Two CSIR Labs Celebrate the National Science Day

National Science Day lecture being delivered virtually on MS team


Two CSIR Laboratories, National Chemical Laboratory (CSIR-NCL), Pune, and Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT), Hyderabad, jointly celebrated the National Science Day on 26 February 2021. On this occasion, Prof. Rishikesha Krishnan, Director and Professor of Strategy at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, delivered the National Science Day lecture on “Making the Vision of India's New STIP a Reality: What does this mean for the Development of Human Capital?” The event was organised on virtual platform. 

Prof. Rishikesha Krishnan in his talk mainly focused on the two visions of the Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy (STIP) draft document: (i) to achieve technological self-reliance and position India among the top three scientific superpowers in the decade to come, and (ii) to build individual and institutional excellence in science technology and innovations with the aspiration to achieve the highest level of global recognition and awards in the coming decade. While referring to the STIP draft document, Prof. Krishnan said that it will impact education, skills and work making the vision of India a reality through STIP and what does it mean for the human capital of India. 

Prof. Krishnan gave a few examples of eminent people making significant contributions to various science and technology disciplines in modern India and takeaway messages from their pioneering work. These names include Sujata Ramadorai, Manindra Agrawal, Sam Pitroda, Asok Jhunjhunwala, GN Ramachandran, MK Bhan, Gagandeep Kang, Paul Ratnasamy, Swaminathan Sivaram, Acharya PC Ray, Anji Reddy, YK Hamied, etc. He also mentioned the work done by strategic sectors such as ISRO, DRDO and DAE and recounted the significant role played by women scientists in the Mangalyaan mission.

On education front, Prof. Krishnan said that the country is facing challenges in Science education, English and Maths literacy, though some good work is being done by the agencies and institutions like Agastya International Foundation, Atal Tinkering Labs, DST Inspire, PrimeMinister Research Fellows Scheme, and IISERs. 

Prof. Krishnan listed the skill gaps such as weakness in scientific education, historical deficiencies in industry-academia interaction. He stressed more on open science, research excellence framework for higher education institutions, mission mode programmes, etc. He said that there is a need to focus more on scale, confidence, emerging areas, long-term perspectives, connecting theory with practice, recognising excellence, mobility, networks, besides a necessity of better experimental facilities, open-ended experiments, undergraduate research, research internship at top institutions, extend tinkering lab idea beyond mechanical and electrical streams, etc.

Dr Sunil Joshi, Chair, Chemical Engineering and Process Development Division of CSIR-NCL initiated the event by elaborating on the various lectures delivered by the award-winning scientists and research students and poster presentations and CSIR-NCL.

Dr Srivari Chandrasekhar, Director, CSIR-IICT and Director (Additional charge), CSIR-NCL in his introductory remarks appreciated the display of posters by research students and talks given by the award-winning scientists and research students as part of the National Science Day celebration. He recounted on this occasion the research work done during the last one year by CSIR labs and especially NCL and IICT to face the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a part of the celebrations, the research work being carried out in the laboratory was showcased in the form of poster presentations during 24-25 February. About 100 posters were displayed by the research students. The posters were arranged in six categories namely Biological Sciences & Biochemical Engineering, Physical & Materials Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Polymer Chemistry, Catalysis and Inorganic Chemistry, and Chemical Engineering & Polymer Engineering. An eminent panel of judges scrutinized and evaluated the posters in each category and selected the best posters. The prizes for the best posters in each category and best research papers 2020 with the highest Impact Factors were announced during the event.