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Science in India- Achievements and Aspirations

Science in India- Achievements and Aspirations

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Item Code: NAZ866
Author: H.Y. Mohan Ram & P.N. Tandon
Publisher: Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2010
ISBN: 9788100000404
Pages: 636 (Throughout Color Illustrations)
Other Details: 11.00 X 9.00 inch
Weight 2.8 kg
The year 2009-2010 marks the Platinum Jubilee of the Indian National Science Academy. During these seventy-five years, the Academy has been an inspirer, leader and guide of Indian science, often in imperceptible ways. The Jubilee year is an occasion, among other things, to look back at the achievements of science in India and to articulate our aspirations for the future. This volume represents an attempt to do so, not necessarily in a wholly comprehensive manner, but certainly in a representative fashion.

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.

PREFACE 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 goodwill.

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.

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