Special Content

volume-42,18-24 Januray 2020

107th Indian Science Congress Highlights

EN Team


  • The 107th Indian Science Congress was held at the University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK Campus, Bangalore, Karnataka, from 3-7th January, 2020.
  • The focal theme of the event was 'Science & Technology: Rural Development.'
  • On the sidelines of the event, the Farmers Science Congress was conducted for the first time. The event highlighted importance of innovative practices in agriculture. 
  • Around 120 innovative farmers from across the country participated in Farmers Science Congress and showcased their products.
  • Experts from the different agriculture sector discussed on three themes; farmers innovation on integrated agriculture and entrepreneurship for doubling farmers income; climate change, bio-diversity, conservation, ecosystem services & farmers empowerment, and Agrarian distress, rural bio-entrepreneurship, policy issues.
  • Experts propounded the idea of greater scientist-farmer interactions to innovations to the next level for the overall benefit of the farming community and the people in general.
  • Importance of lending a greater thrust to programmes such as ARYA (Attracting and Retaining of Youth in Agriculture) was stressed at the event. Till now over 5000 youth have been brought into this programme in which they have been trained to be entrepreneurs and begin a start up. Around 104 such startups are already marketing processed food items.
  • The government announced that Farmers Innovation Fund and Innovation Centres will be set up to encourage innovations made by progressive farmers.
  • To encourage organic farming, 45 types of organic farming systems have also been developed in niche areas.
  • To reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers, ICAR is developing nano fertilizers and nano pesticides to promote organic farming.
  • Academicians pointed the need for introducing economy and social sciences as part of agricultural science in the agriculture universities.
  • Nobel laureate Stefan W Hell said he understood that governments have short-term scientific plans based on applications, but that there must be more room for blue-sky research even though they might not always yield results. "Big discoveries cannot be planned. Governments have to improve funding of scientific research and improve the atmosphere," he added.
  • Nobel laureate Ada E Yonath advised students to be curious, original and unafraid to quiz their teachers, who do not know everything. She asked young researchers to not take too much advice from anyone, including from herself, and find their own paths.
  • The Yoga Science Meet was organised on January 6, 2020 as part of the Indian Science Congress.
  • Head of SVYASA Yoga deemed University Dr. HR Nagendra spoke on the benefits of Yoga in busting stress. He said yoga heals the mind, body and soul thereby insulating those doing yoga from diseases. He explained about different yoga therapies and postures that can benefit people. Dr. Indranil Basu Ray, a cardiologist from Canada spoke on Yoga research. He gave examples of people practicing yoga and how it helped them cope up with ailments.
  • On the occassion of the Indian Science Congress, the I-Stem (Indian Science, Technology Engineering Facilities Map) portal was launched by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
  • The I-STEM Web Portal is the gateway for users to locate the specific facility(ties) they need for their R&D work and identify the one that is either located closest to them or available the soonest.
  • Through a recent GoI directive, institutions with R&D facilities funded by agencies of the GoI are now required to list them on the I-STEM Portal. Through the I-STEM Portal or the web site of the organization where the desired facility is located, one can make a reservation for using it.
  • To enable the running and maintenance of the resources, the organization may charge a fee, which depends on whether the user is from the academia, a public institution, or from industry.
  • A panel of experts will be formed over time to help users make the most informed use of resources available through I-STEM.
  • Website URL : https://www.istem.gov.in/
  • The 'Pride of India-Science Expo-2020' was also held on the sidelines of the 107th Indian Science Congress.
  • The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) displayed it product and technologies at the mega expo.
  • 31 DRDO laboratories with more than 150 exhibits and models participated in the expo showcasing many cutting-edge indigenous defence technologies, which narrate the saga of self-reliance & national pride with the "Make in India" spirit.
  • Star attractions of outdoor exhibits at DRDO pavilion included the Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM), Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile system (QRSAM), ASTRA Missile, Radars including Battle Field Surveillance Radar (BFSR), ASLESHA and BHARANI, MINI-UGV Autonomous Surveillance Robot, Sentry Autonomous Surveillance Robot etc.
  • Indoor exhibits included models from each technology cluster of DRDO including the AEW&C, UAV Rustom-I and Tapas, Nirbhay Missile, Akash Missle System, Prithvi missile, Nag missile, HELINA, Maareech - Advanced Torpedo Defence System, Bukhari-the heating system, ready-to-eat packaged foods, juices etc.
  • The 9th Women Science Congress (WSC) was organised as part of the Indian Science Congress (ISC).
  • The event showcased the achievements of women scientists and motivated young women to actively participate in science to identify and find simple solutions to a range of problems through Science and Technology.
  • Experts pointed out gender bias at home, which is a behavioural problem that needs to change and that the WSC to deliberate and delve deep on these issues and bring out recommendations.
  • Emphasis was laid on lending a greater push to initiatives like KIRAN.
  • KIRAN (Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing) is the women-exclusive scheme of DST with the mandate to bring gender parity in S&T through gender mainstreaming. Different programs and components of KIRAN like Women Scientist Scheme-A (WOS-A), Women Scientist Scheme-B (WOS-B) deal with various crucial issues (break in career primarily due to family responsibilities, self employment, part time career, relocation and so on) faced by women scientists in their career path.

            Image Courtesy : Google