Prelude of CSIR-IICT’s 6th International Science Festival (IISF)-2020 gets underway


Hyderabad: The 6th India International Science Festival (IISF) that aims to promote scientific temper among students and public and catalyse a relationship between Science and Society for development of new frontiers of growth will be held during December 22 to 25, here at CSIR complex.

As a prelude to the main event, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology organised a curtain raiser event on today to highlight the importance of the festival and create awareness among the public and students on the importance of science and technology in development of the nation.

Dr Shekar C Mande, DG CSIR, delivered the presidential address for the event that was hosted using virtual platforms.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Mande said people are interested to learn about the progress done at various science-based institutions. In this regard, he reminded of the IISF that was held in Lucknow in 2018, which recorded a footfall of a massive 8 lakhs visitors.

“This demonstrates that   public are curious to know the work being carried out in research laboratories and therefore it is our duty to showcase the research work to the common people,” he pointed out. Citing the example of discovery of zero, he told that our achievements were phenomenal. Major scientific bodies like Department of Science and Technology, Department of Biotechnology, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Department of Earth Sciences, Indian Council of Medical Research along with Vijnana Bharati have already organized this event in last five years with great success.

However, he said because of the pandemic, this year it was decided to organize in virtual platforms. For the second time, after 2016, CSIR was given the prime responsibility to organize the event. He appealed to all present in the virtual curtain-raiser event to propagate and promote.

Dr Ramanuj Narayan, Senior Principal Scientist at CSIR-IICT and General Secretary, Vijnana Bharati, Telangana Prant informed that many events are planned during this Science Festival keeping in mind the large scale participation of all the stakeholders like students, teachers, businessmen, industrialists, local artisans, researchers, musicians, scientists, housewives and common man.

Dr Appa Rao Podile, VC of University of Hyderabad, who was the Chief Guest, stressed the need to promote basic science. “Schools are the first places for seeds to be sown on developing an interest in science among young brains,” he said. Referring to Indian science, Dr Appa Rao said, we have been making outstanding contribution in science since long and justifies his argument by citing how the green revolution, white revolution and blue revolution have made the country a self-sufficient in staple crops, dairy products and marine products.  He said this become possible because of our timely scientific interventions and certainly not relying on any one.

He said, Artificial Intelligence, data science and its applications, robotic automations, virtual reality that were developed country’s premier institutions. “Combating the current pandemic was a collective effort of various institutes in country and in less than 10 months we are now confident to deal with the virus, including developing of new anti-viral drugs and also the possible vaccines,” he pointed out.

He said, such an effort is difficult to envisage in most countries across the globe. Nano medicine, synthetic genome cells, synthesis of natural products and much more work in various institutes in the country is paving a way for self-reliant India.

Dr S Chandrasekhar, Director CSIR-IICT, in his welcome address, urged everyone to follow guidelines for control of the pandemic such as wearing of masks and avoiding public gatherings. As a part of the event, IICT is working towards the vision of achieving various Guinness Records during the event. He said in a major step towards self-reliant India, that lab may commence working with universities. He urged students to participate in the virtual event, and after restrictions for control of pandemic are completely relaxed, they can visit the research facilities physically.

The theme for this year’s festival is ‘Science for Aatmanirbhar Bharat and Global Welfare through Science, Technology and Innovation’. School Students, Researchers, Teachers, National and International Scientists, Technocrats, Industrialists, Innovators, Entrepreneurs, Craftsmen, Artisans, Farmers, Agri-sectors and Healthcare sectors, Exhibitors, Diplomats, Policy Makers would be a part of the virtual mega festival.

The IISF launched in 2015 is a celebration to promote Science and Technology and demonstrate how science could lead India towards a developed nation within a short span of time.