Sunday, December 6, 2009

Updates on the Shiva Ayyadurai episode

The Shiva Ayyadurai episode is getting murkier with two Scientists from CSIR alleging that Shiva had asked them to form companies with him and his Venture fund, rather than with CSIR-Tech which he headed while in CSIR.

Uno CSIR investigates the background of the Scientists.
Dr Sridhar Sivasubbu and Dr Vinod Scaria are Scientists at the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) , a CSIR Institute at Delhi specialising in Genomics. The scientists had recently put India on the Genomics map by completing the Genome squence of the wild-type strain of Zebrafish. Dr Shridhar is a zebrafish Biologists with many credits to his name including teh discovery of zebrafish mutants mimicking nicotine addiction. In addition Dr Vinod Scaria is an MBBS Doctor, turned Computational Biologist, who has his unique set of skills. His lab webpage mentions his discovery of microRNAs as anti-HIV agents and a unique set of DNA enzymes which can cleave small RNAs. Both of them have published extensively well n the past few years, and in that way not a pair of frustrated guys who are looking for some or the other way to vent out their frustration.

Now that with that background, they seem to have posted a Blog on Nature Network on their interaction with Shiva Ayyadurai when he was in CSIR. Incidentally both blogs have vanished fro the Nature website today morning, but are archived on a so-called Shiva Ayyadurai Fan Club

Here are the excerpts of the Blog

from Sridhar's Blog
Couple of days later I got a call from him requesting for an immediate meeting. During this meeting his sole objective was to impress me to walk away from CSIR Tech and start a joint company with him and his VCs.
From Vinod's Blog

In office he unveiled his entire gameplan, where he said he wanted almost 15% or more of stakes of any startup company as the person who brought in the business, and also offered us to start it outside CSIR -Tech through his Chennai based Millenium Productions, who would manage the entire operations underground. We just freaked out, as in our entire tenure in CSIR, both myself nor my colleague have come across an individual, occupying a senior position who had the guts or intention to do this in a government office (speaks lot of the ethics he carries) .He was so bombastic about his skills in running companies and he was competent to run the company. We felt this was a complete dereliction of duty as the head CSIR-Tech and also informed appropriate officials on this.

You can also see the debate on this exposure on nanopolitan
this 'commentary' is something that appeared in the Nature India website -- which is distinct from Nature, the science journal. To claim that it's a commentary that appeared in Nature (within a couple of days after it appeared at Nature India) says something about the man who has cried 'unprofessional' at every bloody opportunity.

If the allegations are true, it virtually tears apart Shiva Ayyadurai's self proclaimed martyrdom. He has so far painted a picture as a whistle blower and at the receiving end of this entire scam, but now it turns out that the DG CSIR has done just the right thing by sacking him summarily.

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