CSIR gets its first woman director general

CSIR gets its first woman director general

Dr N Kalaiselvi: Senior electrochemical scientist Dr. Nallathamby Kalaiselvi recently became the first woman to be appointed Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

Key Points:

  • Established in 1942, CSIR is a consortium of 38 research institutes across the country.
  • This is the first time in its history of 80 years that CSIR has appointed a woman Director-General.
  • As the Director General of CSIR, she will be the Secretary of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR).
  • She will hold the position for a period of two years.
  • She succeeds Shekhar Mande.
  • Mande had retired in April and since then Rajesh Gokhale, Secretary Department of Biotechnology had been given the additional charge of CSIR.

Key Information about N Kalaiselvi who has broken many glass ceilings in her illustrious 25-year-long career:

  • Kalaiselvi hails from Ambasamudram in Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu.
  • Here, she did her schooling in Tamil medium which helped her prepare for understanding scientific concepts in college.
  • She completed her PhD in Chemistry and was working as a professor before joining CSIR-Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CSIR-CECRI).

Research Work:

  • She has more than 125 research papers and six patents to her name.
  • She has more than 25 years of experience in research, her research focusing on electrochemical power systems.
  • She is known for her work in the field of lithium-ion batteries and is currently involved in the development of practically viable Sodium-ion/Lithium-sulfur batteries and supercapacitors.


  • She has risen through CSIR ranks from starting her career in research as an entry-level scientist to becoming the Director General of CSIR.
  • This is not the first time that she is making history by being the first woman to head an institute.
  • She has broken the glass ceiling before in 2019 when she became the first woman to lead the Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CSIR-CECRI).
  • She is currently the Director of Central Electrochemical Research Institute at Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu.

Academic Laurels:

  • During her tenure from 1999 to 2019, she has won multiple laurels, fellowships including bagging the‘Young Scientist Seminar Award’ of CECRI thrice.
  • She was also awarded an Indian National Science Academy (INSA) Visiting fellowship in 1999.

Dr. N. Kalaiselvi has become the first Woman Director General of which Indian Research Organisation?
A) Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR)
B) Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
C) Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI)
D) Indian Council of Social Science Research