Dr Thirumalachari Ramasami Former Secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Science of Technology, is a technologist-turned-scientist and a scientist-turned-civil servant. He holds Master’s degree in Leather Technology from the University of Madras and Doctoral degree in Chemistry from the University of Leeds UK. His research interests span wide range of topics and contributions are in diverse areas of sciences. He has published more than 250 scientific papers, filed over 50 patents and developed 12 process know-hows. Several technologies developed by his group are in extensive commercial use in the country. Two of his technologies that used the understanding of metal – ligand interactions, viz., the Alutan and Alcrotan were first of its kind in the world and it established the indigenous effort of India in leather auxiliaries.

His leadership of CSIR-Central Leather Research Institute gained for the institute global leadership in leather research and his contributions in strengthening Academy-Research and Industry partnerships in Leather sector are well known. His leadership to CLRI in a moment of crisis helped to save 250000 jobs, Rs. 6000 crores annual turn-over and Rs. 3500 crores of annual export. He is credited with the mass effort by over 900 tanneries of Tamil Nadu going green in just about 18 months.

He was one of the longest serving Secretaries in the Government of India. During his period as Secretary, Department of Science and Technology introduced several new programmes and mechanisms for R&D funding and many novel schemes. INSPIRE, which has emerged as the game changer in attraction of talent to science, PURSE focused on rejuvenation of Research in Indian Universities and establishment of Science and Engineering Research Board aimed at De-bureaucratization of R&D funding are indicators of the directional changes in Science landscape of India with which he was closely associated. He was a major contributor to the formulation of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2013 of India.

Among his numerous honors, Dr Ramasami was awarded the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for chemical sciences in 1993, Padma Sri in 2001 and Padma Bhushan in 2014. He is an elected Fellow of Indian National Science Academy, Indian Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Sciences of India, Indian National Academy of Engineers and The World Academy of Sciences. He is currently a Member of ABEO, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and Honorary Professor in IISER Mohali and Kolkata. He is currently Nayudamma Abdul Wahid Chair Professorship at the Department of Leather Technology, Anna University, where he teaches the UG and PG students the fundamentals of leather science.