Eminent Atmospheric Scientist Dr Akhilesh Gupta Takes Over As SERB Secretary
Dr Akhilesh Gupta is known for his excellent work in weather forecasting, climate change, and science policy areas.
The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) has got a new Secretary in Dr Akhilesh Gupta.
Dr Gupta will fulfill his new role in addition to his existing role of Senior Adviser to the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.
The scientist took over on 8 October from Professor Sandeep Verma, whose extended term as SERB Secretary ended on 7 October.
Verma, who is a Professor of Chemistry at IIT Kanpur, began his term on 8 April 2019. He signed off three and a half years later with a tweet, saying "It was a privilege to serve the finest R&D funding agency and to create opportunities for our researchers."
"Equity, inclusion and diversity was our mantra," he said.
SERB came into being through an Act of Parliament — the Science and Engineering Research Board Act, 2008.
The statutory body's mandate is to support basic research in the emerging areas of science and engineering. It is India's premier national research funding agency.
Its new Secretary, Dr Gupta, is known for his excellent work in weather forecasting, climate change, and science policy areas.
Dr Gupta obtained his Master's degree in physics from Lucknow University (1984).
He joined the India Meteorological Department thereafter (1985) and later the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (1994).
He then went on to get his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in atmospheric sciences from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi (1999).
Dr Gupta's advisory role at the DST concerns policy coordination and programme management.
He is in charge overall of five national missions related to interdisciplinary cyber physical systems, quantum technology and applications, supercomputing, climate change, and the Himalayan ecosystem.
He is an author of over 200 research publications, over 350 articles, and nearly a thousand reports. He is also the editor of five books.
Dr Gupta's research areas of interest include tropical cyclone prediction, monsoon meteorology, and weather and climate modelling, in addition to science, technology, and innovation (STI) policy areas like open science, equity and inclusion, and STI financing.
He was an author of India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) and the head of the Secretariat which drafted India’s new, under-review STI policy.
"U will be missed," Dr Gupta tweeted to outgoing SERB secretary, Professor Verma, after taking over.
"Undoubtedly u made exceptional contributions to @serbonline. U initiated several new schemes like, SUPRA, FIRE, EMEQ, SRG, SERB-POWER, MATRICS, SERB-SURE, to name a few," he added.
Verma, a Swarnajayanti Fellow and Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize awardee, leaves behind an excellent legacy of leadership, change, and contribution, "helping Indian science and scientists in so many ways," as IIT Kanpur's Professor Amitabha Bandyopadhyay said on Twitter.
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