Creating a scientific Temper in the country. IISF is a good start but needs more focus and follow ups. Thanks PM Modi for giving time and Dr Harshavardhan for all support over the years.
The 6th edition of India International Science Festival (IISF) will be inaugurated today by Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji in the afternoon in virtual mode. As I have Coordinated IISF thrice in her 6 year journey, it is always an emotional connect with this scientific festival. I remember vividly how 6 yrs back at Prof Chandrashakher’s residence at IIT Delhi, Jaykumar ji laid the concept of this festival and we three discussed how to go about this bare seed which was open to all challenges going forward.
Today, looking back it gives me immense satisfaction that IISF has indeed come a long way , with the full support and patronage of Dr Harshvardhan Minister for Science and Technology right from the beginning along with DST and other arms of the ministry. It can also be safely concluded that without the conviction of Dr Harshvardhan the event would not have been possible year after year with super success.
Many people have joined this enviable journey, while the caravan has just moved on. The first IISF at IIT Delhi in 2015, was full of uncertainties as it was a new kind of experience and initiative for all of us. Jayant Saharabudhe the present Organising secretary of Vijnana Bharati came as a helping hand to boost sentiments and give some tips and instructions in typical sangh style. The event was more than a success. It was a moment of great satisfaction for all of us. We received complete support and encouragement from Secretary DST and with their ‘Inspire’ program being held along with IISF it was a dream come true to see uping boys and girls with their scientific instruments demonstrating innovative ideas to one and all. Dr Bhatkar took all the time to visit each of the stalls and asked questions to these young igniting minds of the nation.
I was again chief coordinator for the one held at IIT Madras at the sprawling Anna University campus. The role of chief coordinator gives opportunity to interact with one and all. One has to maintain the cool while trying to coordinate between various events and teams. The uncertainty and challenges remain in place until the last day.
Over time IISF has evolved like any other event. I would rate it as a reasonable success though the scope remains open and beyond. It requires another propulsion and vision for further expansion. There is a need to discuss the growth plan. The corona virus has taken its toll on this event too as it will be now all virtual. Among others my favourite event is Science village and industry academia event which i have coordinated personally besides being overall coordinator. One can see direct impact on the society and nation through such individual events and provides a great sense of satisfaction. However follow ups is a greater need for all such things.
On behalf of Samanvaya I am pleased to convey my Best wishes to the IISF 2020 team. Special thanks to PM Narendra Modi, Minister Dr Harshvardhan , Secretary DST and the numerous volunteers of Vijnana Bharati without whom this event would not have been possible. As PM modi has said we have to create a scientific temper in the country, IISF provides a good beginning for the same. Hopefully I will get another opportunity in the future to contribute towards the noble objective through IISF.
Dr Asheesh Shah
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