President, INSA welcomed all the Fellows to the General body meeting. Thereafter, the regular agenda items were taken up.
1. Condolence at the passing away of the following distinguished Fellows:
The sad demise of Dr PS Ahuja, Professor Mihir Chowdhury, Professor LS Kothari, Dr Anjan Kundu and Professor Durga Prasad Roy distinguished Fellows of the Academy was reported. The obituary notes were read by the President and all those present stood in silence for a minute as a mark of respect to the deceased.
2. Confirmation of minutes of 82nd Anniversary General Meeting held on 30 December, 2016.
The minutes of the 82nd Anniversary General Meeting held on 30 December, 2016 were read by Professor Anurag Sharma, Vice-President. These minutes were already uploaded on INSA website. No comment were received. Thereafter, the minutes were confirmed.
3. Announcement of names of recipients of the INSA Medal for Young Scientists for the year 2017.
The names and brief citation of 30 scientists (Annexure-I)
selected as awardee of INSA Medal for Young Scientists 2017 were announced by Professor Anurag Sharma, Vice-President.
4. Announcement of the INSA Awards for 2017.
Professor Anurag Sharma, Vice-President announced the names of the awardees of INSA awards (list enclosed at Annexure-II
5. To Announce the decision of the Council regarding INSA Senior and Honorary Scientist Programme.
Professor AK Sood, President, INSA informed to Fellows that he had constituted a sub-committee to revise the guidelines about the INSA Senior and Honorary Scientists. The recommendations were considered during the Council meeting in the forenoon. It was decided that INSA Senior and Honorary Scientists position will initially be for a period of three years, extendable for another two years after a review of three year’s work. Those Fellows who have been given Sr. Scientist’s position for a period of three years will be considered for an extension for another two years. The contingency grant for both the positions will be given through the institution (place of work) only. This grant can be utilized for purchase of any equipment/s required for research, computer/ laptop/ ipad, printer, scanner, camera, secretarial assistance, stationery, communication, air fare (within India and abroad), registration fee, per diem, accommodation etc. as per the norms of the host Institute. Items purchased out of the contingency grant will be the property of host Institute after the completion of project of INSA Senior / Honorary Scientist.
There is no change in INSA Emeritus Scientist scheme.
6. To read as required under Rule 47(c) the name of nominees for election as INSA Fellow / Foreign Fellow/ Pravasi Fellow received from 18 December, 2016 to 5 April, 2017.
Professor Anurag Sharma, Vice-President, INSA read the names of those whose nominations were received for election as INSA Foreign Fellow and Pravasi Fellow.
7. Any other item.
After taking the regular agenda items, President, INSA discussed some of the issues which were considered by the Council in the forenoon. These were:
The Council decided to augment INSA’s involvement in preparing well-researched Policy documents on various topics related to science and its applications to the society. In the past, INSA has brought out few policy documents and many reports on specific topics. These were either stand-alone booklets/ books/ part or special volume of Proceedings of Indian National Science Academy.
Science Policy Study Cell was established during 2008-09 as one of the initiatives of the platinum jubilee celebrations. It is proposed to reactivate the Policy Cell in INSA. Vice-President (Science & Society) will supervise the activities of the Policy Cell. This Cell will help the Fellows of the Academy to prepare suitable documents on topics finalized by the Council.
In addition to Policy Cell, a Science Communication Cell is also been reactivated. INSA will hire a full time science communicator/ PRO on contract basis for enabling INSA activities visible on public forum.
President further informed the Fellows about a proposal received from DST regarding management of two flagship Indo-UK programmes
on Energy Efficiency in Buildings
and Water Quality
. Both these programmes together involve an investment of around 9 million pounds by India and UK. These programmes have evinced great interest in Indian research community. DST has already made an announcement for call of proposals under both the projects. The response received are encouraging. They have now requested the Academy to take it up from this stage onwards. Council felt positive and enthusiastic to run this programme. INSA can make significant contributions to these two programmes being pursued by the country and happy to help these agencies.
During the general discussion, Professor SC Lakhotia raised his concern about the lack of research papers being received for publication in Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy. Its June issue will be a special issue on Recent Antarctic Research in India contributed by the SCAR National Committee. However, in the absence of good inflow of new manuscripts for regular issues, he will have difficulties in bringing out September and December issues of the Proceedings. He requested the fellows to contribute research papers regularly in the Proceedings. The fellows present expressed their concern on this issue. One of the suggestions was that INSA may discuss with other grant giving agencies to make it mandatory to publish atleast one paper arising out of their project in an Indian journal. This should also be applicable to all INSA senior and honorary scientists and young scientist awardees who take project money from INSA. Professor Lakhotia mentioned that President, INSA himself has written to all the INSA medal / lecture awardees, young scientist and newly elected fellows to contribute the papers. The response is far from satisfactory.
The fellows who participated in the general body appreciated these initiatives of the Academy.
The meeting ended with a vote of thanks to the Chair.