National Academy of Sciences, India

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The National Academy of Sciences, India (Hindi: राष्ट्रीय विज्ञान अकादमी, भारत; established 1930) is the oldest Science Academy in India. It is located in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. The main objective of the Academy was to provide a national forum for the publication of research work carried out by Indian scientists and to provide opportunities for exchange of views among them.

A Brief History and Activities of the Academy[edit]

India could Justly feel proud for its unique contributions to science in the ancient past. However, successive foreign invasions and alien rule for centuries pushed science in the background and the country went through with what may be described as the dark age for science. Western science attracted Indian intelligentsia after the establishment of the western system of education and the universities; and despite many constraints, the country could produce giants like Sir J.C. Bose & Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray.

The 1st world war and the world-wide economic depression caused a setback to scientific research globally - much more so in India whose scientists found it difficult even to publish their research work since they had to be almost entirely dependent on foreign journals. The post world war India also saw the rise of the freedom movement which incidentally also drew attention to the numerous problems of the Indian populace like poverty, hunger, diseases, recurrent floods, droughts, famines etc. Patriotic scientists felt deeply concerned with these.

It was in this background that the idea of establishing a forum for scientists, which would help them in publishing their researches and bring them together to discuss and find scientific solutions to the problems of the country, was mooted by Prof. Meghnad Saha, a great scientist, patriot and then Professor of Physics at Allahabad University in 1929. His views were published in the article entitled 'A Plea for an Academy of Sciences' in December 1929 issue of the Allahabad University magazine.

Thus, the National Academy of Sciences, India was founded in the year 1930, with the objectives to provide a national forum for the publication of research work carried out by Indian scientists and to provide opportunities for exchange of views among them. The Memorandum of Association was signed by seven distinguished and patriotic scientists namely Prof. Meghnad Saha, Prof. K.N. Bahl, Prof. D.R. Bhattacharya, Prof. P.C. MacMohan, Prof. A.C. Banerji, Prof. Ch. Wali Mohammad and Prof. N.R. Dhar. Of these, the Academy had the good fortune of having the continued association of Prof. N.R. Dhar until very lately when he expired on December 5, 1986 at the age of 96 years. Apart from being one of the founders of the Academy and taking continued interest in its welfare, Prof. Dhar also had donated the piece of land on which the Academy building stands today.

The Rules and Regulations of the Academy were based on those of the Royal Society of England and Asiatic Society of Bengal. These have since been revised and updated to meet the emerging challenges. Prof. Meghnad Saha was elected its first President.

The Academy started with 57 ordinary Members and 19 Fellows. Today it has 1665 Members and 1673 Fellows from all parts of the country; including 23 Honorary Fellows and 96 Foreign Fellows from various disciplines of Science and Technology. The Academy is financially supported by the Department of Science & Technology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt. of India; and it is also recognized as the Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation by the DSIR, Govt. of India.

Presently, the President of the Academy is Prof. Akhilesh K. Tyagi, Director, National Institute of Plant Genome Research, New Delhi A list of the Council Members of the Academy is given in the end of the introductory part. The Executive Secretary of the Academy is Dr. Niraj Kumar, who is also having the designated responsibilities of Public Information Officer, Public Grievance Officer and Transparency Officer. Sri A.K. Srivastava, Deputy Executive Secretary of the Academy is also acting as the Vigilance Officer.

NASI - envisions the cultivation and promotion of Science & Technology in all its branches through – · organising meetings and holding discussions on scientific and technological problems; and promoting scientific and technological research for societal welfare; · undertaking such scientific works of technological or public importance as it may be called upon to perform; · publication of proceedings, journals, memoirs, transactions and other works as may be considered desirable; · creating an adequate impact of the Academy all over the country by opening Chapters of the Academy in other cities in the country, where reasonable number of scientists are interested; · co-operating with other organizations in India and abroad, having similar objectives, and to appoint representatives of the Academy to act on national and international bodies; · maintaining a Science Library; · performing all other acts, matters and things that may assist in, conduce to, or be necessary for the fulfillment of the aims and objects of the Academy.

A Brief Details of the Activities of NASI[edit]

Being the oldest science Academy of this country, NASI has carved a niche in science popularization and promotional activities. In the recent past the Academy performed in an outstanding way by accomplishing the following major tasks successfully, with the active support of its Fellows/Members; and financial support of the DST, New Delhi –

Publications[edit]

Apart from regular publications (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, India-Sec. A & B; and the Science Letters), the Fellows/Members/Officials of the Academy published a large number of papers/reports on the topics of research, e.g. A book on Water & Health (publisher- Springer), research papers on Ganga, Nutrition etc. A history of science in India was published titled “Introduction to history of science in India”; other parts (I to VIII; subject wise) are to be published soon. A book on Dengue and Chikungunya (in Hindi) of about 400 pages is also under publication in collaboration with the ICMR, New Delhi: A first of its kind in India.

Science Communication Activities[edit]

The highlights of activities were Children Science Meet, Summer & Winter Schools, Vacation Training Programmes, Workshops, Vigyan & Health Chaupals, Seminars, National Technology Day, National Science Day and World Environment Day etc. The Academy also encouraged school teachers for their out of the class science activities by giving away NASI-Science Teacher’s Awards. NASI-HQ and its 17 Chapters organized hundreds of science communication activities throughout the year. A first of its kind activity (started by this Academy for the young researchers in 2011), a series of workshops on Scientific Paper Writing was organized by the Academy. So far, seven such workshops have been organized, during last three years. Science Education Programmes in joint collaboration of other National Science Academies

The NASI together with other two National Science Academies namely - Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi and Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore jointly sponsoring the Summer Research Fellowship programme under the joint Science Education Panel to provide opportunities to under and post-graduate students and teachers to learn and re-fresh new technologies.

Annual Session/Symposia/Seminars & Scientific Discussions[edit]

83rd Annual Session of the Academy was held in Goa. Symposium on “Space for Human Welfare” was organized as a part of this programme during December 5–7, 2013. This was attended by a galaxy of renowned scientists, like Prof M G K Menon, Dr. K Kasturirangan, Dr. K Radhakrishnan, Dr. George Joseph, Dr. T.K. Alex et al. The proceedings of this symposium would be published soon.

84th Annual Session of the Academy and the National Symposium on “Desert Science-Opportunities and Challenges” were organised at Jai Narain Vyas University, Jodhpur from December 4–6, 2014. Dr Anil Kakodkar, Former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, Govt. of India, was the Chief Guest; while Dr R. S. Paroda, world-famous agriculture scientist, was the guest of honour. Dr Manju Sharma, former Secretary to the Govt. of India, coordinated the symposium. The session and symposium were attended by a large number of students, teachers and scientists from all across the country.

Fellowship/Membership[edit]

The Academy awarded 51 Fellowships, 4 Foreign Fellowship and 43 Memberships to scientists belonging to different disciplines, in recognition of their outstanding scientific contributions. NASI-Senior Scientist Platinum Jubilee Fellowships (2015) were also announced/awarded.

Singhania Library[edit]

Library services has been enriched through digitization and procurement of more books. Facilities of storage, reading room, e-library, citation index etc. have also been improved. Internet and photocopying facilities for educational purposes are provided to the students almost free-of-cost. The library is connected to the National Knowledge Network (NKN). A good number of Hindi Books (Science) were also added to the Library.

Recognition and Awards[edit]

Several Fellowships and Awards were given to Scientists during the year.

NASI–Reliance Industries Platinum Jubilee Awards (2014) for the Application Oriented Innovations covering both Physical and Biological Sciences. NASI–Young Scientist Platinum Jubilee Awards (2014) in the fields of Biological/Physical/ Chemical Sciences. NASI – Swarna Jayanti Puruskars (2014–15) for Best Paper Presentations in the Annual Session, held at Jodhpur. NASI Scopus Awards (2013) NASI – Science and Maths Teacher Awards (2014) by NASI HQ and some of its Chapters in their respective regions.

Technological Empowerment of Women[edit]

During the year, NASI organized several programmes/workshops on ‘Technological empowerment of women’ under the guidance of Prof. Manju Sharma, Distinguished Woman Scientist Chair. Also, during the year the DST, New Delhi entrusted the task of managing its SoRF Scheme to NASI.

Establishment of Brahmaputra-gallery[edit]

In the Year of Science, NASI council approved a project on the establishment of Brahmaputra Gallery in Guwahati, Assam, under the Coordinatorship of Prof. (Mrs.) Manju Sharma. Now, the gallery is ready, and it would be inaugurated soon.

Water Project[edit]

After organizing several workshops on 'Safe Water', NASI undertook the task of rejuvenating the baolies (step-wells) of Bundelkhand area of M.P. to ensure Safe Water supply to the people in the area and also to restore the archeologically important baolies of Chandela/Bundela period. The project is being guided by Prof. K J Nath, NASI-Fellow & Prof. V.P. Sharma, Past President.

Other Projects & Schemes[edit]

The Academy organised the Science Awareness Programmes for the welfare of the Jawans, in collaboration with Army. Also joint programme of NASI & ICAR on Farm Mechanization/ Implementation was started during the year.

Local Chapters[edit]

17 local Chapters of the Academy organised numerous activities for the furtherance of the Academy’s objectives.

Thus, in last few years, the Academy could create an impact on science & society through its various programmes. This effort is being strengthened further through new alliances and associations between Academia-industry and Academia-corporate ventures. The Academia - industry and Academia - corporate collaborations developed in the recent past, have become very successful and fruitful, and a substantial number of senior and young scientists have benefited from this endeavor; In this context NASI-Reliance and NASI-SCOPUS alliances are worth mentioning. About thirty senior and more than sixty young scientists have received awards under these programmes in last few years. Apart from these under the guidance of Prof M G K Menon (Advisor, New Initiatives, NASI), a few more programmes were also given due importance, which are aimed towards attaining sustainable development especially in the areas of Health, Nutrition, Biodiversity resources etc.

Fellows[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bhattacharya, Prof. Sudha Fellow profile". Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "NASI". NASI. 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2015. 
  3. ^ "The National Academy of Sciences, India - Fellows". www.nasi.org.in. Retrieved 2016-07-16. 

External links[edit]