This paper aims to examine the evolution of ‘cyclone warning’ as a meteorological service in India and through this, explicate the relationship between science and the state.
In the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we argue that merely focusing on immediate Government decisions and scientific modeling directed to assist such immediate measures, leaves us with limited scope for eradication and prevention of such a global crisis. We should widen our perspective and methods of analysis to include the long-term economic, social and ecological causes which all combine to intensify the likelihood of recurrent epidemics, and sustain poor public healthcare systems.
India has witnessed strong and sustained civil society resistance movements against nuclear power plants in the recent past. The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant was both a site of such a movement and was also one of the few where the legal challenge was also launched. How should we understand this legal challenge and the judgments of the Madras High Court and then the Supreme Court? This question is explored through the theoretical lens of judicial cartography. Judicial cartography allows us to appreciate the critical role of the Court in deploying its formidable discretion in public interest cases, to legitimate State action and delegitimize citizen demands vis-à-vis the development and deployment of nuclear technology. Judicial cartography draws attention to the choices exercised by the Court in the selection of material facts, identification of legal issues, consideration of epistemic resources and in the determination of equitable outcomes. Such judicial choices reduce the space for public deliberation and citizen’s engagement in policy and deeply undermine democracy.
This paper looks at how expertise is understood and employed in two technoscientific controversies—the public debate on the environmental release of Bt brinjal and the commissioning of nuclear power plants at Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu. The study contends that there are more democratic and technically and politically robust alternative modes of technoscientific decision making envisaged by social movements.
The article has been penned to commemorate the centenary of the Department of Geology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. The article traces the evolution of the department since inception through consolidation to its pinnacle since past 100 years and also brings out the invaluable scientific contributions made by its faculty and its alumni in mentoring other geoscience departments of the country. The roadmap for the future is also highlighted.
This is the first part of a two-part review on the book titled Indian Knowledge Systems (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) edited by Kapil Kapoor and Avadesh Kumar Singh, published by the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. The review essays are an attempt to initiate a wider critical debate around the discourses, on Indian knowledge systems, especially among the scientific community in India.
The Draft National Education Policy-2019 (DNEP) comprehensively deals with education at various levels ranging from pre-school, to higher secondary, college and university, including professional courses.
The practice of science journalism/reporting/communication has changed completely in the last three decades. Though the number of specialised areas of scientific investigations and the number of scientific journals as well as the associated technical terminologies have increased many folds, for a science journalist, the task of reporting and popularising science has become simpler.
India is growing fast, with its fast-expanding cities that are rapidly growing into megacities. This not only puts tremendous pressure on the existing resources of these cities but also poses a grand challenge to the urban planner on how to decongest the flow of resources to the continuously growing population.
A workshop on ‘Advances in Earth system science’ under the aegis of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, convened by N.V. Chalapathi Rao (BHU) was held from 31st October – 1st November, 2018 at the Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. The workshop was a part of the 84th Annual meeting of the Indian Academy of Sciences.
Computers, the Internet and social media enable every individual to be a publisher, communicating true or false information instantly and globally. In the ‘post-truth’ era, deception is commonplace at all levels of contemporary life. Fakery affects science and social information and the two have become highly interactive globally...
Much of the existing literature on women in science in India tends to highlight the ‘absence’ of women, while that is no longer the case. Based on an extensive review of the available evidence, the paper reflects that the number of women in science has been steadily growing, though with significant variations across disciplines.
It is a popular perception in the minds of both educated laymen and distinguished academicians that the quality of higher education in our country is on a declining course since Independence. The 'quality' that everybody is referring to is not defined precisely. The global rankings published by a couple of international agencies in which no Indian university figures anywhere in the top hundred, added to the confusion. The opening statement also implies that Indian institutions of higher education (HEI) were better off before we attained political independence compared to the post-independent period, particularly in the sphere of science education and training. There was never any confusion about the University-Society interaction dynamics. Socio-economic-cultural milieu kept changing in the last one hundred years and accordingly what kept changing was the public understanding and expectation of what a University is and what it should be. The Government of India appointed many commissions and committees to assess the Indian education system from primary through secondary and tertiary stages to suggest appropriate reforms. Voluminous reports were also submitted and new organizations like University Grants Commission (UGC), National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), etc., were also floated to put into action some of the well-meaning suggestions. The growth of institutions of higher learning in terms of numbers, funding, administrative framework, infrastructure, etc., did not stop in the same period. Why then this common perception? We need a comprehensive study, and an analysis of the educational system to diagnose the problem. We also need tangible plans of action and clear recommendations on how to restore quality.
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. The first is to provide fellowships for students pursuing research. The second is to provide seed funding for early career research to the faculty across universities in the state, and the third is to support high-quality publications. The details of the scheme are given in the attached brochure, and in this introduction, I briefly discuss the motivation behind the OURIIP.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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...
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...
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 ...
The world’s climate is changing, and the impacts are already being observed. Changing agricultural conditions, ocean warming and acidification ...
By its very nature, the scientific pursuit is a highly creative and individual undertaking. Today it has also concurrently become a highly collaborative enterprise ...
The first Industry Conclave organized jointly by the CSIR-CDRI and the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) was held on 15–16 September 2017. This document summarizes the learnings from the formal panel discussions conducted during the meeting, as well as interactions among the delegates during the exhibition that showcased the CDRI product pipeline, services offered and proposals for collaborative R&D.
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).
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 ecologists on how, you think, science should be done.
Publication of scientific journals has been a major activity of the Academy since its formation in 1934 and the Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences Parts A and B began publication that very year. The Academy today publishes 10 journals, several of which grew out of the original Proceedings.
In 1978, the Proceedings split into several themes and today these are (in the intervening years, there have been some changes in the earlier names) Proceedings – Mathematical Sciences, Sadhana – Academy Proceedings in Engineering Sciences, Journal of Chemical Sciences, Journal of Earth System Science, and Journal of Biosciences.
In 1985, the Academy took over publication of the Journal of Genetics, which is among the oldest English language journals in genetics, having been founded in 1910.
New journals that have been launched include Pramana – journal of Physics in 1973, Bulletin of Materials Science in 1979, Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy in 1980, and Resonance – journal of science education in 1996
Our publication programme is guided by the principle that no journal published by the Academy should be in direct competition with other journals published in the country. To the extent possible, the Academy co-operates with other agencies in bringing out its journals, contributions to which are peer-reviewed.
Mewa Singh (University of Mysore, Mysuru)
R. N. K. Bamezai (retired from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi),Malavika Dadlani (retired from Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi), Dhruv Raina (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi), Rohini Godbole (Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru)
Srikanth Sastry (Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bengaluru)
Sutirth Dey (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune)
Arvind (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali),
Ramray Bhat (Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru),
Guruswamy Kumaraswamy (CSIR National Chemical Laboratory, Pune),
K. P. Madhu (formerly, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune),
Shobhana Narasimhan (Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bengaluru),
Pervez Hoodbhoy (Forman Christian College, Lahore, Pakistan),
Gauhar Raza (National Institute of Science Communication & Information Resources, New Delhi),
M S Santhanam (IISER, Pune),
Shubashree Desikan (The Hindu, Chennai)
Dr. Shiju Sam Varughese (Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar)
Amitabh Joshi (Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bengaluru)
Science forms an integral part of society, implicitly creating an ongoing dialogue between the two. However, ideas vary widely on how the scientific enterprise is pursued, and what its role and relevance to society are. A sustained introspection and dialogue about the practice of science in the broadest terms is essential to have an informed and shared vision of the place of science in society and culture. In recent times, rapid changes in the socio-political, cultural and economic spheres worldwide have lent urgency to efforts aimed at re-examining and, perhaps, re-defining the relationship between the scientific community and society at large, as well the nature of the engagement of science with the state, the corporate world and with global networks of the knowledge economy. Yet there have been relatively few attempts to systematically re-conceive the basic nature of the science-society contract.
The Indian Academy of Sciences, Bengaluru, has felt that it is essential to have an open-ended and sustained dialogue amongst science practitioners, science policy makers, science administrators and educators, and the general public. This is the broad intention behind the initiation of DIALOGUE: Science, Scientists, and Society.. It is hoped that the journal will provide a formal forum to promote and facilitate ongoing discussion on issues pertaining to the practice, teaching, management and communication of in addition to other outreach initiatives (see CONFLUENCE.), science as well as all aspects of the science-society interface. DIALOGUE extends the conversation through CONFLUENCE., a moderated public forum, and other outreach initiatives. The hope is that this will give rise to a more inclusive and acceptable vision of the inter-relationship between science, society, polity, and culture..
DIALOGUE: Science, Scientists, and Society., published by the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bengaluru, provides a scholarly forum for scientists and other interested parties to discuss and debate issues pertaining to science and society, in the broadest sense. The journal covers three related but distinct themes: (a) the practice of science, including choice of problem, publication, evaluation, funding and other matters; (b) communication of science by its practitioners to students, politicians, administrators, other interested parties, and the general public; and (c) the impact of science on society, and vice versa. These themes are envisaged to cover, for example, introspection on practices in science and academia, education and the communication of science, gender and allied issues in science, science as a social system, culture of science, future directions and implications, goals of science, science-social science interfaces (conversations across disciplines and knowledge systems), indigenous and local knowledge systems and science, imaginations driven by science, connections with other countries, global contributions, funding, organisation of science, administration and management of science, evaluation, critical studies of science and society, science policy studies and more. The journal is also a place for discussion on planning scientific policy, as well as issues pertaining to science education and policy towards education. The journal aims to foster discussion and dialogue by publishing papers addressing any aspect of science practice, science teaching, science administration, science policy and the science-society interface. It will also serve as a place to put on record archival documents from the past, as well as those that may be produced in the future, in which the Academy or other such bodies put down in writing the results of their deliberations on issues of relevance to scientists and society. The journal is accompanied by a more informal but moderated web platform, CONFLUENCE. that aims to provide a forum for all interested parties to share and debate views and interact on these crucial issues.
Mewa Singh and Amitabh Joshi, on behalf of Dialogue and the Indian Academy of Science, participated in the Teachers' Festival at Mysore held on January 29-30, 2018. Prof. Joshi delivered the inaugural talk and Prof. Singh participated in the discussions over two days.
Plagiarism as a form of scientific misconduct has been on the rise in recent times. Defined by the US Office of Research Integrity as “the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results or words without giving appropriate credit”, the increase in plagiarism is due not only to all too human failings, but also to the ease with which the emergence of the Internet has made such misconduct possible. Compared to earlier generations, training of students today seems to have become slack in the sense of not conveying a clear understanding of what is right and what is not in such matters.
The editors of all the journals of the Indian Academy of Sciences take a very serious view of any evidence of plagiarism including self-plagiarism in manuscripts submitted to them. Every reasonable effort will be made to investigate any allegations of plagiarism brought to their attention, as well as instances that come up during the peer review process. Such behaviour when proven beyond doubt is unacceptable, and will be suitably exposed. Self-plagiarism will be treated just as seriously. claimed new results express the author’s own findings, and all material taken from the existing literature has been properly acknowledged and referenced.
Upon receipt of a manuscript by any of the Academy journals, the authors or corresponding author will be required to sign an undertaking to the effect that the work has not been submitted elsewhere for publication, the claimed new results express the author’s own findings, and all material taken from the existing literature has been properly acknowledged and referenced.
In those instances where in spite of these precautions a case of plagiarism goes undetected in the review process and is discovered after publication, both online and print versions of the journals concerned will carry a notice of the discovery. Depending on the seriousness of the case, the Academy reserves the right to inform the heads of the offending authors’ institutions and their funding agencies about the editors’ findings.
The jurisdiction for all disputes concerning published material, subscription and sale will be at courts/tribunals situated in Bengaluru city only.