CSIR-Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CSIR-CECRI), Karaikudi, celebrated its 74th Foundation Day with a festive fervour on 25 July 2021. In view of the prevailing pandemic, the event was organised virtually. In her welcome address, Dr (Mrs) V. Saraswathy, senior-most Chief Scientist of CSIR-CECRI, flipped through the pages of history on the genesis of this unique institute devoted solely to Electrochemistry. She also called upon the CSIR-CECRI family to proudly remember the great achievements of the past and to confidently look forward to facing the pressing challenges ahead in science and technology.
Dr (Mrs) N. Kalaiselvi, Director, CSIR-CECRI, in her detailed introductory remarks, recalled the vital contributions of CSIR-CECRI in all relevant areas of research of CSIR and the crowning glory of CSIR-CECRI being designated the Nodal Lab and its Director as the Nodal Theme Director for the Energy Theme of CSIR. She explained the significant R&D activities being carried out in CSIR-CECRI under six verticals, viz. Corrosion and Material Protection, Electrochemical Power Sources, Electroplating and Metal Finishing, Electrodics and Electrocatalysis, Electrochemical Process Engineering and Electro-organic & Materials Electrochemistry. With great excitement, she added that CECRI is marching towards the Platinum Jubilee celebrations – CSIR-CECRI@75 in 2022 with a special focus on fine-tuning technological developments and transfer to the needy industries.
Dr Shekhar C. Mande, Director-General, CSIR and Secretary, DSIR, New Delhi, in his presidential address, highlighted the major role played by CSIR-CECRI in shaping the electrochemical technology landscape especially the crucial role in the strategic sector. He fondly recollected his conversations with a stalwart of ISRO Dr Kasturirangan, regarding his frequent trips from Bangalore to Karaikudi to seek technical interventions and solve critical issues in their space missions. As India ushers into a new era of alternative energy sources, CSIR-CECRI has an indispensable part to perform and flourish, he said. He also urged CECRI to set a target for the future of goals, especially on renewable energy.
Rear Admiral Shri Sanjay Datt, ACOM (IT&S), Indian Navy, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and delivered the Foundation Day Lecture. In his captivating address, he spoke about the successful collaboration between the Indian Navy and CSIR citing various success stories especially the pact with CSIR-CECRI on corrosion protection of vessels, combat worthiness of warfare equipment, alternate power sources for propulsion, etc. Electrochemical science and technology impacts every facet of our everyday life and holds high relevance in offensive and defensive sectors, he remarked. He also emphasised that self-reliance is an important stepping stone for success and a critical contributor to nation-building thereby realising Aatmanirbhar Bharat. He called for more collaborative efforts in this direction with CSIR-CECRI, especially on power sources, corrosion mitigation and electroplating technologies for submarines. He also commended that “the history of CECRI is the history of electrochemistry in India”.
Er R. Madhan, Director, Indo-German Science and Technology Centre, Gurugram, graced the occasion as a Guest of Honour and showcased the salient achievements in collaborative projects between IGSTC and CSIR. He also made an interesting and informative presentation on constraints and opportunities in marine robotics. He explained the challenges associated with marine robots in communication, navigation and energy. He urged scientists to develop viable technology for indigenous source of energy for deep-sea exploration in the pressurised environment.
The event concluded with a vote of thanks by Shri. C. Shyam Sunder, Administrative Officer, CSIR-CECRI.