Top bureaucrat, space expert to pilot probe

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 10, 2017 Published on February 10, 2011

Mr B.K. Chaturvedi

Prof. Roddam Narasimha

Mr B.K. Chaturvedi

Mr B.K. Chaturvedi, a 1966 batch IAS officer, was appointed by the Union Government as Member, Planning Commission (June, 2007). Prior to this he was also Member of the Thirteenth Finance Commission (November, 2007).

As Member-Planning Commission, Mr Chaturvedi has been entrusted by the Prime Minister to advise Government on many issues, including petroleum products pricing and public-private partnerships in the highways sector.

Before becoming the Member-Planning Commission, Mr Chaturvedi, was the Cabinet Secretary for three years since June, 2004. As Cabinet Secretary, he was also Member of the India's Atomic Energy Commission and Space Commission.

Mr Chaturvedi comes with varied experience — having been Secretary to the Government of India in several Ministries, including Finance, Human Resource Development, and Petroleum and Natural Gas.

He has also held posts of Chairman and Managing Director, State Trading Corporation of India and Executive Director, Trade Development Authority of India. Mr Chaturvedi has been member of the boards of several public sector undertakings, including MMTC Ltd, LIC, GIC and State Electricity Board of Uttar Pradesh.

Mr Chaturvedi holds a Masters Degree in Physics from Allahabad University, with specialisation in Electronics. He started his career as an Associate Professor of Physics (1962-65) at the Motilal Nehru Regional Engineering College, Allahabad.

Prof. Roddam Narasimha

Prof. Roddam Narasimha, named on Thursday by the PMO to look into the Antrix-Devas S-band contract muddle, is one of the longest serving luminaries of the nine-member Space Commission.

His associates say ‘Roddam' is also one of the best and most respected aerospace brains ever produced by the country. He was a student of Dr Satish Dhawan, ISRO's second Chairman.

(The Space Commission is the apex multi-disciplinary regulatory body that has a say on all matters of the Department of Space – from new projects to fund requirements.)

With a self-confessed passion for fluid dynamics and atmospheric sciences, Dr Narasimha founded the atmospheric sciences department at his alma mater, the Indian Institute of Science, in 1982, headed it later and is today ISRO Distinguished Professor at the same centre, now called CAOS (Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences). He was Chairman of the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the IISc.

His stint as Director of the CSIR's National Aeronautics Laboratories (NAL) from 1984 to 1993 saw many technology initiatives taking off – some of those fruits NAL is bearing today as a potential designer-developer of India's first civil planes. He was Director of the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bangalore during 1997-2004.

Born on 20 July 1933, ‘Roddam' graduated in engineering from Bangalore's University Visvesvaraya College of Enginering; got his Master's degree from the IISc and PhD in 1961 from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

Among the honours and distinctions conferred on him are the Padma Bhushan, the S.S.Bhatnagar Award, Fellow of the Royal Society, Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Engineering and the US National Academy of Sciences and Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

The University of Hyderabad appointed him the first Pratt and Whitney Chair in science and engineering.

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Published on February 10, 2011
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