It is the untiring efforts of Professors H. Y. Mohan Ram and
P.N. Tandon, and the able support of Shri S.K. Sahni and his colleagues
that made this book possible. The Academy 'and I personally are
immensely grateful to them. I am indebted to all the contributors to
the volume and many who worked behind the scenes for the success
of this project.
I am confident that the readers would find this volume enjoyable
and instructive, as indeed I have found it.
Being aware of the rapid advances in the S&T Endeavour in the country, the President and the
Council of INSA desired that on the occasion of the Platinum Jubilee of the Academy, a
commemoration volume be brought out. The model for this publication was identified as Pursuit
and Promotion of Science: The Indian Experience, compiled by INSA in 2001. Indian Science has made
enormous progress in the past decade. The technological advances that have occurred or utilized in this
country, could never have been imagined. These have made India, the largest democracy in the world, a
nation to reckon with.
For preparing this publication, help was sought from distinguished scientists in different subjects,
including the Fellows of the Academy. We also contacted the Ministries of the Government of India and
their Departments and autonomous Councils to provide information on recent achievements. All the
manuscripts received were sent to two or more experts in the respective fields. The suggestions for
modifications received from the referees were communicated to the authors and incorporated in the revised
and edited version. Understandably, the process was time-consuming.
We are grateful to the authors for the enormous efforts made by them in collecting, collating and
presenting the information, often beyond the scope of their own areas of scientific work. In this Endeavour,
an element of subjective preference is unavoidable. It is also likely that some important contributions
might have been inadvertently missed. However, all efforts have been made to be as inclusive as possible,
with the help of the reviewers. We extend our grateful thanks to the authors and the reviewers.
The names of authors of invited articles, their affiliation and addresses for correspondence have been
included. However, in case of the 12 reports from the Ministries, Science Departments and Councils, the
authors' names have not been indicated. Nevertheless, we are indebted to them for their exercise and
The essay on 'Our Heritage' has been updated in the light of some recent findings. Brief biographies
of three outstanding men in medicine - R.N. Chopra, ver. Khanolkar and e.g. Pandit - and two geologists
- D.N. Wadia and W.D. West - have been included in the feature 'The Torch Bearers of Indian
Renaissance' to bring back to our memory the path-breaking work they initiated, the institutions they
built and above all the high tradition they set for us to follow. We warmly thank G.Y. Satyavati,
S. Sriramachari (who is unfortunately no more with us), K.S. Valdiya, v.e. Thakur and Hasan Jawaid
Khan for preparing the above short life stories.
In the section devoted to 'Laying the Foundation of Resurgent India', M.G.K. Menon has revised the
overview of S&T achievements since Independence, recalled the foresight and efforts of the founding
fathers in shaping India's future and included the resolutions passed by the Government on Science and
Technology Policies. The thoroughly researched essays on 'Higher Science Education' and 'Engineering
and Technical Education' by P. Rama Rao and D.Y. Singh, respectively, analyze the current status, the
recent effort made in the direction, and insights into the course of meeting the emerging needs and
challenges. The achievements in 'Science Olympiads' bring a ray of hope.
The 29 invited articles by experts under the section 'In Search of Excellence' have not been grouped
under disciplines, but are arranged in alphabetical order of the titles. Each can be read independently.
There is some overlap in subjects like biology because it is increasingly becoming multidisciplinary.
Attempts have been made to smoothen out the overlapping contents and render them complementary.
It is unique to India that the Ministries, Government Departments, Space Programme, and autonomous
Councils are supporting as well as directly participating in research and development activities,
demonstrating a deem commitment and trust in the role of S&T for national development.
Whereas in most articles emphasis has been given to research being conducted during the last decade
or so, in certain others, reference has been made to earlier seminal works, in the interest of providing an
overall context in which the recent developments have taken place.
Some authors responded readily, wrote their articles and sent them to us promptly and also returned
the reviewed manuscripts expeditiously. They may be disappointed with the delay in the publication. We
thank them for bearing with us. The views expressed by the authors in their articles are their own and not
necessarily those of INSA. For us it was an exhausting but rewarding experience to bring out the Volume
and place it before the Fellows of the Academy, the scientific community in general and other interested
readers. This is but a small token of our labor of love. Any merit in this Volume should accrue to the
authors. If there are any shortcomings, we own them. While we are proud of the achievements, our
aspirations are unfulfilled. We still have to go a long way in eradicating poverty, hunger, malnutrition and
ill health and educating and providing opportunities. Nehru dreamt that Science and Technology are
needed to take India forward. We anticipate that we shall prove worthy of his expectations.
We thank Professor M. Vijay an, President of the Academy, for reposing complete confidence and
trust in us. Hopefully we have come up to his expectations. The members of the INSA Council, including
those whose term is over, were keenly looking forward to see the Platinum Jubilee Volume in print.
Thanks are extended to the referees named below for critically reading the manuscripts and offering
valuable suggestions: A.K. Bag, Y. Kannan, M.S. Narasimhan, R. Rajaraman, S.K. Joshi, T. M. Mahadevan,
Harsh K. Gupta, D.M. Banerjee, R.P. Sharma, S.K. Sarin, Anuradha Agrawal, P.S. Datta, K. Muralidhar,
P.K. Sinha, Krishna Achuta Rao, Vijayalakshmi Ravindranath, Arvind Wadhwa, Ashutosh Sharma, Dipankar
Chakravorty, C. Sathish Kumar, M. Sanjappa, Sac. Dutta Roy, Mallika Verma, M. Vidyasagar and P.Venu.
S. Natesh, G.Y. Subramanian, Padmanabh K. Joshi, P.P Majumder, Alok K. Gupta, Mitali Mukerji,
Renu Swarup, Rajesh Tandon, P.K. Kathal, U.C. Lavania, CR. Babu and Rohini Balakrishnan liberally
shared their rich experience in clarifying doubts, procured illustrations, provided latest information and
identified resource persons. We acknowledge their help.
The meticulous care with which Janaki Subramanian, PK. Sinha and Amit Love scrutinized the
proofs and improved the text merits our deep appreciation.
The cover design was conceptualized by the young biologist-naturalist-artist, Natasha Mhatre and
prepared to suit our requirements by Glue Design Pvt. Ltd, Noida. Karthick B. (CES, IISc, and Bengaluru)
supplied the SEM pictures of the diatoms. The names of the artists who sketched the portraits and sources of
the pictures used are mentioned in the text. We thank the editors of Current Science, Journal of Biosciences,
Bio- Tech News and Environews for permission to use pictures and citing some published materials.
It has been a pleasure working with the trio - S.K. Rastogi, C.S. Gupta and N.C. MondaI, former
editors from NISCAIR, CSIR - who proficiently and meticulously processed all the manuscripts and
interacted with the press until the Volume was ready. They were ably and cheerfully assisted by Aarti Gandhi.
S.P Sharma kept a record of all the correspondence and helped us in following up the progress of work.
S.K. Sahni, Executive-Secretary of INSA, extended full cooperation and looked after all our needs.
By his wide contacts with the former Officers of INSA and Fellows, he helped us in exigencies. Dr Alok
Moitra, with his vast experience and resourcefulness, supplied historical documents and pictures and
prepared the article on the Academy for the Volume. Sahni, Sunil Zokarkar and Moitra teamed up to
ensure that our work went on smoothly. Our warmest thanks to them and to the entire staff of the Academy.
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
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