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Showcasing the CSIR

The ongoing diamond jubilee exhibition of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) showcases 60 years' achievements of this premier organisation through as many panels.

The main attractions at the exhibition include Saras, the 14-seater multi-role aircraft, a novel non-steroidal herbal medicine for asthma called Asmon, Saheli, the once-in-a-week family planning pill, etc.

In the last 60 years, CSIR has emerged as a mammoth scientific and industrial organisation with wide-ranging competence. It has 38 laboratories and an employee-strength of over 21,000.

Economic consciousness coupled with economic urgency has been behind many of CSIR's innovations. Besides down-to-earth technologies, the organisation also contributed significantly to high-tech sectors like aeronautics, we are told.

During the 60's and 70's, when LPG was in short supply, most middle-class housewives depended on sooty kerosene-wick stoves for cooking. The CSIR then developed a cleaner stove, the famous `Nutan', that not only provided more heat, but also produced less soot.

The CSIR designed and fabricated Hansa-3, a two-seater trainer aircraft, which is now being used in training commercial pilots. It rolled out Saras recently and its test-flight is due shortly.

The CSIR has also been active in acquiring patents and protecting intellectual property rights. As a result of its challenge, the U.S. was forced to revoke its patent on turmeric in 1997. This was followed by a similar revocation of the patents granted on neem and basmati.

Also on display at the exhibition is a natural convection drier developed at the Regional Research Laboratory (RRL) here, which is used for drying different materials under rural conditions. The exhibition is on till May 9.

By Harish Govind M.

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