Dr. Gopalakrishna Thyagarajan

Many Directors of Central Leather Research Institute, Madras had contributed to the development of research activities in CLRI. But the credit for looking beyond R & D and into well-being of its staff providing them with many creature comforts, congenial atmosphere, giving the institute a facelift and in fact brightening the overall image of CLRI should go to Dr. G. Thyagarajan. It may be said that these steps were possible due to his dynamic personality and his standing with CSIR. Still it should not be forgotten that he has raised the prestige of CLRI in the eyes of our own people and foreign visitors.

The full impact of this can be appreciated by those who are familiar with the pre-Thyagarajan administration and post-Thyagarajan administration.

Immediately after he had taken charge as director of CLRI he realised that scientists should also have a taste of luxury their colleagues in other national laboratories are enjoying. He felt that CLRI with its highly qualified scientists and ideal setting, should also branch out into other areas of research too. During his time many conferences organised by Indian and world bodies were held in CLRI on highly technical subjects. He had added a most modern auditorium and obtained many sophisticated machines and equipment’s for the benefit of leather goods manufacturers. Footwear Technology is given special attention.

Dr. Thyagarajan initiated many surveys some of which are considered as mother surveys for many branches of the industry. Like Dr. Nayudamma who returned to CLRI after acting as the Director General of CSIR, Dr. Thyagarajan has the distinction of acting as the Adviser to the Secretary, Commonwealth Science Council and Science Adviser to the Secretary General, Commonwealth Secretariat, U.K. After completing the term and also an extension, he returned to CLRI to pick up the links again.

Dr. G. Thyagarajan, M.Sc., Ph.D., F.R.S.C., F.I.C., is senior most of the 41 directors of CSIR since 1985. He is a specialist in Chemistry and Chemical industry with over 30 years of professional experience. Dr. Thyagarajan was selected from out of about 50 commonwealth countries to the coveted position of science adviser to the Commonwealth Science Council, London. He has received many awards and has over 75 publications in national and international scientific journals.

Perhaps he spends more time in the air than on the ground as he travels frequently and widely attending conferences, meetings and fulfilling engagements. His table us clean and not cluttered with files or papers. He is known to take on-the-spot decisions. Efficiency, quick decisions, correct assessment, excellent public relations, aristocratic thinking and introducing ‘Class’ in his actions are some of his qualities which endear him to one and all.

Dr. Thyagarajan retired from CLRI in February 1994.