Mr S.K. Jain, Chairman and Managing Director, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), will lay down office on Thursday, May 31, after serving the atomic energy sector for 42 years. Mr Jain took over as CMD of NPCIL on January 3, 2004.
Mr Jain’s tryst with nuclear science began in 1969 when, soon after completing graduation in Mechanical Engineering from Jiwaji University, Gwalior, he acquired a post-graduation qualification in Nuclear Engineering from BARC Training School.
Immediately after, he joined Atomic Energy Canada Ltd, the joint venture that was putting up the country’s first heavy water reactors. Since then, he served India’s atomic energy field “resisting several tempting offers” from elsewhere.
During Mr Jain’s tenure as the CMD, six nuclear reactors were commissioned, eight more modernised. He was involved in the negotiations with the Russians for the Kudankulam project and the Americans for the “1 2 3 Agreement”, which effectively ended India being treated as a nuclear untouchable.
Negotiations apart, Mr Jain had to face several challenges during his tenure. These included taking the country out of the fuel shortage situation that occurred a few years back, precipitated by several new plants coming up, existing plants operating at a higher capacity and the inability of the nuclear establishment to open new uranium mines (due to protests).
Mr Jain also names countering the Kudankulam protests among the major challenges he faced during his Chairmanship of NPCIL