Following is the text of statement regarding upcoming momentous programmes of the Ministry of Science & Technology, laid on the table by the Union Science & Technology Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan in Rajya Sabha today:
“I stand before the house to present about an upcoming momentous programme of the Ministry of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences: The India International Science Festival, popularly known as ‘IISF’, which is all set to enter its third edition in October 2017. This festival of science is organised by the Ministry in association with Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA). The First IISF was held at IIT Delhi and the second edition was held at CSIR – National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi. Both were successful events and my Ministry had succeeded in its objective of ‘Propagation of science to the general masses’.
Honourable Chairman Sir, The India International Science Festival is a serious attempt to inculcate scientific temper in the general public, particularly through the participation of the youth and children, to fast-track India’s march towards technological self-reliance and scientific advancement. This festival of science highlight the government flagship programmes such as “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan”, “Swasth Bharat Abhiyan”, “Make in India”, “Digital India”, “Smart Villages” “Smart Cities” etc.
In the 1st edition, we achieved the ‘Guinness world record for the largest science practical session’ which is now inscribed in India’s name. IISF 2015 also provided a vibrant platform to young students, scientists and technocrats from across
India for exchange of scientific knowledge and ideas.
In the second edition of the ‘Festival of Science’ in 2016, several events like the Young Scientists Conclave, DST – INSPIRE National Camp, Science Film Festival, NGO meet, Industry-Academia Interaction were held at National Physical Laboratory , Delhi. A footfall of over 5 lakh people were recorded at the IISF 2016 with active participation of over 10,000 delegates from R and D institutions and Science organisations. The Science and technology expo showcased the achievements of over 300 institutions belonging to R and D, academics, industries and PSUs. Apart from this a very unique event for our budding citizens from rural India was the ‘Science Village’ programme, which required our Hon’ble Members of both the houses to send 5 students and 1 teacher from their respective adopted village under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna’. I had the wonderful experience of interacting with many students from the rural India who had come to the Science Village. In fact it was very highly appreciated by many of our Hon’ble members as it imparted very effective scientific knowledge to the over 1800 students from the rural countryside. In total, 131 Members participated eagerly in the science village programme.
Honourable Chairman Sir, last year we chose the theme as “Science for masses” and this year the theme is “Science for New India”!
IISF 2017, this year, will be held at Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), Anna University and IIT Madras in Chennai from 13th to 16th October, 2017 in a much grander level with a large participation of common masses. This year’s Science Festival like never before have several activities for the Hon’ble Members of this house scientists, policy makers, teachers, students, S&T Organizations, educational institutions, industry and the general public. Some of the activities are as below:
1. Science & Technology Ministers of Neighbouring Countries Conclave
2. Special Thematic Session on ‘Deep Ocean Research’
3. Sensitizing Youth to Flagship Programmes of Government (SYPOG)
4. ‘Science Village’: Parliament to Panchayat
5. National Meet on ‘Social Organizations and Institutions’
6. Women Scientists and Entrepreneur’s Conclave
7. National Science Teachers’ Workshop (focusing on North East States)
8. Industry Academia Interaction
9. Mega Science, Technology & Industry Expo
10. India International Science Film Festival
11. Grassroots Innovators Summit
12. National Start-up Summit
13. Round Table Meet on ‘Mass Communication’
14. Attempt of Student in Guinness Book of World Records
15. National Level Competitions
16. Outreach Programme (Open Days) in R & D Labs
17. Satellite Seminars
18. Cultural Events
Through these events the festival will be highlighting government flagship programmes and missions and would reach out to over 5 lakh citizens directly.
Honourable Chairman Sir, I am confident that the Science Festival would impart the ‘spirit of enquiry’ to the public masses which would in return benefit the nation through advanced scientific research. As I mentioned, this year also Science Village will be there and henceforth would urge all the honourable members to send the prescribed number of students from their adopted villages. An invitation letter to all the members have already been sent, to which I hope serious considerations will be made by all esteemed members of the house.
Members may avail more information about the science festival from the website: www.scienceindiafest.org. “