New Delhi: The centenary edition of the Indian Science Congress, which began in Kolkata on Thursday, is an apt time to review the relevance of this rather ancient institution.
Held first in Kolkata in 1914, the science congress captured the Indian imagination for long. The first prime minister of the country had a special fascination for them. India was a new nation, and such occasions attracted the best and brightest from the scientific world.
Today, these events are largely meaningless jamborees. They no longer serve as sites of exchanging the latest research; the Internet is far more efficient at that. As to “promotion of science in India”, far more hardy souls such as J.B.S. Haldane gave that up a long time ago. The bulk of scientific institutions, universities included, are caught in a bureaucratic web. Sure, India has rockets and missiles. But those are hardly hallmarks of scientific power.