Dr. Harsh Vardhan says Scientific Temper needed for a boost

The Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan says that government is endeavoring to promote scientific temper in the country to give a boost to start up movement in the country. Addressing a Press conference to give details of the First India International Science Festival (IISF) being organized at IIT Delhi from 4th to 8th December 2015, he said, India made invaluable contribution in generating and distributing scientific knowledge for the benefit of humanity while also making many landmark scientific achievements. The Minister pointed out that concerted efforts  are to be made now to reap the benefits of science research for the improvement of quality life of our people. He pointed out that fostering scientific temper is considered far more relevant today than ever before. Diffusion of science and technology across the entire societal fabric shall help foster scientific temper and reinforce a rational attitude.

The Minister said the IISF 2015 targets to involve and include commoners with a view to improve their scientific understanding, temperament and appreciation for various feats in science & technology by showcasing Indian achievements. Giving details about the science festival Dr. Harsh Vardhan said this is expected to be the  country’s biggest ever Technology & Industrial Expo where a world record attempt in science practical demonstration  by 2,000 school children as per Guinness guidelines will also be held. There will be an international science film festival and around 400 research papers presented by young scientists will be the highlights of the first India International Science Festival (IISF).

The Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) has been chosen as the nodal government institution to organise this mega event in collaboration with Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA).

This science festival will stand apart from other events of the kind in view of the diversity of programmes it includes.

In all around 4,000 delegates from India and abroad are expected to take part in IISF 2015 which will aim to showcase the achievements of Indian scientists and institutions; explore ways to translate academic research to industrial applications benefiting the common man and encourage culmination of scientific temperament among youngsters, especially schoolchildren.

The objectives of IISF 2015 are as follows:

  • Exposing the fruits of Science & Technology to the masses
  • Building strategy to instil scientific temper among the masses
  • Showcasing Indian contributions in the field of S&T over the years
  • Providing platform to young scientists for exchange of knowledge & ideas
  • Supporting flagship programs like Make in India, Digital India, Start-ups, Smart Villages, Smart Cities, etc. initiated by the Govt. of India

Approximately 3000 young scientists from the country are expected to participate as delegates in this Festival, which has the following components:

  1. a) Young Scientists’ Conference
  2. b) Techno-Industrial Expo
  3. c) Science Film Festival
  4. d) National Level Exhibition & Project Competition (NLEPC) showcasing innovative models under ‘INSPIRE’ Programme of DST
  5. e) Industry-Academia Conclave
  6. f) Largest Practical Science Lab Demo
  7. g) Interactive Workshops & Informative Sessions

IISF 2015 intends to be a platform for scientists to interact for sharing ideas and knowledge. In the present day scenario, India has a huge number of technically qualified professionals, yet scientific temper is not much evident across the nation. Hence, fostering scientific temper is considered far more relevant today than ever before. Diffusion of science and technology across the entire societal fabric shall help foster scientific temper and reinforce a rational attitude. Today we need path-breaking inventions to support flagship programs such as Make in India, Digital India, Smart Villages and Smart Cities that were initiated by the Prime Minister. Listening to the voice of young scientists from the country on the topics of relevance to our global world is considered essential to fulfil these initiatives for a better tomorrow. It is with these objectives that the 1st India International Science Festival is being organised in Delhi from 4th to 8th December 2015.

This is a Special effort to bring thousands of young children, young scientists and the public at large at one venue and expose them to the excitement of doing science and feel proud of the scientific and technological achievements of the Nation and dream of even higher and more challenging goals. Special emphasis will be laid on exploring ways to translate academic research to practical industrial applications benefiting the common man, promotion of this translational spirit among young children and scientists and promotion of scientific temper among people of this country.

Among the major events of IISF 2015 is a mega Technology and Industrial Expo on the theme “Think Science, Live Science”. More than 240 stalls and pavilions spread over 72,000 sq ft of exhibition space will showcase innovations from government ministries and departments, science and technology councils of various states, autonomous institutions, R&D organisations, technological institutes, laboratories, educational institutions and public/private sector companies engaged in research.

The National Level Exhibition & Project Competition (NLEPC) under the ‘INSPIRE’ Programme of the Department of Science and Technology would be an integral part of IISF 2015. Around 800 students of Classes VI to X, selected on the basis of state-level competitions, will showcase their innovative project models. 60 best projects will be shortlisted and top three will be awarded.

The festival will host a number of scientific and technical sessions addressed by leading scientists from the country and abroad. Nearly 400 research papers will be presented during the Young Scientists’ Conference on subjects ranging from Indigenous Science and Technology, Agricultural Practices and Livestock Management, Green Energy, Waste Management and Water Management to Ocean Sciences, Geo Information Systems and Vector Control.

Another major milestone of IISF 2015 would be to attempt setting a World Record for the largest practical science laboratory experiment by 2,000 school students on Monday (December 7).  The current world record is held by a group 1,339 Irish schoolchildren. Officials from the Guinness Book of World Records will be on hand to oversee and authenticate the record.

An international science film festival running from December 5-7, will screen internationally acclaimed, national award winning films on science, health and environment. Eminent filmmakers and science communicators will conduct workshops for film enthusiasts and students.

The planned Industry-Academia conclave will feature representatives of well known industrial houses and the country’s premier institutes to work out ways to make college students career-ready by providing a post academic knowledge environment and industry exposure.

Nearly 6,000 students from schools and colleges are expected to interact directly with eminent scientists at IISF 2015.

One of the core themes of IISF, the promotion of green energy, is being demonstrated by a festival participant, Bangalore-based Shri Syed Sajjad Ahmed. He has journeyed from Bangalore to Delhi in a solar-powered car he developed on his own. Shri Ahmed, who started on the trip on 1st November, reaches Delhi on 2nd December, 2015.

India International Science Festival will be a pioneering event in terms of both its scale and significance. It will reach out not just to the scientific community but the common man. There will be a great deal for school and college students to learn and explore at IISF, the first edition of which will aim to set new benchmarks for science events in the country.

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