Is Indian Science Congress Doing What It Is Supposed to Do?

Roots have not matured yet but the desire for blooming flowers is spreading. Likewise, laws brought into function just to please the people of the nation without proper planning of their execution are useless. Lack of proper planning is one of the main reasons why hugely discussed issues fail to get resolved the way they were supposed to be. Indian Science Congress is now a victim of this. It came into existence in 1914 on the lines of the British Association for the Advancement of Science with an aim to advance and promote science in India. After 1947, it aimed at nurturing the science temper in society at large. Women and political leaders were included in the proceedings of the Congress.

Inclusion of political leaders was done to ensure that the science congress would be provided with a platform where discussions would be held in order to understand the challenges to the development of science in our nation. This would help the government get a cue about the advancements in technology and science and use them in development plans for the country. But things are going other way around in the last few years. After independence, political leaders took part in this annual event for the purpose of utilising science for nation building activities but now they attend it to influence the Science congress instead. They feel that they are genius enough to understand the technical aspects of the subject and look for alternatives that they think scientists should adopt.

The 106th Indian Science Congress was held in Lovely Professional University(Private University), Jalandhar and was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It was organised by the Indian Science Congress Association, a premier scientific organisation of India aimed to discuss how wide science is and there is so much to be explored and invented. There were plenary sessions organised and other four parallel mega events, including the Women’s Science Conference, the Children’s Science Conference, the Science Communicators Meet and a Science Exhibition. The theme for this year Science Congress was- Future India- Science and technology. The major defect was in its theme. It is high time that we understand that Science is not only about advancement in technology and the birth of more and more gadgets. It is meant to be realised in our daily lives.

A large number of research papers were read but question arises if even half of them would be capable enough to emerge as the full-fledged research paper.Researches in various fields of science are of low level and there is minimum contribution from the government in this aspect. Scientific understanding demands proof and valid reason for every possible thing and that is what makes it very different from the decisions based on values and culture that we follow. In the recent Science Congress events, it has been observed that it was used as an opportunity to propagate absurd notions about sacred ancient Indian literature. There is no relevance of these topics anymore. But that does not mean that the ancient works are irrelevant. Problems emerge when the works of modern science and holy books are mixed. Their origin is different and it is mandatory to maintain the sanctity of the ancient works.

There is a strong reason which proves that these events have become pointless. These events are usually organised in private universities or colleges and their main objective is profit maximisation. What is the purpose of organising it in a fashion design school? What are you expecting to get from those who are not even meant to attend this? Scientists do not want to be a part of it. They consider it nothing more than a state show and they are focused more on their research and the bitter part is that they are engaged with foreign researchers for funding and other required resources.It is important to realise that science is very important in the present age and the only instrument to increase economic growth and improve the quality of life. Executives and administrators should not neglect scientific understanding while drafting the laws and making policies which they often do. There should be efforts to involve the scientific community more and the government should ensure this. History has its own basis and reasons and the focus should be towards advancement ways and not falling back on the ancient works.

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