108th Indian Science Congress

108th Indian Science Congress

News Analysis   /   108th Indian Science Congress

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Published on: January 05, 2023

Source: The Times of India

Why in News?

The Prime Minister recently opened the 108th session of the India Science Congress (ISC).

The event’s theme is ‘Science and Technology for Sustainable Development with Women’s Empowerment’.

What are the Highlights of the PM Address?

The significance of female participation:

  1. Growing female participation is a sign of society's and science's advancement.
  2. Today, the nation believes that women should not only be empowered through science, but that women should also be empowered in science.
  3. Over the past eight years, women's involvement in extramural research has doubled.

India’s Achievements:

  • India is now one of the top three countries in the world when it comes to the number of PhD research works and startup ecosystems.
  • The country is now ranked 40th on the Global Innovation Index 2022, up from the 81st rank in 2015.
  • Scientific developments should ultimately make the country Atmanirbhar.

Importance of Science in Today’s World:

The efforts of science can bear fruit only when they go from labs to land.

With 2023 being declared as the International Year of Millets, India’s millets and their use should be further improved with the use of science.

The scientific community should work towards reducing post-harvest losses with the help of biotechnology.

Energy Innovation:

Endorsed the need for the scientific community to focus on working on a National Hydrogen Mission and stressed the need to manufacture critical equipment like electrolysers in India to make it a success.

The National Hydrogen Mission was launched on India’s 75th Independence Day (15th August 2021).

Other Highlights:

  • Stressed on the increasing importance of data gathering and analysis as well as the importance of traditional knowledge alongside modern knowledge.
  • Acknowledged the role of low-cost satellite launch vehicles in the booming space sector in India and pointed to the importance of quantum computing.
  • Stressed the need to focus on futuristic ideas and areas where no work is happening anywhere as well as the importance of keeping Artificial intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) as priorities.

What is the India Science Congress?

About:

  • With a history dating back to 1914, the Science Congress is a one-of-its-kind event in the country.
  • It brings together scientists and researchers not just from the premier institutions and laboratories but also science teachers and professors from colleges and universities.
  • It offers a platform for their interaction with students and the general public on matters related to science.
  • It is a celebration of Indian science that has had an illustrious past, with the who's who of Indian science participating and organizing.
  • The first session of the Indian Science Congress was held in 1914.

Organiser:

Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA).

It is an independent body functioning with the support of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) in the central government.

Decline of Science Congress:

  1. In more recent times, the event has attracted attention for all the wrong reasons:
  2. Lack of serious discussion, the promotion of pseudoscience, outlandish claims by random speakers, and the absence of useful outcomes.
  3. As a result, several top scientists have advocated the discontinuation of the event, or at least withdrawal of government support.
  4. For organising the Science Congress, the government provides an annual grant.
  5. Besides this, the government has no role to play in organising the ISC.
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