Volume 1


Mapping Patents and Research Publications of Higher Education Institutes and National R&D Laboratories of India

Ravi Dhar
This study will be of help to the academia and national R&D organizations to understand how major academic and R&D organizations of eminence in India have contributed towards the progress in various research and intellectual property rights (IPR) activities around the country.


Promoting a Climate for University Research: OURIIP, the Odisha University Research and Innovation Incentivization Plan

Asoka Kumar Das
On November 14, 2018 the Minister for Higher Education in Odisha, Mr. Ananta Das released a policy guideline on the Odisha University Research and Innovation Incentivization Plan (OURIIP). The plan provides funding support in three aspects with the aim of promoting high-quality research.


Remembering Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya’s Contribution to the History of Philosophical Thought and Scientific Ideas on His Birth Centenary

Dhruv Raina
Lokāyata is considered Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya’s magnum opus, a pioneering exploration of the history of materialist thought in ancient India. This work not only established his reputation but subsequently provided a rationale for the need to re-position the schools of Indian philosophical thought in terms of their internal diversity, the range of philosophical problems addressed and the ‘family resemblances’ between the schools.


On UGC: statement by three Indian science academies

On June 27th, 2018, the Government of India formally declared its intention to replace the University Grants Commission (UGC) Act of 1956 by the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) Act. The Science Academies offer their point of view.


Learning Outcome Based Science Education – Avoid ‘Old Wine in New Bottle’ Approach: Lessons from the Past

R N K Bamezai
Our country has made progress over the decades after independence, yet a lot remains to be desired, despite periodic formulation and revision of policies in Higher Education and S&T. The commentary here deals with current changes in looking at the policies of the past and the learning-outcome-based higher education, in brief. Suggestions are made in shaping learning outcome-based UG and PG education by providing a specific example of a subject area.


Sexual Harassment in Academic Sciences, Engineering and Medicine: A Report

Padmini Swaminathan
The growing incidence of sexual harassment in the United States in academia is alarming. More so, as an increasing number of women are entering various science, engineering and medical establishments as students and faculty. Given the increased incidence of sexual offences, the findings of this Report gain universal relevance, in STEM institutions in particular.


Gender and Sexual Harassment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine: A New Report

Vineeta Bal
This is not intended to be a book review. Instead, it is a comment apropos of the June 2018 publication of a study report titled ‘Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’ released by the National Academies Press, USA (2018). Soon, some so-called ‘elite’ science journals took note of the report and gave it a good amount of publicity.


Rewriting the Contract with Science

Gurpreet Mahajan
The social sciences stand at a critical juncture today; they have lost the capacity to intervene effectively and authoritatively in the public political discourses. Are our methodological practices responsible for this? Do we need to take a critical look at these practices and reassess them?


On the History, Politics and Science of Invasion Ecology

Ninad Avinash Mungi and Qamar Qureshi
The socio-political influence on conservation science has always been contested. One such arena, which has aroused much interest, is of biological invasions. Owing to the inherent paradoxes and dilemmas in defining geographies and impacts, invasion ecology was criticized for being value-driven.


Breaking the Silo: Integrated Science Education in India

Neeraja Sundaram
Breaking the Silo is a novel and engaging look at three very pertinent themes in the present time: (i) the persisting divide between Science and Humanities disciplines in Indian institutions of higher education, (ii) the existing contexts and future possibilities for integrating what appears to be ‘two cultures’ and (iii) bridging the perceived gap between the natural and human sciences.


India’s Nuclear Energy Program

R Rajaraman
I describe the development of nuclear energy in India, its current status and its future prospects vis-à-vis the global trends in the nuclear industry that are also summarized. A short discussion on carbon emissions and global warming is provided to assess the contribution that nuclear energy can make in mitigating the issue of climate change.


Higher Education Commission of India: Challenges Ahead

N. Sathyamurthy
Now that the Government of India has decided to set up the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), it is time to look at the challenges ahead. The University Grants Commission (UGC) will cease to exist. All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) and the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) will continue to function. National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) will continue too.


The ‘Public’ and the ‘Outreach’: Public Outreach of Science in India

Dipyaman Ganguly
In the 21st century, as the global scientific pursuits provide an enormous amount of new revelations about the natural world, the gap between lay public and the scientific community widens more than ever. On the other hand, scientific endeavours all around the world increasingly depend on popular support for such efforts, as the policy decisions are largely driven by popular perceptions.


Sacred Bovines - the ironies of misplaced assumptions in Biology

Douglas Allchin
This is an interesting book dealing with the Sociology of Science. The origin of experimental science in the modern sense can be traced to the 15th century Renaissance period. Of course, scientific inquiry was being conducted in many civilizations much before the European Renaissance.


A Policy Statement on “Dissemination and Evaluation of Research Output in India” by the Indian National Science Academy (New Delhi)

Praveen Chaddah, Subhash C Lakhotia
Research adds to human knowledge by addressing well-posed questions about the unknown. Science progressesonly when a new discovery is subjected to thorough peer-review and further validated by the community...


SERB and other sources of extramural support under the Ministry of Science and Technology

M. Vijayan
For decades, the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has been the most important source for competitive research grants in India. The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) which recently replaced SERC, has turned out to be less effective than SERC...


Arsenic Toxicity in Soil-Plant-Human Continuum and Remedial Options

Saroj Kumar Sanyal
Even though the widespread arsenic (As) contamination of groundwater in West Bengal (India) and Bangladesh has remained mostly confined to the Bengal delta basin, bound by the rivers Bhagirathi and Padma, the spread (detection) of such groundwater arsenic contamination has been reported from several states of India, as well as certain other parts of the Indian ...


Commonwealth Academies of Science Statement on Climate Change

The world’s climate is changing, and the impacts are already being observed. Changing agricultural conditions, ocean warming and acidification ...


Evaluate the Evaluations!

Raghavendra Gadagkar
Bad practices seem to spread very rapidly and go to near fixation, making it very hard to subsequently replace them with good practices...


On evolution: statement by three Indian science academies

The Hon. Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Shri Satyapal Singh has been quoted as saying that “Nobody, including our ancestors, in writing or orally, have said they saw an ape turning into a man. Darwin’s theory (of evolution of humans) is scientifically wrong. It needs to change in school and college curricula."


Science in the public sphere: Dissemination, discussion, and dialogue

Ramakrishna Ramaswamy
By its very nature, the scientific pursuit is a highly creative and individual undertaking. Today it has also concurrently become a highly collaborative enterprise ...


Outcomes and lessons from the first CDRI-NRDC- industry conclave

Sabyasachi Sanyal, Saman Habib, Ritu Trivedi, K.V. Sashidhara, Kishor Mohanan and Amit Misra
The first Industry Conclave organized jointly by the CSIR-CDRI and the National Research Development Corporation ...


Dr. Lalji Singh

L.S. Shashidhara
I woke up on 11th December 2017 with the news that Lalji or Dr. Lalji Singh (famously known as the Father of DNA Fingerprinting in India) died of a massive heart attack on the previous evening (10th December)...


Standing conventional wisdom on its head: An interview with Raghavendra Gadagkar

Raghavendra Gadagkar, Hari Sridhar
The motivation for this interview is the talk you gave in Young Ecologists Talk and Interact (YETI) conference in 2009, which was in the form of advice to young ...