Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appointed Dr Ranjana Aggarwal, Professor, Department of Chemistry, Kurukshetra University as the new Director of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – National Institute of Science Technology and Development Studies (CSIR-NISTADS), New Delhi.
NISTADS is one of the CSIR Institutes under the Central Government and the Prime Minister serves as its President. Dr Harsh Vardhan, Cabinet Minister for Science and Technology is the Vice-President of the premier research body.
The appointment of Dr Ranjana Aggarwal has been made for a tenure of six years. This prestigious institute is devoted to a study of various aspects of interaction among science, society and state and exploring continuously the interface between Science, Technology and Society.
Prof Aggarwal obtained her B.Sc., M.Sc. and PhD degrees from Kurukshetra University and then after carrying out postdoctoral research on erythromycin biosynthesis at Cambridge University, UK. She joined her Alma mater in 1995 as lecturer. Subsequently, she worked in many well known European Labs such as Cambridge University, Trinity College Dublin, and University of Trieste. She is actively collaborating with scientists of USA, Spain and Ireland. Presently she is Professor of Chemistry and Director, Women’s Studies Research Centre at Kurukshetra University.
Her research interests consists of design and synthesis of azaheterocycles, involving green reagents, of therapeutic interest as anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and photodynamic agents. Recently she has been granted a research grant of Rs 20 lakh by Haryana State Council for Science and Technology to develop new leads to treat cancer by targeting DNA.
Her research contributions have been acknowledged in the form of awards notably Commonwealth Fellowship (2003-2004), Dr. Basudev Banerji Memorial Award (2014) by Indian Chemical Society and Prof S S Katiyar Endowment Award (2015) by Indian Science Congress. As Director Women’s Studies Research Centre she has is actively engaged in capacity building programs, promotion of Gender sensitization and skill development particularly among rural women.
Kurukshetra University Vice- Chancellor Dr Kailash Chander Sharma congratulated Prof Aggarwal and wished that under her guidance CSIR-NISTADS will set new milestones. He said that it is a great moment for Kurukshetra University as the first Women Director of CSIR laboratory, Dr Lakshmikantam was also an alumnus of Kurukshetra University. Incidentally, both these women scientists have obtained their PhD degrees from Chemistry Department of this University.