Eminent nuclear scientist Anil Kakodkar, who played a crucial role in the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, stepped down as the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) today.
Dr. Kakodkar gave his distinguished services to the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) for 45 years and also served as DAE Secretary on superannuation.
He played a significant role in the Indo-US and other inter-governmental civil nuclear cooperation agreements with great negotiation skills.
Easily approachable, Dr. Kakodkar holds the distinction of getting an extension as AEC chairman three times and held the post for nine years.
He is the first chairman who initiated talks about modification of the Atomic Energy Act to bring in Indian private players in the energy sector.
A son of a freedom fighter, the 66-year-old nuclear scientist always believed in self-reliance, considering import option only as an additional, and stood firm when the US was trying to move away from their stand on re-processing of spent fuel from the imported reactors in 2005-06.
He was successful in getting the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) waiver for India to carry out nuclear commerce, integrating the country into the global nuclear market.