The Government has appointed Dr Shekhar C Mande, the director of the Pune-based National Centre for Cell Science and a top functionary of Vijnana Bharati, a swadeshi science movement affiliated with the RSS, as the Director General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Secretary of the Department of Scientific and Research (DSIR). “The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Dr Shekhar C Mande, Director, National Centre for Cell Science as Director General of CSIR-cum-Secretary DSIR, as per usual terms and conditions,” said an official statement issued. A fellow of all three major science academies, the 56-year-old Dr Mande is a recipient of the coveted SS Bhatnagar Prize, most prestigious science honour in the country, in 2005. Dr Mande, a structural biologist with a doctoral degree from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, has been the director of NCCS since September 2011. He has also been the vice president of Vijnana Bharati, the RSS-affiliated science movement for a while. The position of CSIR DG fell vacant recently with its previous chief Mr Girish Sahni superannuating on August 31. The CSIR, which runs a chain of 38 national research labs, has been in dock for a while with its budget allocation hiked least among scientific department in the current Union budget.