INDIA INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE FESTIVAL (IISF - 2015)
4th to 8th December 2015
The first India International Science Festival (IISF) was organized from 4th to 8th December 2015 at the IIT Delhi Campus. Three faculty members, Mr. Ashish Gambhir, Assistant Professor, ECE, Mr. Sumit Kumar, Assistant Professor, ECE and Ms. Charu Jain, Assistant Professor, EEE, along with five students from Dronacharya College of Engineering, Gurgaon attended the event. The event was organized by Ministry of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Government of India and VIBHA (Vijnana Bharti).
The objective behind the event was:
1. Bringing Science & Technology to the masses and popularizing them among common people
2. Showcasing Indian contributions in the field of Science & Technology over the years.
3. Providing platform to young scientists from SAARC countries for exchange of knowledge and ideas.
4. Supporting flagship programs like Make in India, Digital India, Start-ups, Smart Villages, Smart Cities, initiated by the Government of India.
Dr. Harshvardhan, Hon'ble Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences and Smt. Smriti Irani, Hon'ble Minister for Human Resource Development addressed the students before the feat with their inspiring talk. The other Union Ministers addressing IISF 2015 were Shri. Piyush Goel, Minister of Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy, Shri. Radha Mohan Singh Union Minister of Agriculture, Shri. YS Chaudhari, Minister of State, Science and Technology & Earth Sciences, Mr. Suresh Prabhu, ministry of Railways and Mr. Jitendra Singh, Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (MDONER).
The eminent scientists who graced the event were:
1. Dr. G N Singh, Director General, Drugs Controller of India
2. Dr. Radhakrishna Pillai, Professor at RGCB,Trivandrum
3. Dr. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Dept.of Science & Technology (New Delhi)
4. Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission of India
5. Dr. G Madhavan Nair, Former Chairman, ISRO
6. Dr. Vijay Bhatkar, Chairman, Board of Governers, IIT-Delhi
7. Dr. Shekhar Basu, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary, DAE
8. Dr. Devendra Raj Mehta, Former Chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India
9. Dr. Sathish Reddy, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister of India
10. Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research-cum-Secretary
11. Dr. Vijay Raghavan, Secretary of Department of Biotechnology (Govt. of India )
12. Dr. Girish Sahni, Director General of Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)
13. Dr. V K Saraswat, Former Chief of DRDO
14. Dr.. S. Ayyappan, Secretary (DARE) and Director (ICAR)
15. Prof. M V S Valiathan, National Research Professor
16. Mr. Ashok Lavasa, Secretary MOEFand Clinate Change
17. Mr. Madhu S Nair, Chairman, Cochin Shipyard Limited
The five days event started with the inauguration of Mega Science, Technology and Industrial Expo. The expo was inaugurated by Dr. Harsh Vardhan. He said that scientific temper is fundamental to innovation. An all-encompassing scientific temper in a society is far more essential than the spread of science and technology. He added that India has a huge number of technically qualified professionals, yet scientific temper is not absolutely evident across the nation.
Organizations participated in the expo from India and from all South Asian countries to share and spread their scientific ideas and innovations. More than 240 stalls were set up. An array of top national and state-level organizations participated in the event, including the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC). Following are the activities conducted in the Expo:
1. Showcasing Indian achievements in Science and Technology
2. Highlight art, culture and traditions depicting scientific temper
3. Emphasizing inter-dependence of science-technology-innovation & society
4. Opportunity for Research Organizations from all over the country to showcase their research.
5. Interactive platform for scientists, artists, innovators
Science film festival was organized to screen internationally acclaimed and national award winning films on science, health and environment. Eminent filmmakers and science communicators conducted workshops for film enthusiasts and students. This session was organized with the objective of films as a tool for science education, scientific innovations and success stories. The film festival included screening of contemporary and globally acclaimed science films, developing digital tools to reach science & technology to rural areas, science film making competition for college students and exploring modern science communication techniques.
Another highlight of IISF 2015 was the Scientists-Students Interaction (SSI). Dr. G. Madhavan Nair, former Chairman, ISRO, and Prof. V P N Namboori, Emeritus Professor, CUSAT, Kochi (Kerala) addressed the students during the interaction. Eminent Scientists interacted with young students regarding the recent developments in Light, Space Sciences and Soil Sciences. The IISF has chosen these areas in view of the UN declaring the current year as International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015). The ongoing year is also being observed as the International Year of Sciences. Nearly 6000 school and college students attended the meet.
Industry Academy Conclave was conducted at IISF 2015 with an objective to provide a post-academic knowledge environment and industry exposure, to enable the students in becoming career-ready. Well known industry representatives and academicians from premier institutes participated in the conclave. India has one of the youngest populations in the world and millions of students are passing out of schools and colleges every year. But a large number of them do not possess necessary skills required for employment. This issue was addressed in the conclave. The discussion focused on the whole spectrum of education system starting from curriculum to teaching methodology, admission processes, examination. It was concluded that there is a need to examine the whole issue holistically with participation of industry as an important stakeholder. This kind of interactions between industry and academia would result in win-win situation for both the students as well as industry.
The Young Scientists’ Conference targeted scientists up to the age of 45 years from all over the country is an effort to provide them an opportunity to showcase their research and achievements. The event effectively promoted scientists-students interactions. Best technical papers, one from each sub-theme, adjudged by a team of juries qualified for awards as incentives. The Young Scientists’ Conference, focused on presentation of technical papers and posters in the following sub-themes:
a) Indigenous Science & Technology
b) Innovative Agriculture Practices & Livestock Management
c) Integrated Healthcare including Innovative Diagnostic Aids
d) Vector Control & Mitigation
e) Remote Sensing Applications
f) Design & Manufacturing Technologies for ‘Make in India’
g) Green Energy
h) Waste to Wealth Technologies
i) Technologies for Climate Systems
j) Water and Ocean Resources & Management
National Level Exhibition & Project Competition (NLEPC) under ‘Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) Programme of Department of Science and Technology (DST) was organized at IISF 2015. The program attracted young talent and encouraged them to pursue science. In this event around 800 school students (Class VI – X) were selected based on State level scientific projects. The event showcased innovative models made by the students , which were judged for the best 60 projects on the first day. Among these three were finally selected for the top awards. One of the core themes of IISF, the promotion of green energy, was demonstrated by a festival participant. As a part of startup of this event and to inspire the general public to use green energy Bangalore-based Shri Syed Sajjad journeyed from Bangalore to Delhi in a solar-powered car he developed on his own.
India International Science Festival was a pioneering event in terms of both its scale and significance. It reached out not just to the scientific community but to the common man.