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Bhargava, Pushpa Mittra, 1928-2017
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22/02/1928 – 01/08/2017
Pushpa Mittra Bhargava (22 February 1928 – 1 August 2017) was an Indian scientist, writer, and administrator. He founded the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, a federally funded research institute in Hyderabad. He was outspoken and highly influential in the promotion of scientific temper in India.
After completing his Ph.D. at Lucknow University, Bhargava moved to Hyderabad. From 1949 to 1958 he worked at Lucknow University, Osmania University, Hyderabad, the Central Laboratories for Scientific and Industrial Research, Hyderabad, the McArdle Memorial Laboratory of Cancer Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, and the National Institute of Medical Research in London, United Kingdom. In 1958, he joined the Central Laboratories for Scientific and Industrial Research which by then had been taken over by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and named the Regional Research Laboratory (now known as the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology).
In 1977, Bhargava set up the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and served as its Director until 1990. He retired from the directorship of CCMB to join the CSIR Distinguished Fellowship from 1990 to 1993. He ran his own consultancy, Anveshna, after 1993. During his career, he published more than 125 works in scientific journals and books.
Bhargava was deeply involved in discussions on Indian government policies. He served as Vice-Chairman of the National Knowledge Commission, as Chairman of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) committee on DNA fingerprinting, and as a member of the first Scientific Advisory Council of the Department of Biotechnology. Bhargava was committed to promoting science and rationality and opposing superstition. He was closely involved with the Association of Scientific Workers of India (ASWI) which was established as a trade union of scientists. Bhargava received the Padma Bhushan from the President of India in 1986.
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