirably. Starting off her career as an entry-level scientist, she now has 25 years of an illustrious career. Her contributions to the R&D Department are innumerable, which includes 125 research papers, six patents, and works done for developing practically viable Sodium-ion/Lithium-sulfur batteries and super capacitors. 

As a senior scientist, who possesses great knowledge of electrochemical power systems, she directed her understanding of the subject toward several govt-driven missions. Not only has she contributed to the Mobility Mission Concept Note & CSIR-CECRI’s Technical Report on National Mission for Electric Mobility (NMEM), but also played a key role in multiple other projects for the implementation of e-mobility in India.

Previously, Kalaiselvi has risen through the ranks in CSIR and broken the glass ceiling by becoming the first woman scientist to head the Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CSIR-CECRI) in February 2019. After managing the role remarkably for three years, she has now succeeded Shekhar Mande, to become the new Director-General of CSIR. 

Her appointment is “for a period of two years with effect from the date of assumption of charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier”, a personnel ministry order said on Saturday. This would be the first time in the 80 years of CSIR’s history that a woman would hold the chair as the Director General. 

  • Staff Reporter 

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