The Government of India is celebrating “AzadiKaAmritMahotsav” to commemorate the 75th year of independence of progressive India and the glorious history of its people, culture, and achievements. The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi has inaugurated the ‘AzadiKaAmritMahotsav’ by flagging off ‘Dandi March’ from Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad on 12th March 2021. Government Ministries, Departments, Institutions, and many other entities are committed to celebrating the 75th year of India’s independence across the country highlighting the achievements of India in different sectors.
CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication and Policy Research (NIScPR)is organizing three days National Conference (virtually) during 16-18 August 2021 commemorating AzadiKaAmritMahotsav. The theme of this significant conference is “Science and Technology in India: A Historical Introspection with a Contemporary Perspective”. The conference aims to situate the contribution of Indian science and scientists within the freedom movement of India and the post-independence era to build a new India making a global mark during 75 years of independence.
The conference consists of six important sessions focused on building the Infrastructure of Science: Learning from the Past, important transitions in Indian STI, academia-industry linkages and entrepreneurship: from the colonial times to present, growth of science in India, Indian science in the 21st centuryand the new education policy 2020. In addition to these technical sessions, two-panel discussions have also been included in this conference.
One panel discussion is dedicated to the presence of women in science and technology with the theme ‘Women in S&T: Challenges and Opportunities in emerging context’. The second panel discussion will talk about the role of science communication in the development of a rational society. The theme of the second-panel discussion is ‘Science and Society: Some Reflections for Building a New Model for Closer Engagement’.
The Chief Guest of the conference is Padma Vibhushan Dr. RaghunathAnantMashelkar who will inaugurate the event. Dr. Mashelkar is an Indian chemical engineer and the former Director-General of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR). Shri Jayant Sahasrabudhe, National Organizing Secretary, VijnanaBharati will be the Guest of Honour in the inaugural session. Dr. Shekhar C. Mande, present Director-General of CSIR will deliver presidential remarks in the session. Well-known scientists, academicians, educationists, researchers, and science communicators will speak in various sessions of the conference. The target audiences of this conference are students, researchers, academicians, scientists, policymakers, etc.
While talking about the National Conference, Prof. Ranjana Aggarwal, Director, CSIR-NIScPR said “We are aware that India has a rich scientific heritage and in the modern period, our scientists have played a pivotal role in shaping the nation. AzadiKaAmritMahotsav gives us an opportunity to revisit our scientific legacy with the modern development is STI. And CSIR-NIScPR is organizing this National Conference to introspect our S&T heritage with a contemporary perspective.
During the conference, the logo of the CSIR institute NIScPR(National Institute of Science Communication and Policy Research) will also be launched on 16th August 2021. CSIR-NIScPRhas emerged out of the merging of two well recognized CSIR Institutes namely the National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR) and National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS). The broad mandates of the new institute are to promote Science Technology and Innovation policy studies and science communication among diverse stakeholders and act as a bridge at the interface of science, technology, industry, and society which is essential to a robust S&T ecosystem in the country.
The core research activity of the institute is in different areas of the STI ecosystem, in traditional knowledge, developmental challenges identified under sustainable development goals, science-society studies with strong alignment to government policy and programs. CSIR-NIScPRalso publishes 19 journals in different areas of science and technology, along with publishing three popular science magazines(Science Reporter in English, VigyanPragatiin Hindi, and Science Ki Duniyain Urdu) and three R&D newsletters.