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It was a great event for DRDO when Dr A Sivathanu Pillai, Dr Kota Harinarayana and Shri Amitav Mallik, were conferred with Padma Shri on 23 March 2002 by Dr KR Narayanan, President of India. Following are the highlights of their contributions towards advancement of Defence Science in India.

Dr A Sivathanu PillaiDr A Sivathanu Pillai, Distinguished Scientist & Chief Controller R&D was born in 1947. He obtained BE (Electrical) from Madras University in 1969 and received PhD in Technology Management in 1996 from University of Poona. He attended the Programme for Management Development at Harvard Business School, USA in  1991. He joined ISRO at the Space Science and Technology Centre, Thiruvanathapuram in 1969 where he worked in the area of systems engineering of launch vehicles. He assisted Dr Vikram Sarabhai in the evolution of ten year profile for space missions and was a core team member of SLV -3 project under the leadership of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Project Director, SLV-3. He also worked as a Senior Scientist in Aerospace Design and Dynamics Group at VSSC and later Technical Adviser to Prof Satish Dhawan for Launch Vehicles at ISRO HQrs. Development of four types of rocket motors for SLV-3 and the rocket systems, the evolution of PSLV configuration and possible options for GSLV, and direction for future ISRO launch vehicles for new missions have been his major contributions to the Indian Space Programme.

Dr Pillai joined DRDO in 1986 at the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad, as Director, Planning and Programme Analysis in the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). He became Programme Director; IGMDP in August 1992 and assumed additional responsibility as Associate Director, DRDL in October 1994. He was appointed Chief Controller R&D, DRDO HQrs, New Delhi in 1996 and was elevated to Distinguished Scientist from September 1999. As CC R&D, currently he is responsible for missile laboratories for all missile projects, ranges, naval systems and certain international collaborations. He played a key role in conceiving and shaping the Indo-Russian JV Company BrahMos and is presently its Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director.

Dr Pillai has published and presented several papers in international and national journals and symposia. He is a Visiting Professor (Technology Management) at Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad. He is the recipient of the DRDO Scientist of the Year Award-1988, and the Dr Vikram Sarabhai Research Award in Systems Analysis-1991. He is a member of the IEEE and Astronautical Society of India.

Dr Kota HarinarayanaDr Kota Harinarayana, Distinguished Scientist & Programme Director, LCA was born in Berhampur in 1943, graduated from BHU in Mechanical Engineering, and obtained graduation in Aero-Engineering from IISc, Bangalore. He did his PhD at lIT, Mumbai, and holds Bachelors degree in Law.

Dr Harinarayana started his career in 1967 at HAL and was at DRDO HQrs, during 1970-1982. He re-joined HAL in 1982 as Chief Designer, Nasik Division and was deputed to DRDO in 1985 as Director, ADE, Bangalore. He was appointed as Programme Director, LCA in December 1985 and was concurrently holding the post of Director, ADE till June 1986. During 1995 he was elevated to Distinguished Scientist by DRDO.

Dr Harinarayana played a key role in life extension and determination of components of MiG 21 aircraft, and indigenisation of components, spares, consumables of aircraft during his tenure as Chief Resident Engineer, Nasik. New Aerodynamic Device Vortex Plate was flight-tested on a MiG 21 aircraft for the first time in the world. Under his guidance as Programme Director and Chief Designer of LCA, he successfully directed the project leading to flight testing and clearance for limited series production.

Dr Harinarayana is President, Aeronautical Society of India; Chairman, Technical Committee of ARDB; Fellow, Aeronautical Society of India and Indian Academy of Engineering. He received distinguished alumnus award from Aerospace Department, IISc, Bangalore in 1993 and from lIT, Mumbai in 1995. He is recipient of the National Aeronautics Prize, FIE Foundation Award-1996 and SBI-Pragna Puraskar-2001.

Amitav MallikShri Amitav Mallik, Director, Laser Science & Technology Centre (LASTEC), Delhi, born in 1942 at Pune, did the Masters in Electronics from Nagpur University in 1966 and joined DRDO as a Research Scientist in the same year .

Shri Mallik has the distinction of being the first in the country to indigenously develop High Power He-Ne Laser in 1974 while working at the Solid State Physics Laboratory (sspl), Delhi. During 1975-1985, Shri Mallik was involved in research and teaching at the Institute of Armament Technology (IAT), Pune, as Professor of Electronics; and in 1985 he moved to Defence Science Centre, (DScC) Delhi, and laid the foundation for High Power Laser (HPL) work in the country. In 1988 he was appointed the first Adviser, Defence Technology at the Embassy of India, Washington. Shri Mallik was engaged in enhancing the self-reliance in Defence Programme of MOD as the Member Secretary, Self Reliance Implementation Committee (SRIC) and then returned to DScC in July 1996 as the Director. During this period LASTEC has earned the unique distinction of producing a number of path breaking results in the important field of HPL as well as achieving high degree of self-reliance in laser technology. Recently, major milestones in HPL technology were achieved to signal India's entry into this strategically important technology .

Shri Mallik has authored over 50 technical papers and reports and has over 100 analysis papers to his credit on technology and strategic issues for DRDO/MoD. He is a Fellow, IETE-India and Life Member, Optical Society of India and Indian Laser Association.