Date of Birth

November 9, 1947

Place of Birth


Educational Qualifications
  • M.B.B.S

  • M.D. Pediatrics

  • D. Sc. (Honorary)

  • Fellow, Indian National Science Academy (FNA)

  • Fellow, Academy of Sciences (F.A.Sc)

  • Fellow, Academy of Medical Sciences (F.A.M.S.)

Office Address

Department of Biotechnology,
Block-2, 7 th Floor C.G.O. Complex,
Lodi Road, New Delhi—110 003


(91) 11-24362950, 24362881


(91) 11-24360747, 24362884




Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, New Delhi.

  • Developed rotavirus vaccine based on neonatal strain. Rotavirus is the major cause of  diarrheal  death in Indian children. The vaccine is under clinical evaluation in India through an NIH grant. 

  • Identification of G9 as an important serotype in childhood diarrhea. This report lead to incorporation of this serotype in the Candidate Rotavirus Vaccines.

  • Developed low osmolarity oral rehydration solution which has been introduced recently in the Diarrheal Disease Control Program by the World Health Organization and by the Government of India.  This was released to the nation by Minister of Health in May, 2004.

  • Identified zinc deficiency in children as a major public health problem affecting 30-40% children and defined its biological and health impact; showed that correction of zinc deficiency is a major strategy for prevention of diarrhea and pneumonia in children.  Currently, efforts are underway to fortify food with zinc.

  • Developed  zinc as a new treatment for childhood diarrhea; introduced by WHO as a global recommendation.

  • Identified for the first time, a new pathogen Enteroaggregative E coli to be a cause of persistent diarrhea.  Developed treatment for this disorder now used in all developing countries; programme following endorsement by WHO.

  • Developed together with others, a simplified treatment approach, which has been introduced in many developed countries by the World Health Organization, avoiding need for expensive, imported intravenous and enteral nutrient formulations. Pediatricians all over India and other developing countries use these treatment approaches.

  • Demonstrated safety and efficacy of exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months rather than 4 months for the first time in a developing country including in the low birth weight.  This lead to a global recommendation for mandatory 6 months exclusive breastfeeding.

  • Awarded the "Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award" , 1990, for medical sciences, the highest Scientific Award for those below 45 years of age, in Indian Sciences.

  • Awarded the National Ranbaxy Award , 1990, for Medical Sciences.

  • Awarded the ST Achar Gold Medal of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics , 1984, for the best original research.

  • Awarded the S.S. Mishra Award of the National Academy of Medical Sciences , 1986, for the best unpublished research.

  • Awarded Biotech Product and Process Development and Commercialization Award , 2003 on the National Technology Day by Ministry of Science and Technology

  • Recipient of Pollins Foundation Research Award for US 100,000 (Year 2003)


Played a leadership role in promoting primary health care for children in rural India during last two decades.  His main endeavour has been to bring fruits of science and technology to national programs for children. Provided advocacy and leadership to many programs in India including promotion of oral rehydration therapy, micronutrient supplementation, introduction of new vaccines and greater coverage with existing ones.  The IMNCI integrated programme developed under his Chairmanship is being introduced in the reproductive child health programme of Government of India.  This strategy will play a key role in reducing infant mortality in India.   Provided leadership to the National Diarrheal Disease Control programme which has resulted in reducing diarrheal death from nearly 1.2 million per year to 600,000 per year.   He has trained thousands of primary health worker and doctors in oral rehydration.  Created an operational strategy for micro nutrient supplementation in India.   He has been  a cementing force in bringing stakeholders together for the cause of child health in India.

  • Chairman, WHO Task Force on child health research.

  • Member, Board of Directors, International Vaccine Institute, Korea (current).

  • Chairman, National Task Force on  micronutrient policy (current).

  • Member, Technical Advisory Group, World Health Organization (current).

  • Member, NIH Task Force on Rotavirus Vaccines (current).

  • Chairman, Maternal and Child Health Research, Indian Council of Medical Research (current)

  • Chairman, Scientific Advisory Committee, National Institute of Nutrition, India (current)

  • Member of the Jury for nearly all major national science awards in India such as Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award, Birla Science Award and Ranbaxy National Award (current)

  • Member, Science and Engineering Research Council, Department of Science and Technology, India (current).

  • Member, Medical Biotechnology Board, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.

  • Member, Technical Advisory Group, Child and Adolescent Health Division, World Health Organization, Geneva (current)

  • Chairman, National Adaptation Committee, Integrated Management of Child Health, India (current)

  • Member, Scientific Advisory Committee, Indian Council of Medical Research (current)

  • Member, Advisory Group for Promotion of Training and Education in Science in the University System, Government of India (current)

  • Advisor to the Drug Regulatory Authority of India (current)

  • Member, Scientific Advisory Committee, National Institute of Enteric Diseases and Cholera, India (current)

  • Member, Program Advisory Committee on Medical Biology, Department of Science and Technology, India (current)

  • Member, Immunization Advisory Board, Government of India.

  • Member, Scientific Advisory Committee, Tuberculosis Research Centre, India (current)

  • Member, Scientific Advisory Committee, National Institute of Epidemiology, India (current)

  • Chairman, Committee for Preparation of Strategy for Promotion of neonatal health in South East Asia, SEARO.

  • Member of Scientific Advisory Council, International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, Dhaka, 1991-92.

  • Member, European Community Research Council for Asia, 1995-1997

  • Chairman, Scientific Working Group on Clinical Diarrheal Disease Research, CDD, WHO, Geneva, 1989-1990.

  • Member, International Review Board, International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, 1989.

  • Member of numerous Advisory Committees, World Health Organization (Geneva), Department of Science and Technology (India), Indian Council of Medical Research, Ministry of Health, Government of India, Center for Scientific and Industrial Research, UNICEF, European Union and others in the past


He has attracted over 10 million dollars worth of independent competitive research grant, international and national as principal investigator from NIH USA), World Health Organization (Geneva), NUFU (Norway), European Commission and research agencies in India. Currently he has a R01 grant from NIH and several grants from World Health Organization.

  • Total international and national publications: 190

  • Chapters in books: 7

  • Guidelines for national programmes: 4