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The Indian National Science Academy (INSA) was established in January 1935 as a result of the joint endeavour of the scientific community and intellectual leadership of the country with the object of promoting science in India and harnessing scientific knowledge for the cause of humanity and national welfare. The Academy (INSA) celebrated 2009-10 as its platinum jubilee year in a befitting manner by organizing number of symposia, discussions, meetings and special lectures highlighting the achievement and challenges of Indian Science.

During the short period of 75 years of its existence INSA, beside promoting and recognizing excellence in Science, has been addressing issues of scientific importance and national welfare by bringing out documents/reports and position papers offering expert and unbiased opinion to the Government and the public. Its contribution in addressing several vital areas has been impressive. The subjects addressed include Silent Valley, Infectious Diseases, Guidelines for conducting Recombinant DNA Molecule Research, Iodinisation of Salt, Genetically Modified Crops, role of basic sciences in agriculture, water problems in India, women scientists in India, the Indian Science Report, Science Education, Guidelines for use of Animals in Experimental Research, a Road Map for Development of Instrumentation in India, Energy Options for India, Energy and Food Security and Intellectual Property Rights in Biology.

The international scientific community also expects INSA to share its experience through its involvement in IAP, IAC, ICSU and other international bodies for providing solutions for some pressing global problems involving Population, Water, Science Education, Energy, Megacities, Climate change and so on..

Given the national and international experience and prestige gained in contributing in such an advisoryrole , Prof. M. Vijayan, President, INSA in his Address at the Platinum Jubilee Inauguration function and in presence of the Prime Minister of India, took the initiative of establishing an independent Science Policy Study cell. The Prime Minister also endorsed this step while delivering his INSA Platinum Jubilee Inaugural address. He said,

“ We value INSA’s role as an apex body advising the Govt. and the country on issues relating to development of Science & Technology. We should see that the Indian Scientific Community in general and INSA in particular could seek to play in our national life.” Addressing the concluding function at Kolkatta the President of India also expressed the nation’s desire that INSA should emerge as Nation’s think tank.

Since then the Science Policy Cell has been formed and has begun operation. Already work is going on in bringing out reports on some current science-related areas of national importance. These include a major report at the request of the government, and in collaboration with 5 other academies of the country, on Transgenic Crops. Recently SPC was engaged in formulation of opinion on behalf of the scientific community on the various clauses proposed in draft Animal Welfare Act 2011 which will have detrimental impact on teaching, training and promotion of biomedical research in the country. A brain storming meeting on "Man, Animal and Science" were organised in september 2011 by engaging all stack holders to delebrate holistically the entire issue of use of animals in biomedical research. Stack holders views were communicated to the ministry and simultaniously a plan was put in place to bring out a comprehensive publication covering all aspects of Use of Animals in Scientific Research and Education, which is now ready for release and has been edited by PN Tandon, K Muralidhar and YK Gupta. The publication can be procured by ordering a copy. The Cell has also put in motion initiatives to study Micronutrients, Clean Energy and Hazardous Waste and Urbanisation. In the process, the cell is also trying use its experience to the put together a robust mechanism for identifying future topics for work as well co-opting experts in the country to address those topics.

Interested, may please contact

SK SAHNI
Advisor, Science Policy Study Cell
Phone:- +91-11-23221971
+91-11-23221931-50 (20 lines)
Fax:- +91-11-23235648; 23231095
Email:- scipol2012@gmail.com, sci.pol@insa.nic.in


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