NEWS & EVENTS
CENTENARY SESSION OF INDIAN SCIENCE CONGRESS, 3-7 JANUARY, 2013, KOLKATA
Annual Session of Indian Science Congress has emerged as a major national event. The centenary session scheduled for 3rd – 7th January, 2013 gains historical importance in more than one way. Whereas the themes for all the sessions up the period of 2003 since the first session in 1914 could be grouped under ‘Shaping of the Indian Science’, the theme selected for the centenary session is “Science for shaping the future of India”.
Science has remained a human activity for the formulation of knowledge. The generation of new body of knowledge continues to be the important preoccupation of scientists. In the real world, the deployment of formulated knowledge for solving social problems has been gaining equal importance. It is widely accepted that the future generations would rely on the power of scientific knowledge to solve problems of food and nutrition security, affordable health care challenges, energy and environment related problems,water and sanitation related challenges, etc. Science, Technology and Innovation are emerging three pillars from which future societies could not only benefit but also rely for solving social challenges.
Support from the political will for Indian science since independence has always been total. Investments into science have increased in absolute quantum significantly during the 21st century, although the commitment to increase the Gross Expenditure on Research and Development to 2% of the Gross Domestic Product still remains a target than reality. Realization of a national target would demand significant increases of private sector engagement into Research and Development. A new policy environment for making research and development attractive for investment by all share holders of science seems the need of the hour.
Science should emerge as a building block for the future of India. The manner in which the new Science, Technology and Innovation policy 2013 could be mplemented would form the central theme of the annual session. A road map for investing science into the development process of India is the main topic for discussion. Various economic sectors like agriculture, housing, energy, environment, health care, water, home land security, communication etc may require new scientific knowledge for shaping their future. The centenary session is expected to serve as a platform for creating coalition among all stake holders of science and society to pave a new path of progress for the country in the emerging global knowledge economy.
There are predictions that India would emerge as a major economy within the next twenty years. The centenary session of the Indian Science Congress proposes to engage the attention of the scientific community to discuss, debate and deliberate the best next ways of harnessing science for shaping the future of India. All local chapters of the Indian Science Congress Association and many State Science and Technology Councils are currently engaged in the discussion on the theme of centenary session. Major recommendations emanating from the discussions would be presented at the annual session at Kolkata.
International experts and leaders of many science academies are expected to participate in the centenary session at Kolkata. Plenary, invited and theme lectures would generally focus on the theme science for shaping the future of India. In Democratization of development choices, science could play a critical tool. Faster, sustainable and inclusive development priority of the country demands all sectors of growth including science find special ways for dealing with the special challenges of India in dealing with the diversity and dimensionality.
India has followed an evolutionary path of change. Several parts of the world are adopting revolutionary paths of progress. In the competitive world nation states are needed to keep pace with the rates of change elsewhere. If India were to emerge and sustain the leadership, science, technology and innovation should necessarily play a defining role. The focal theme selected for the centenary session of the Indian Science Congress is not just a subject for discussion but a fore-runner for paving actions and move of the largest democracy of the world.
Sessions should be action packed. Actions for implementing policy 2013 would need to be identified and shaped. The session should aim at galvanizing the scientific machinery to deliver new values to the country through science. International cooperation and inter connections among the research competencies and resources would need to form tools for new modes of connecting research and development to economic development processes. The lofty goal of the entenary session of the Indian Science Congress during 3rd -7th January 2013 is to make many good things happen in the country through science for shaping the future of India.