Union Minister of Science &Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan today inaugurated the curtain raiser of IISF-2020 for kick-starting different events of the 6th edition of IISF, in New Delhi. Dr Harsh Vardhan along with Om Prakash Sakhlecha, Minister of Science &Technology, Gov. of Madhya Pradesh, also released an e-brochure of this mega-event, on the occasion. IISF is an annual event organized jointly among others by DST, DBT, MoEF, MoHWF and CSIR from the Government of India and VijnanaBharati (VIBHA) as well as with support of a large number of other organisations.The website of IISF-2020 was also launched during the event. All the activities and registration of the participants will be done through this website. Detailed information is available on IISF website-www.scienceindiafest.org
Addressing the gathering, Dr Harsh Vardhan announced that the theme for this year’s festival is ‘Science for Aatmanirbhar Bharat and Global Welfare’. He informed, “This year, IISF begins on 22 December 2020, the birthday of SrinivasRamanujan, the world-renowned Indian mathematician and culminates on 25 December 2020, the birthday offormer PM AtalBihari Vajpayee”. “Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is coordinating the Mega Science Festival, and the Nodal Organization is CSIR-National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS), New Delhi”, he added.“It is being organized on virtual platform that will help in connecting to the science loving people from the remotest corner of the country in a single click, thereby increasing the digital footprint”, the Minister said.
Dr Harshvardhan explained “Science festivals are occasions that connect the fascinating world-of-science and technology to common man”. He further explained, “It brings scientists, inventors and researchers, students and citizens from all walks of life on a common platform where we understand and learn from each other through mutual exchanges during the celebrations”.“STI can bring a change in the socio-economic development of the nation by a variety of ways. These encompass a diverse range of activities, from providing solutions to improving quality of the life of common man, increasing livelihood options to missions like Chandrayan and Mangalyaan”, he pointed out.
The S & T Minister informed that the number of events to be held at this year’s festival has increased from 28 to 41, covering many more important facets highlighting the role of STI in addressing newer challenges the world is facing”. “The new events are thoughtfully designed as it not only brings the STI advancements to the forefront but also links it to History, Philosophy, Arts and Education. Such events will add value to the festival, as it should highlight the rich tradition of Indian science that is evidenced in our ancient texts which includes the Vedas&Upanishads. Such events will also generate eagerness to pursue good science through the awareness of the great scientific discoveries and technological achievements in the field of Mathematics, Astronomy, Architecture, Chemistry, Metallurgy and Medicine & Surgery, which have been strength of ancient India”, he said. The Minister expressed the hope that pre-existing events will grow richer in content and the new events will make the festival more holistic.
Launched in 2015, the event has become a much-awaited annual event that celebrates the achievements of Science, Technology and Innovation(STI) and demonstrates how science can be the fulcrum of the country’s progress.IISF 2020 expects to cater to a gathering of approximately one-lakh participants from India and abroad. Some new themes have been added this year viz., History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Science, Agritech, Clean Air, Energy, Waste & Sanitation, Biodiversity, Science Diplomacy among others.
In his welcome remarks,Dr. Shekhar C. Mande, DG-CSIR and Secretary-DSIR, highlighted the importance of the upcoming event amid COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that IISF has emerged as a major platform for taking science to society.
Dr. Vijay P. Bhatkar, President, VijnanaBharatigave a brief genesis of inception of IISF since 2015. Prof. Ranjana Aggarwal, Director CSIR-NISTADS and CSIR-NISCAIR, detailed the different events to be organized during IISF-2020.
Dr. Ashutosh Sharma Secretary DST;Dr.Rajeevan, Secretary MOES; and Dr.RenuSwarup, Secretary DBT; Jayant Sahasrabudhe, National Organizing Secretary, VIBHA; Dr Vipan Kumar, Head PME of CSIR-NISTADS and heads and Directors of various laboratories under the S & T Ministry, were present for the curtain raiser for IISF-2020.