About the Indian National Science Academy
A premier science Academy in the country, it plays crucial role in promoting, recognizing and rewarding excellence. An important task of the Indian National Science Academy is to publish journals, organize scientific discussions and bring out monographs and other publications.
The Academy promotes public awareness and understanding of science. Acting as a link between the scientific community and planners, it advises the government on critical issues relating to science and technology. It also serves as a forum for interactions among scientists within and outside the country.
It recognizes outstanding young scientists, engineers and technologists through award of medals/prizes and by providing modest financial support for pursuing research. Senior scientists are honoured through election to its Fellowship. Academy also provides different awards/medals and the prestigious Research Professorships. Superannuated fellows of the Academy can be supported through Senior Scientist and Honorary Scientist schemes. The Academy has established exchange programmes with different overseas Academies to facilitate visits of Indian scientists' to research institutions abroad and of foreign scientists to India for lectures/scientific discussions.
Towards the end of 1930, the then Government of India wrote to various state (then provincial) Governments, Scientific Departments, Learned Societies, Universities and the Indian Science Congress Association seeking their opinion on the desirability of forming a National Research Council which would adhere to and cooperate with the International Research Council and its affiliated Unions. This period witnessed the visit of Sir Richard Gregor, the Editor of Nature for discussions with the Editor of Current Science for the promotion of an Indian Academy of Sciences. The proposal was considered by various eminent scientists whose views regarding the composition and functioning of such a National Council were put up in the form of a resolution to the ISCA during its Pune Session. A special meeting of ISCA was held in Mumbai in January 1934 to consider the scheme. In response to the plea made by the President of the ISCA, Professor M N Saha in support of an Indian Academy of Sciences on the model of the Royal Society, London, the General Committee of the ISCA unanimously accepted the proposal for the formation of a national scientific society. The Committee formed an 'Academy Committee', which was requested to submit a detailed report for consideration at the next session of the ISCA.
The Committee submitted the report in January 1935 incorporating (i) the aims and objects of the national scientific society to be formed; (ii) draft constitution; (iii) names of 125 Foundation Fellows selected by a special committee of specialists; and (iv) names of 25 scientists as members of the provisional Council of Academy. The report of the Academy Committee was placed by Dr LL Fermor (President, 22nd Session, ISCA) before the special meeting of the Joint Committee on January 3, 1935. The recommendation of the Academy Committee was accepted by unanimous resolution by the ISCA and the foundation of the National Institute of Sciences of India as an All India body of scientists was thus laid. An inaugural meeting of the National Institute of Sciences of India (NISI) was held on January 7, 1935 under the Chairmanship of Dr J H Hutton (President, 23rd Session, ISCA) in Calcutta, and the inaugural address was delivered by the first President of NISI, Dr LL Fermor. The Institute thus , started functioning with its headquarters at the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1 Park Street, Calcutta, from that day.
The issue of the Government recognizing the NISI as the representative body of the scientists was taken up after ten years of its foundation. After due deliberations and discussions, it decided to recognize the national institute as the premier scientific society representing all branches of science in India in October 1945. The Headquarters of the National Institute moved to Delhi in May 1946 and the Government commenced providing increased grants to meet expenses on travel, publications, research fellowships, and for allocating grants-in-aid to other scientific societies for bringing out their publications. A capital grant for the Headquarters building was also sanctioned in 1948 by the Government. The foundation stone of the building was laid by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India, on April 19, 1948. The office of the NISI moved to its present premises on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi in 1951. It was designated as the adhering organization in India to the International Council for Science (ICSU) on behalf of the Government of India in January 1968.
The name of the National Institute of Sciences of India was changed to the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) in February 1970.
The main objectives of the Indian National Science Academy are:
- Promotion of scientific knowledge in India including its practical application to problems of national welfare.
- Coordination among Scientific Academies, Societies, Institutions, Government Scientific Departments and Services.
- To act as a body of scientists of eminence for the promotion and safeguarding of the interests of scientists in India and to present internationally the scientific work done in the country.
- To act through properly constituted National Committees, in which other learned academies and societies may be associated, for undertaking scientific work of national and international importance which the Academy may be called upon to perform by the public and by the Government.
- To publish such proceedings, journals, memoirs and other publications as may be found desirable.
- To promote and maintain liaison between Science and Humanities.
- To secure and manage funds and endowments for the promotion of Science.
- To perform all other acts that may assist in,or be necessary for the fulfillment of the above mentioned objectives of the Academy.