The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the 108th Indian Science Congress (ISC) via video conferencing today. The focal theme of this year’s ISC is “Science and Technology for Sustainable Development with Women Empowerment” which will witness discussions on issues of sustainable development, women empowerment and the role of science & technology in achieving this.
The Indian Science Congress Association is one of the main organizations that keep the flame of scientific bent of mind in the nation by conducting the event annually. The Indian Science Congress Association, popularly known as ISCA has been celebrating the essence of being ‘scientific’ since 1914. Such a long period of cherishing the scientific bent among the curious students, do possess immense achievements.
So, let’s have a glimpse of the Achievements of the Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA):
The Indian Science Congress Association has been contributing to the development of Science in general and the National Science Policy, in particular. The Children’s Science Congress, Women’s Science Congress, Farmer-centric Science Congress, Science Exhibition, and Science Communicators’ Meet were organized during the above period. Proceedings of the conference, journals, reports, and other materials were circulated among the participants to popularize science and to create a scientific temper among the people of India.
About 15,000 participants, including Nobel Laureates, Scientists, Intellectuals, Academicians, Policy makers, Researchers, Students, and Delegates from different institutions participated in the 107th Indian Science Congress.
The recommendations of the 14 sectional meetings of the 107th ISC, were circulated to 28 Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) regional chapters. These chapters envisage constructive work for the popularization and advancement of Science throughout the year. The Ministry of Science and Technology has taken several steps for translational science and the promotion of affordable and sustainable innovations.
Some major initiatives in this direction are as follows:
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has established five Technical Research Centers (TRCs) in the existing autonomous institutions of the department to reinforce translational research.
DST has also collaborated with the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) in Impacting Research Innovation and Technology (IMPRINT) Project. The initiative expands the catchment of implementing institutions by adopting a more demand-driven strategy of solution development and incorporates specific externalities of the states of India so as to make end-user translation and technology adoption easier.
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) promotes innovative Research and Development activities in the field of Biotechnology through research institutions, scientific organizations, and universities. The department also promotes translational research through its public sector undertaking Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC). BIRAC has been supporting innovative research & development activities in the area of biotechnology through various programs. The support is provided across all stages of product development including ideation, proof of concept, prototyping, pilot scale development, validation, and product development.
The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is pursuing cutting-edge science and developing technologies, products, and knowledge-based services in diverse areas such as Aerospace, Electronics, and Instrumentation & Strategic Sector; Civil Infrastructure and Engineering; Mining, Minerals, Metals and Materials; Chemicals (including leather) and Petrochemicals; Energy (conventional and non-conventional); Energy Devices; Ecology, Environment, Earth Sciences and Water; Agri, Nutrition & Biotechnology; and Healthcare. Taking further steps to give more emphasis on translational research, CSIR is implementing two types of projects, viz. Fast Track Translational Projects and Mission Mode Projects.
Let’s have a glimpse at the various prominent events of the Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA):
Silver Jubilee: The Silver Jubilee Session of the Science Congress was held at Calcutta in 1938 under the Presidentship of Lord Rutherford of Nelson but due to his sudden death, Sir James Jeans took the chair. It was at this Jubilee Session that the participation of foreign scientists in the session of the Indian Science Congress was first initiated.
Golden Jubilee: The Science Congress celebrated its Golden Jubilee in October 1963 in Delhi with Prof.D.S. Kothari as General President. On this occasion, two special publications were brought out : (1) A Short History of the Indian Science Congress Association and (2) Fifty Years of Science in India (in 12 volumes, each volume containing reviews of the particular branch of science).
Diamond Jubilee: The Diamond Jubilee Session of the Science Congress was held at Chandigarh on January 3-9, 1973, under the Presidentship of Dr.S.Bhagavantam. On this occasion, two special publications were brought out : (1) A Decade (1963-72) Indian Science Congress Association (with life-sketches of General Presidents) and (2) A Decade(1963-72) of Science in India(in section-wise).
Platinum Jubilee: The Indian Science Congress Association celebrated the Seventy-Fifth year of its inception, popularly called otherwise, Platinum Jubilee, in 1988, with Prof.C.N.R.Rao as General President. Keeping this in view, a special brochure, entitled “Indian Science Congress Association-Growth & Activities” was published so as to highlight the programs of the Association over the years. The main programs were: (i) Bringing out a special publication on the occasion of the Platinum Jubilee (ii) Presentation of Plaques to the General Presidents of the Association (iii) Establishment of Platinum Jubilee Lectures to be organized in each section during the annual session of the Science Congress and (iv) Extension of the recent activities of the ISCA and its further diversification to generate scientific temper and popularise science.
Centenary Session: The Indian Science Congress Association celebrated the Hundredth year of its inception on June 2, 2012, and the Centenary Session was held at Kolkata in 2013 under the Presidentship of Dr. Manmohan Singh, Honourable Prime Minister of India.
On this occasion:
Ten Asutosh Mookerjee Fellowships were instituted to honor and encourage senior scientists in India.
The Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2013 was released.
India Postage Stamps were released by the Department of Posts for the centenary celebration.
A special book entitled “The Centenary Session of the Indian Science Congress Nationwide Celebration” was published to present information about the initiatives of the Indian Science Congress Association towards the centenary celebration through its various chapters in India.