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A dangerous optimist, Mashelkar is uniquely multifaceted. In 1998, this scientist received J.R.D. Tata Corporate Leadership Award, an exclusive honor reserved for Indian Corporates. In 1998, he was also elected Fellow of Royal Society, the topmost honor reserved for the world’s pathbreaking scientists.
Mashelkar valiantly fought and revoked the wrong US patents on turmeric and Basmati rice based on India’s traditional knowledge. But to US multinationals, he licensed patents based on modern knowledge of Indian laboratories, pioneering the trend of reverse transfer of technology.
He is a Director on boards of India’s leading companies, from Tatas to Reliance. 42 global universities have bestowed honorary doctorates upon him. The Government’s trust in him shows through the twelve high-powered Mashelkar Committees, many of them on contentious issues.
As its leader, Mashelkar transformed CSIR, the world’s largest chain of laboratories-heralded as one of the top ten achievements of Indian Science & Technology in the 20th century. He has received Padmavibhushan at the hands of President of India and Star of Asia at the hands of George Bush (Sr), former US President.