The government has decided to confer the Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO’s) lifetime achievement award for 2015 on V S Arunachalam, formerly a scientific advisor to the defence minister and the founder chairman of the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy, for his outstanding contribution over several decades in the field of scientific research and technology. DRDO Director Hina Gokhale on Wednesday said in a letter intimating Arunachalam of the award. She wrote: “I congratulate you on the exemplary scientific achievements which have been made possible by a brilliant combination of your scientific Knowledge and unceasing zeal. Such events set examples for others to emulate. My best wishes to you to further your achievements and bring glory to the Nation.” Arunachalam is a distinguished service professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, and an Honorary Professor at the UK’s University of Warwick.
During his tenure as scientific advisor, he served 10 Union defence ministers of India, five of whom were also Prime Ministers. He has made significant contributions to science and has also established institutions and industries for harnessing technology. At DRDO, he initiated India’s major defence projects like the Light Combat Aircraft and the Integrated Guided Missiles programmes. Arunachalam is a member on the advisory and editorial boards of several universities and foundations, including the Materials Research Society Bulletin. He is a recipient of numerous honours and awards, including Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Engineering Sciences and the Padma Vibhushan.