Post Event - Achieving Leadership for India in S&T
14-16 November, 2022, The Assam Kaziranga University
On 14th November, 2022, the North-East witnessed a unique congregation of some of the leading scientists and thought leaders of the country. The occasion was a novel national event on Achieving Leadership for India in S&T (ALIST)-22, perhaps the first time in the history of entire North-East, if not whole of India. What made the event unique was coming together of several Awardees of the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award (Assam now has four) from different corners of the country and from different disciplines. Participation of personalities like Padmabivhushan Dr Anil Kakodkar, former Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission, as the Chief Guest, Padmabhushan Dr V K Saraswat, H’ble Member, NITI Aayog as the Chairman of the Inaugural Session and Dr N Kalaiselvi as the Chief Guest of the Valedictory function brought in rare depth of analysis to the theme of ALIST-22.
ALIST-22 has been initiated by the thought that while India had a glorious scientific past and unmatched potential, it didn’t currently enjoy an undisputed leadership position in science and technology, and that a critical, systematic, inclusive and holistic analysis of India’s Science and Technology policy was an urgent necessity. To carry out this analysis involving the cutting edge of India’s scientific and technology research, ALIST-22 brought together several recent winners of Shantiswarup Bhatnagar Award: Dr. Abhijit Mukherjee (IIT-Kharagpur), Dr. Binoy Kr Saikia (CSIR NEIST, Jorhat), Dr. Jeeemon Panniyammakal (SCTIMST, Kerala), Dr. Kanak Saha (IUCAA, Pune), Dr. Kayrat Saikrishnan (IISER, Pune), Dr. Kinshuk Dasgupta (BARC, Mumbai) and Dr. Vatsala Thirumalai (NCBS, TIFR, Bangalore).
The event also saw the participation of eminent scientists and Bhatnagar Awardees including Prof. GanDgan Prathap (Former Director, CSIR NISCAIR), Prof. B N Goswami (Dept. of Physics, Cotton University, Guwahati), Prof. Prashant Goswami (Chairman, Institute of Frontier Science and Application and Former Director, CSIR NISTADS) and Dr. G N Sastry (Director, CSIR NEIST Jorhat).
The technical and scholarly aspects of ALIST-22 were supervised by a National Organizing Committee (NOC), chaired by Dr. Prashant Goswami, Chairman, Institute of Frontier Science and Application (IFSA) and co-chaired by Dr. P. K. Mishra, Vice Chancellor, KU.
ALIST-22 also created some unique opportunities for students and faculty of Kaziranga University and other local organizations. Two Interactive Sessions: Students-Awardees and Faculty – Awardees sessions were organized for inspiring and encouraging young and upcoming scientists. A large number of students and faculty participated through poster presentations and took part in question-answer sessions with the Awardees.
In the inauguration of ALIST-22, Dr P.K. Mishra, Co-Chairman, National Organizing Committee and Vice-Chancellor of The Assam Kaziranga University, introduced the Chief Guest, the Guest of Honour, the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar awardees, invitees, and the Co-Chairman of the event Dr. Prashant Goswami, Chairman, IFSA, India to the audience. Dr P.K. Mishra highlighted the vision, mission and hard work of Mr. M. D. Khetan who conceived the idea of University in a place called Jorhat. Dr P Goswami, Chairman, National Organizing Committee and Chairman, IFSA, presented an overview of the ALIST-22 and highlighted about scientific leadership, funding aspects, management of R & D equipment, optimal utilization of central R & D parks, initiatives for pure science and big ideas that can bring leadership in S&T.
Chief Guest Padma Bhushan Dr Anil Kakodkar, Former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission highlighted the initiatives needed to take India forward in Science and Technology including the ecosystem for nurturing excellence and fundamental research. Dr Anil Kakodkar reiterated the significance of value creation (1st level) by developing institutions to be able to at the Frontiers of Science and Technology, and the other levels of value creation in India are adoption of procedural knowledge to create value supporting core economics (2nd level) and leveraging resources to pay for imports or raw materials (3rd level).
Chairman Dr.V. K. Saraswat, Hon’ble Member, NITI Aayog, highlighted that India after independence clearly identified to contribute in Science and Technology (S&T), technological institutions, textile, defence, pharmaceuticals, cement and missile development. Dr. Saraswat has identified the need of the Indian research work to be focussed on huge demand for sustainable technologies in India, multi-sector engagement in S&T with diversity and inclusivity, collaboration of multiple stake holders for the development of S&T, improvement of start-up culture, critical mass of entrepreneurship and the development of a research ecosystem.
Dr Abhijit Mukherjee (Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awardee) discussed on the geological flow of ground water and detection of the availability of ground water in ecosystem. Dr Binoy Kr Saikia (Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awardee) highlighted on the synthesis of blue fluorescence quantum dots from coal from North East India. Dr Jeeemon Panniyammakal (Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awardee) discussed the significance of cardiovascular health and highlighted the alarming cardiovascular problems in India. Dr Kanak Saha (Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awardee) shared the exploration of the signatures of distant galaxies using Indian Astrosat satellite. Dr Kayart Saikrishnan (Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awardee) provided insights into the functioning of restriction-modification enzymes, which play a crucial role in bacterial defense. Dr Kinshuk Dasgupta (Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awardee ) highlighted pioneering research in making armour panel protection named Bhabha Kavach, light in weight, made using hard boron carbide ceramics that is hot-pressed with carbon nano-tubes and composite polymer. Dr Vatsala Thirumalai (Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awardee) highlighted the pioneering research in the field of neurobiology on the neural circuits that cause physical movements in animals.
In the presentation theme on “Challenges in India becoming a S&T super power: A SCOT analysis”, Dr. G. Prathap presented a lead talk on “Indian Science @75”. Dr. Prathap observed that India was primarily an agrarian country and contributed a lot to aqua culture and poultry. During the same period India’s percentage share in global GDP continued to drop whereas Europe’s GDP continued to improve. Dr. Prathap further added a matter of great concern about the higher education landscape and shared that top scientists of a country had a significant role in the high percentage share of GDP in the countries. Number of patents filed in developed countries was way high compared to India and it also impacted India’s GDP. Dr. Prathap further reiterated “we have to understand that schooling is different from skilling” and signified a simple mantra to “educate the masses”.
In the presentation theme on “Creating Breakthroughs in S&T: From Education to Innovation”, Dr. G. Narahari Sastry presented a lead talk on “Collaborative Excellence for Technology Leadership”. Dr. Sastry discussed about the key attributes to be desired in a scientific leadership, culture, leadership and economics and its impact on research outcomes. Dr. Sastry emphasized about the leadership culture and the mechanisms to build trust among academia and Industry for a mutual collaboration. He also discussed about the three basic forms of. Dr. Sastry also highlighted the importance of Collaborative Excellence to drive industrialization for national development.
In the concluding session, Dr. P. Goswami synthesized the discussions on Genesis and the Objectives of the Event ALIST-22, Formulation of an implementable roadmap for achieving global leadership in S&T for India, and Leadership in Science: Metrics and Recommendations.
ALIST-22 is jointly organized by The Assam Kaziranga University and The Institute of Frontier Science and Application (IFSA), an organization under Science for Inclusive Development Trust (SIID).
The poster prizes are awarded to the following participants:
Poster 1st Prize:
Deep Learning in Rice Farming: a way to Create Digital Leadership in Northeast
Angshuman Barpujari, Gitartha Kalita, Manish Saikia, Anindita Bhagawati, Anish Modi, Akash Chetry, Salma Sultana Rahman, Mrinal Kanti Mishra, Utpal Barman
Department of CSE, KUSET, The Assam Kaziranga University, Jorhat 785006, Assam, India
BML Munjal University, Kapriwas, Haryana, India
Poster 2nd Prize:
Non-Equilibrium Phase Transitional Study in Field Driven 3D Pair-Ion Plasmas
Swati Baruah, Vishal Kumar Prajapati, Rajaraman Ganesh
Department of Physics, The Assam Kaziranga University, Jorhat 785006, Assam, India
Institute of Plasma Research, Bhat, Gandhinagar 3848, Gujarat, India
Poster 3rd Prize:
Automatic Agriculture Irrigation System Using Arduino
Biswajit Sarmah, Bishal Deka, Manashwi Tamuli, Ritunjoy Bhuyan
School of Engineering and Technology, The Assam Kaziranga University, Koraikhowa, Jorhat 785006, Assam, India