Prominent Scientist Mr Vasudev Kalkunte Aatre, former chief of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has been conferred with the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award in India. Aatre, based out of Bengaluru urged scientists not to get bogged down by minor issues. “The issues, regardless of what they are must be perceived as challenges and scientists must be committed to the science that they are working on. They must realise that their work is for India as a nation,” he said. The former Advisor to the Defence Minister, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) is among the top defence scientists in the country along with people like Mr P Rama Rao, who were key in setting newer challenges and goals. Other scientists like Mr Prahalada, Mr D Banerjee and Mr V G Sekaran have all played key roles in the development of DRDO, but they came much later. Born in 1939 at Bangalore, Aatre received BE (Electrical) from University of Mysore in 1961 and ME (Electrical) from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, in 1963, while he completed his PhD (Electrical) by the University of Waterloo, Canada, in 1967. After his PhD, Aatre joined the Technical University of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Canada, and worked till 1980, even as he was a visiting professor at IISc. He joined DRDO at the Naval Physical & Oceanographic Laboratory in 1980 and became its Director in a quick span in 1984.