Dr Raj S. Singh (Ph.D. FTE)
Indian Co-ordinator, IU-CERI; UK Commonwealth Fellow & Delegation Scientist (Germany)
Sr.Principal Scientist & Professor of AcSIR, Natural Resources & Environmental Management
CSIR-Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research, Dhanbad, Jharkhand, India
Q1. Please share your inspirational journey with us?
I was born in India’s coal capital city Dhanbad, Jharkhand and completed my B.Sc (Hons) from Ranchi University, M.Sc and Ph.D. (Forest Ecology) from Kumaun University, NainTal. I had carried out my research fellow (JRF, SRF) at BHU, Varanasi. I published my first research paper in the most prestigious journal Nature (London), and other high impacted international journals. I was awarded by CSIR-Research Associate and joined as Scientist in environmental division of CSIR-Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research, Dhanbad. Presently I am working as Senior Principal Scientist and Professor of AcSIR, at CSIR-Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research, Dhanbad, India.
I was awarded by Commonwealth Fellowship in 2012 to work in University of Nottingham, UK followed by visiting Scientist to Germany (Max Plank Institute, Fraunhoffer) in 2013. I visited Athen (Greece) to present my technical paper in 1995 and recently visited Barcelona (Spain) for Key Note address on global environmental issues on climate change in Nov. 2019. I was awarded Indo-UK Seminar in 2015 by Royal Society, London and Department of Science and Technology, Govt of India to work on Accelerated Carbonation Technology for Valorization of Industrial Wastes. I am also an Indian Coordinator of Indo-UK Centre of Environmental Research and Innovation in joint collaboration with University of Greenwich, UK. I have credited more than 180 papers in national and international journals, book chapters and proceedings. Further, I have four patents and authored one book published by Wiley blackwell, UK. Recently I was awarded National Geoscience Award 2018 by Govt of India for outstanding research work in environmental conservation and restoration ecology.
Q2. What did attract you towards research instead of any regular job?
My first research paper published in most prestigious science journal of the world, Nature (London) followed by high impacted other journals has attracted the world class researcher’s attention towards me followed by international exposure by deliberations in Restoration Ecology by visiting different top class overseas universities and attended UK House of Parliament meeting on waste recycling. My research work was recognition by Govt of India by awarding National Geoscience Award, worth Rs. 3 lakhs in 2018. All these factors have stimulated to carry out only research work instead of any other regular job.
Q3. What kind of hurdles did you face in your journey?
I faced only hurdles due to purchase procedure to purchase the sophisticated equipment; I could not successfully purchase the desired sophisticated equipment on the basis of low cost. So the high desired ambition could not be fulfilled. Further, lack of appropriate supporting staff to carry out further research was another hurdle.
Q4. What is your role and goal as a Global Goodwill Ambassador?
I am feeling happy to be a GGA ambassador, it connected a lot of good people and experts of different social areas working in different parts of the world for the under privileged people of our society. Further, working for afforestation program for conservation of environment and ecology. Creating opportunity for the under privileged child towards sports and other cultural activities. I am a Secretary of CSIR-CIMFR Staff Club get elected by our institute’s staff to carry out several social works by organizing essay, drawing, painting, debate competitions along with foot ball, cricket, tennis tournaments. We also organize plantation program, Yoga training, Badminton and Lawn tennis training program. I worked as Corona warrior during Covid-19, I along with my team distributed night meals to the under privileged people and the migrants for 55 days in different villages of Dhanbad district.
Q5. You have a great experience as a visiting scientist in various abroad universities. Have you felt any difference between abroad universities comparing with us in research and development segment?
The work culture is entirely different, they have world class available infrastructure to carry out their data analysis with high sophisticated instruments, quality infrastructure (chemicals, glassware’s) and software this helps to give maximum output in short time span. Further, seniors are friendly and co-operative to enjoy the research work along with other extracurricular activities.
Q6. How do you handle stress in this fast and competitive life?
I keep aloof and close my eyes in dark room it gives ample comfort and relaxation to the body and subsequently practicing Yoga and playing lawn tennis in morning hours keep me fit.
However, I am a believer of Every problem is a gift, without problems nobody would grow.
Q7. You had both academic and research experience in your long span of career. Which one do you like most and why?
I love research and teaching, both provides great insight and are complimentary to one another. To carry out new research innovative ideas and knowledge are required that comes from the young research scholars. The findings obtained in research can be communicated to make graduate and post graduate students more understandable and have hand on training to learn and become creative and innovative.
Q8. You have completed more than 50 projects as Principal Investigator. Which one is your most difficult project and why?
The project entitled Bio-reclamation of overburden dumps sponsored by Ministry of Rural Development; Govt of India was the most difficult project. Because I had to carry out plantation program in 100 ha of mine wastelands. The local mine lands were vacant but the mine authority was not providing land because they were planted on paper. Finally the project was completed in different private mine sectors lands.
Q9. Which one thing do you want to change in yourself and why?
I want to transform my research into industry for vaporization of industrial wastes. It will utilize the emitted carbon dioxide from the industries and will be injected to hazardous wastes to transform into building materials. This utilization will make value added products and prevent contamination to land, water, and agricultural soils. To achieve this Indo-UK Centre for Environment and Research and Innovation was created with University of Greenwich, UK. This is because it will help in clean up environmental program of PM’s mission on Swachch Bharat and employment generation for the local people.
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