Late Dr V S Arunachalam

Founder-Chairman of CSTEP

Dr V S Arunachalam was the Founder and Chairman of the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP). His distinguished career spanned across Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, National Aeronautical Laboratory, and Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory. Dr Arunachalam worked as Secretary, Department of Defence Research and Development (Ministry of Defence, Government of India). He was also the Director General of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and served as the Scientific Adviser to Raksha Mantri, Government of India, from 1982 to 1992.


He was conferred the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Vibhushan for his contributions to engineering, science, and technology. He was a Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy, the Indian Academy of Sciences, and the Indian National Academy of Engineering. Along with being the first Indian Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK), he was a Distinguished Service Professor (Engineering and Public Policy) at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh.


In 2005, he founded CSTEP, a not-for-profit think-tank, with a mission to enrich policymaking with innovative approaches using science and technology for a sustainable, secure, and inclusive society.


In 2015, he was awarded DRDO's Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to the field of scientific research and technology. It was under his guidance that the Light Combat Aircraft programme (TEJAS) and the Integrated Guided Missile Programme amongst others were initiated. Throughout his life, he championed the notion of “Atma Nirbhar Bharat”.