Our Chief guest, Dr. V. K. Saraswat is a man who is no stranger to the realm of missiles and propulsion systems. His notable achievements include being the key factor in the development of the Prithvi, Dhanush and Prahaar missile systems and its introduction to the Indian Armed Forces. He was also instrumental in the development and introduction of a number of missile technologies critical to equipping our nation resulting in attaining self-reliance in missile technologies. Formerly serving as the Director General of the DRDO, he is currently a member of the Planning commission of India (NITI ayog) and the Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi.
Dr. V. K. Saraswat’s biography is one exemplary testimony of reaching great heights from humble beginnings. Born to a Brahmin family hailing from Gwalior, his bachelors in Engineering was completed in Madhav Institute of Technology and Science, he graduated his masters at IISc, Bangalore and earned his doctorate in Propulsion Engineering from Osmania University.
Some of the honors heaped to his name including being a fellow of National Academy of Engineering, Aeronautical Society of India, Astronautical Society of India, and Institution of Engineers. He is a member of governing council of SAMEER and member of Board of Research of AICTE, CSIR labs, and board of studies of Osmania University. He is the Chairman, Combustion Institute (Indian Section), and the Aeronautical Society of India (Hyderabad Branch).
Laurels and awards heaped to his name are also no less spectacular with a few of the highest civilian honors awarded to exceptional citizens of the Nation. To begin with, he was the recipient of “Scientist of the Year” award by DRDO in 1987, the Padma Shri in 1998, the Aryabhata award in 2011 and the Padma Bhushan in 2013. Apart from these, he has also received honorary doctorates from three separate universities namely Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat, SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai and Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad. In addition, he has also received various performance excellence awards from DRDO and the Aeronautical Society.
Till recently, Dr. Saraswat was DAE Homi Bhabha Chair and initiated development of technologies for Energy Security namely Bio-Mass, Solid Waste Management, Fuel Cells, Concentrated Solar Power, Multi-Junction Photovoltaic Cells, Clean Coal Technologies etc., in the country at various Industrial and Academic Institutions in addition to bring new dimensions to Aerospace Manufacturing.
Dr. Saraswat's pioneering efforts have taken shape into establishment of Research & Innovation Centre at IIT Madras; MILIT- Centre for Training needs of armed forces on S&T ; CERT for reporting, auditing and handling emergency response of Information Security Incidents; CHESS - futuristic technology Centre for High Energy Laser and Microwave devices; Kyrgyz-Indian Mountain Bio-Medical Research Centre at Kyrgyzstan; The new international airport and Aerospace SEZ at Hyderabad and Advanced Combustion Research Centers at IISc and IIT(M).
We take immense pleasure in honoring him as the chief guest of SRMIST’s Convocation 2018.