Indian Science Congress Association

Indian Science Congress Association[1](ISCA) is a premier scientific organisation of India with headquarters at Kolkata, West Bengal. The association started in the year 1914 in Kolkata and it meets annually in the first week of January. It has a membership of more than 30,000 scientists.

The first Indian Science Congress was held in 1914 at the Asiatic Society in Calcutta. After pseudoscientific speeches at the 2019 Indian Science Congress, the congress has established a policy that requires speakers at future conferences to be vetted and scrutinizes the content of their talks.

Several prominent Indian and foreign scientists, including Nobel laureates, attend and speak the congress.


The Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) owes its origin to the foresight and initiative of two British chemists, namely, Professor J. L. Simonsen and Professor P. S. MacMahon. It occurred to them that scientific research in India might be stimulated if an annual meeting of research workers somewhat on the lines of the British Association for the Advancement of Science could be arranged.


The Association was formed with the following objectives :

  1. To advance and promote the cause of science in India;
  2. To hold an annual congress at a suitable place in India;
  3. To publish such proceedings, journals, transactions and other publications as may be considered desirable;
  4. To secure and manage funds and endowments for the promotion of Science including the rights of disposing of or selling all or any portion of the properties of the Association;
  5. To do and perform any or all other acts, matters and things as are conductive to, or incidental to, or necessary for, the above objects.

Indian Science Congress sessionsEdit

First CongressEdit

The first meeting of the congress was held from 15 to 17 January 1914 at the premises of the Asiatic Society, Calcutta. Honorable justice Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee, the then Vice Chancellor of the University of Calcutta presided over the Congress. One hundred and five scientists from different parts of India and abroad attended it. Altogether 35 papers under 6 different sections, namely Botany, Chemistry, Ethnography, Geology, Physics and Zoology were presented.

Silver JubileeEdit

The Silver Jubilee Session of the Science Congress was held at Calcutta in 1938 under the presidency of Lord Rutherford of Nelson but due to his sudden death, Sir James Hopwood Jeans took the chair. It was at this Jubilee Session that the participation of foreign scientists in session of the Indian Science Congress was first initiated.

34th Edition – Participation of foreign scientistsEdit

The 34th Annual Session of the Indian Science Congress was held at Delhi in 3–8 January 1947 with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as General president. Pandit Nehru's personal interest in the Science Congress continued and there was hardly any session which he did not attend. He immensely enriched the activities of the Congress by his sustained interest in the development of scientific atmosphere in the country, particularly among young generations. From 1947, his programme for inviting representatives from foreign societies and academies was included in the Science Congress. This trend still continues with the support of the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India.

Golden JubileeEdit

The Science Congress celebrated its Golden Jubilee in October 1963 at Delhi with Prof.D. S. Kothari as General president. On this occasion two special publications were brought out:

  1. A short History of the Indian Science Congress Association and
  2. Fifty Years of Science in India (in 12 volumes, each volume containing reviews of particular branch of science)

Diamond JubileeEdit

The Diamond Jubilee Session of the Science Congress was held at Chandigarh in 3–9 January 1973, under the presidency of Dr.S.Bhagavantam. On this occasion two special publications were brought out:

  1. A Decade (1963–72) Indian Science Congress Association (with life-sketches of General presidents) and
  2. A Decade (1963–72) of Science in India(in section-wise).

63rd edition – Introduction of focal themeEdit

The year 1976 witnessed a significant departure in the trend of deliberations during the congress. It was being felt for sometime that such a gathering of scientists, covering a wide spectrum, ought to be concerned with national issues that have scientific and technological implications. In 1976, Dr. M. S. Swaminathan, the then General President of ISCA introduced the Focal Theme of national relevance which is now discussed in every section, committee and forum during the annual session. These apart, several plenary sessions are organised around various facets of the Focal Theme in which scientists and technologists as well as policy makers and administrators interact with one another. ISCA thus became a platform where members from different disciplines and from different walks of life could contribute to discussions on the Focal Theme.

67th edition – Setting up of a task forceEdit

Another significant breakthrough was made in 1980 when the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, set up a permanent Task Force involving representatives of ISCA and chiefs of different agencies and voluntary organizations chaired by Secretary, DST, as being responsible for following up various recommendations on the Focal Theme. Every year follow-up actions on recommendations made in the previous Science Congress are discussed at a General Session organized by DST during the Science Congress. Through this process, the Indian Science Congress Association has been contributing to the development of Science in general and National Science Policy, in particular.

Platinum JubileeEdit

The Indian Science Congress Association celebrated the seventy-fifth year of its inception, popularly called otherwise, Platinum Jubilee, in 1988, with Prof. C. N. R. Rao as General president. Keeping this in view, a special brochure, entitled "Indian Science Congress Association-Growth & Activities" was published so as to highlight the programmes of the Association over the years. The main programmes were:

  1. Bringing out special publication on the occasion of the Platinum Jubilee
  2. Presentation of Plaques to the General presidents of the Association
  3. Establishment of Platinum Jubilee Lectures to be organised in each section during the annual session of the Science Congress and
  4. Extension of the recent activities of the ISCA and its further diversification to generate scientific temper and popularise science

98th editionEdit

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh being presented a memento by the President of ISCA, Prof. K.C. Pandey, at the inauguration of the 98th Indian Science Congress, in Chennai on 3 January 2011

The five-day-long session, from 3 to 7 January 2011, at the Campus of SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai was inaugurated by prime minister Manmohan Singh on 3 January 2011. The focal theme of this session was: "Quality education and excellence in scientific research in Indian universities". The prime minister said: "The Indian scientific community must apply its research findings and translate them into marketable products for the country to realize the true benefits of scientific progress. At the same time, he cautioned on "illiberal" uses of technology and cited use of nuclear weapons, applications of synthetic chemistry in agriculture and in poison gases and "perverse use" of genetics in Nazi Germany to drive home his point.

Nobel laureates Amartya Sen, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Ada Yonath, Thomas A. Steitz, Tim Hunt and Martin Chalfie delivered special lectures at the congress. Venkata Ramakrishnan inaugurated the parallel Children's Science Congress on Tuesday, 4 January 2011.[2]

99th editionEdit

The five-day, 99th edition of the ISCA, from 3 to 7 January 2012 was hosted by KIIT University and National Institute of Science Education and Research(NISER) in Bhubaneswar, Orissa. It saw the participation of more than 15000 delegates, which included 500 foreign scientists and 20 Nobel laureates. It was inaugurated by the incumbent Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh. On its sidelines, the first Women's Science Congress was inaugurated by Nirupama Rao, India's ambassador to United States of America and the Children's Science Congress was inaugurated by the former President of India, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.

Centenary editionEdit

'Pride of India' an exhibition also organised as a part of the centenary edition in Kolkata.
Valedictory Session of the 100th Indian Science Congress in Kolkata.

The 100th edition was hosted by the University of Calcutta which is in the city of Kolkata from 3 to 7 January 2013. The theme of the Centenary Congress was, "Science for shaping the future of India".[3] It was inaugurated by the former President of India Pranab Mukherjee in the presence of the former Prime Minister of India Dr.Manmohan Singh and the incumbent Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee.

101st editionEdit

The 101st edition of Indian Science Congress was held in Jammu starting from 3 February 2014 to 8 February.[4]

102nd editionEdit

The 102nd edition of Indian Science Congress was held in Mumbai from 3 January 2015 to 7 January 2015.[5] It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Mumbai University.[6] Studies and papers on Ancient Indian Vedas were presented in this Congress.[7][8][9][10][11] Accomplishments of Ancient Indian Science in the fields of medicine, mathematics, surgery etc. were presented.[12][13] There was also a session on India's successful Mars Orbiter Mission.[14]

106th editionEdit

The 106th edition of Indian Science Congress was held in Punjab from 3–7 January 2019. It was inaugurated by Narendra Modi and hosted around 30,000 scientists, including six Nobel laureates.[15] It became known for controversial talks purporting, among other claims, that Newton's and Einstein's theories of gravity were wrong, and that gravitational waves should be renamed to "Narendra Modi waves";[16] that the demon-king Ravana had 24 types of aircraft and a network of airports in modern-day Sri Lanka; that ancient Indians knew of in vitro fertilization; that Brahma invented dinosaurs;[17] and that Lord Vishnu had heat-seeking missiles.[18]

Kamala Thiagarajan alleged that under the Bharatiya Janata Party, several scientists took part to push the views and ideals of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a right-wing Hindu nationalist organization, into the mainstream.[17] After the 106th Congress and several similar incidents over the previous few years,[16] the Indian Science Congress established a policy that requires speakers at future conferences to be vetted and scrutinizes the content of their talks.[16][18]

Sections, committees and forums of ISCAEdit

From a modest beginning of only hundred and five members, ISCA has grown into a strong fraternity with more than ten thousand members as of 2012. Only thirty-five papers were presented at the first Congress, a number that has risen to nearly one thousand.

In 2000, there were sixteen sections: Agricultural Science; Anthropology & Archaeology; Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology; Botany; Chemistry; Computer science; Earth system science; Engineering science; Material science; Mathematics; Medical & Veterinary sciences; Physics; Physiology; Psychology & Educational Science; Statistics; and Zoology, Entomology & Fisheries. There were also two committees: Home science and Science & Society. Finally, there were also six forums: Communication & Information sciences; Environmental science; Forensic science; Science education; Science for school students; and Women & science.

There are now fourteen sections, including Agriculture and Forestry sciences; Animal, Veterinary and Fishery sciences; Anthropological and Behavioral sciences (including Archaeology and Psychology & Educational sciences); Chemical science; Earth system science; Engineering science; Environmental science; Information and Communication science & technology (including Computer science); Material science; Mathematical science (including Statistics); Medical science (including Physiology); New Biology (including Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology; and Biotechnology); Physical science; and Plant science.

Interaction with foreign scientific academies/associationsEdit

After independence ISCA has been actively represented in various foreign scientific academies/associations, namely British Association for the Advancement of Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, French Academy of Sciences, Bangladesh Academy of Sciences, Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science, etc. with a view to have a first hand knowledge on topics of mutual interest.

Conflict within the Indian science systemEdit

Corruption in India is a major problem and the science sector is no exception.[19][20] ISCA has served as a platform to discuss the issues facing Indian scientists, with some calling for transparency, a meritocratic system, and an overhaul of the bureaucratic agencies that oversee science and technology.[21] In her commentary on the centenary session of ISCA, Sumit Bhaduri stated, "[t]he challenges of turning Indian science into part of an innovation process are many. … Many competent Indian scientists aspire to be ineffectual administrators [due to administrative power and political patronage], rather than do the kind of science that makes a difference".[22] Prime minister Manmohan Singh spoke at the 99th Indian Science Congress and commented on the state of the sciences in India, after an advisory council informed him there were problems with "the overall environment for innovation and creative work" and a 'warlike' approach was needed.[23]

Sessions of Indian Science CongressEdit


Session Year Place General President Title/Theme
1st 1914 Kolkata Ashutosh Mukherjee About Science Congress
2nd 1915 Chennai W. B. Bannermann The importance of knowledge of biology of medical, sanitary and scientific men working in the tropics
3rd 1916 Lucknow Sidney J. Burrard The plains of northern India and their relationship to the Himalayan mountains
4th 1917 Bengaluru Alfred Gibbs Bourne On scientific research
5th 1918 Lahore Gilbert T. Walker On teaching of science
6th 1919 Mumbai Leonard Rogers Researches on cholera
7th 1920 Nagpur Prafulla Chandra Roy Dawn of science in modern India
8th 1921 Kolkata Rajendranath Mookerjee On science and industry
9th 1922 Chennai C. S. Middlemiss Relativity
10th 1923 Lucknow M. Visvesvaraya Scientific institutions and scientists
11th 1924 Bengaluru N. Annandale Evolution convergent and divergent
12th 1925 Varanasi M. O. Forster On experimental training
13th 1926 Mumbai Albert Howard Agriculture and science
14th 1927 Lahore J. C. Bose Unity of life
15th 1928 Kolkata J. L. Simonsen On chemistry of natural products
16th 1929 Chennai C. V. Raman On Raman Effect
17th 1930 Allahabad C. S. Christopher The science and disease
18th 1931 Nagpur R. B. Seymour Sewell The problem of evolution experimental modification of bodily structure
19th 1932 Bengaluru Lala Shiv Ram Kashyap Some aspects of the Alpine vegetation of the Himalaya and Tibet
20th 1933 Patna Lewis L. Fermor The place of geology in the life of a nation
21st 1934 Mumbai Meghnad Saha Fundamental cosmological problems
22nd 1935 Kolkata J. H. Hutton Anthropology and India
23rd 1936 Indore U. N. Brahmachari The Role of science in the recent progress of medicine
24th 1937 Hyderabad T. S. Venkataraman The Indian village – its past, present and future
25th 1938 Kolkata James Jeans (Lord Rutherford of Nelson died prematurely) Researches in India and in Great Britain
26th 1939 Lahore J. C. Ghosh On research in Chemistry in India
27th 1940 Chennai Birbal Sahni The Deccan Traps: an episode of the Tertiary era
28th 1941 Varanasi Ardeshir Dalal Science and industry
29th 1942 Vadodara D. N. Wadia The making of India
30th 1943 Kolkata D. N. Wadia Minerals' share in the war
31st 1944 Delhi S. N. Bose The Classical Determinism and the Quantum Theory
32nd 1945 Nagpur Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Give science a chance
33rd 1946 Bengaluru M. Afzal Hussain The food problem of India
34th 1947 Delhi Jawaharlal Nehru Science in the service of the nation
35th 1948 Patna Ram Nath Chopra Rationalisation of medicine in India
36th 1949 Allahabad K. S. Krishnan
37th 1950 Pune P. C. Mahalanobis Why statistics?
38th 1951 Bengaluru H. J. Bhabha The present concept of the physical world
39th 1952 Kolkata J. N. Mukherjee Science and our problems
40th 1953 Lucknow D. M. Bose The living and the non-living
41st 1954 Hyderabad S. L. Hora Give scientists a chance
42nd 1955 Vadodara S. K. Mitra Science and progress
43rd 1956 Agra M. S. Krishnan Mineral resources and their problems
44th 1957 Kolkata B. C. Roy On science for human welfare and development of the country
45th 1958 Chennai M. S. Thacker Grammar of scientific development
46th 1959 Delhi A. L. Mudaliar Tribute to basic sciences
47th 1960 Mumbai P. Parija Impact of society on science
48th 1961 Roorkee N. R. Dhar Nitrogen problem
49th 1962 Cuttack B. Mukherji Impact of life sciences on man
50th 1963 Delhi D. S. Kothari Science and the universities
51st 1964 Kolkata Humayun Kabir Science and the state
52nd 1965 Kolkata Humayun Kabir
53rd 1966 Chandigarh B. N. Prasad Science in India
54th 1967 Hyderabad T. R. Seshadri Science and national welfare
55th 1968 Varanasi Atma Ram Science in India – some aspects
56th 1969 Mumbai A. C. Joshi (A. C. Banerjee died prematurely) A breathing spell:plant sciences in the service of man
57th 1970 Kharagpur L. C. Verman Standardization: a triple point
58th 1971 Bengaluru B. P. Pal Agricultural science and human welfare
59th 1972 Kolkata W. D. West Geology in the service of India
60th 1973 Chandigarh S. Bhagavantam Sixty years of science in India
61st 1974 Nagpur R. S. Mishra Mathematics – queen or handmaid
62nd 1975 Delhi Asima Chatterjee(the first lady scientist to be elected as the General President) Science and technology in India: present and future
63rd 1976 Visakhapatnam M. S. Swaminathan Science and integrated rural development
64th 1977 Bhubaneswar H. N. Sethna Survey, conservation and utilisation of resources
65th 1978 Ahmedabad S. M. Sircar Science, education and rural development
66th 1979 Hyderabad R. C. Mehrotra Science and technology in India during the coming decades
67th 1980 Jadavpur A. K. Saha Energy strategies for India
68th 1981 Varanasi A. K. Sharma Impact of development of science and technology on environment
69th 1982 Mysuru M. G. K. Menon Basic Research as an integral component of self-reliant base of science and technology
70th 1983 Tirupati Barry Ramachandra Rao Man and the ocean – resource and development
71st 1984 Ranchi R. P. Bambah Quality science in India – ends and means
72nd 1985 Lucknow A. S. Paintal High altitude studies
73rd 1986 Delhi T. N. Khoshoo Role of science and technology in environment management
74th 1987 Bengaluru Archana Sharma Resources and human well-being-inputs from science and technology
75th 1988 Pune C. N. R. Rao Frontiers in science and technology
76th 1989 Madurai A. P. Mitra Science and technology in India:technology missions
77th 1990 Kochi Yash Pal Science in society
78th 1991 Indore D. K. Sinha Coping with natural disaster: an integrated approach
79th 1992 Vadodara Vasant Gowarikar Science, population and development
80th 1993 Goa S. Z. Qasim Science and quality of life
81st 1994 Jaipur P. N. Shrivastava Science in India: excellence and accountability
82nd 1995 Kolkata S. C. Pakrashi Science, technology and industrial development of India
83rd 1996 Patiala U. R. Rao Science and technology for achieving food, economic and healthy security
84th 1997 Delhi S. K. Joshi Frontiers in science and engineering, and their relevance to national development
85th 1998 Hyderabad P. Rama Rao Science & Technology in Independent India : Retrospect and Prospect
86th 1999 Chennai Manju Sharma New bioscience: opportunities and challenges as we move into the next millennium
87th 2000 Pune R. A. Mashelkar Indian science and technology into the next millennium
88th 2001 Delhi R. S. Paroda Food, nutrition and environmental security
89th 2002 Lucknow S. K. Katiyar Health care, education and information technology
90th 2003 Bengaluru K. Kasturirangan Frontiers of science and cutting-edge technologies
91st 2004 Chandigarh Asis Datta Science and society in the twenty first century : quest for excellence
92nd 2005 Ahmedabad N. K. Ganguly Health technology as fulcrum of development for the nation
93rd 2006 Hyderabad I. V. Subba Rao Integrated rural development: science and technology
94th 2007 Annamalainagar(Annamalai University) Harsh Gupta Planet Earth
95th 2008 Visakhapatnam Ramamurthi Rallapalli Knowledge Based Society Using Environmentally Sustainable Science And Technology
96th 2009 Shillong T. Ramasami Science Education and Attraction of Talent for Excellence in Research
97th 2010 Thiruvananthapuram. G. Madhavan Nair Science & Technology of 21st Century – National Perspective
98th 2011 Chennai (SRM Institute of Science and Technology) K. C. Pandey Quality education and excellence in science research in Indian Universities.
99th 2012 Bhubaneshwar Geetha Bali Science And Technology for Inclusive Innovation- Role of Women
100th 2013 Kolkata Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Science for shaping the future of India[24]
101st 2014 Jammu Ranbir Chander Sobti Innovations in Science & Technology for Inclusive Development
102nd 2015 Mumbai[25] Sarjerao Bhaurao Nimse Science and Technology for Human Development
103rd 2016 Mysore Ashok Kumar Saxena Science and Technology for Indigenous Development in India[26]
104th 2017 Tirupati (Venue -> S. V. University)[27] D.Narayana Rao SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
105th 2018 Imphal (Manipur University) Dr. Achyuta Samanta Reaching the unreached through science and technology
106th 2019 Jalandhar (Lovely Professional University) Dr. Manoj Chakrabarti FUTURE INDIA – Science and Technology
107th 2020 Bangalore (UAS) Focal Theme - Science & Technology : Rural Development
108th 2021 Pune. (Symbiosis International University) Focal Theme - Science and Technology for Sustainable Development with Women Empowerment

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Government of India,Indian Science Congress". Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  2. ^ "PM inaugurates 98th Science Congress in Chennai". CyberMedia News India Online. 3 January 2011. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
  3. ^ "100th Indian Science Congress, Kolkata 2013". The Indian Science Congress Association. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  4. ^ "Prime Minister to inaugurate 101st Indian Science Congress on 3 Feb". IANS. Biharprabha News. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  5. ^ Indian Science Congress Association: Programme
  6. ^ Nation's progress linked to science: PM Modi at Indian Science Congress 2015
  7. ^ At Science Congress, Vedic aeroplanes and virus-proof suits
  8. ^ 'Forget Wright brothers, it was an Indian who first flew a plane in 1895'
  9. ^ Pythagoras’s theorem actually an Indian discovery: Harsh Vardhan
  10. ^ At Indian Science Congress, no gems from PM Modi, but colleague cannot resist
  11. ^ PM feels humbled by scientists' work
  12. ^ Don't Debunk Genuine Accomplishments of Ancient Indian Science, says Shashi Tharoor
  13. ^ Shashi Tharoor supports Vardhan, says don't debunk ancient science
  14. ^ For 15 days in June, sun to block all communication with Mangalyaan
  15. ^ "6 Nobel laureates, 30,000 scientists to attend Indian Science Congress starting in Punjab". India Today. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  16. ^ a b c Thiagarajan, Kamala. "India scientists dismiss Einstein theories". BBC News. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Indian Science Congress Speakers Say Newton Was Wrong, Ancient Demon-King Had Planes". NPR. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  18. ^ a b Indo-Asian News Service. "After Kaurav controversy, Science Congress to amend policy on speakers". India Today. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  19. ^ "Indian Scientists Claim Lab Corruption". ScienceNOW. 23 January 1998. Archived from the original on 6 June 2013.
  20. ^ Singh, Mahendra Pratap (13 February 2010). "GROUND REPORT INDIA: Without prejudice, fingers point to Rs. 50.00 Lakhs financial embezzlement by Dr. R. Tuli, Director".
  21. ^ Ayyadurai, VA Shiva (16 December 2012). "VA Shiva's Lecture at Indian Science Congress Centenary".
  22. ^ Bhaduri, Sumit (8 January 2013). "Indian science must break free from the present bureaucratic culture to come up with big innovative ideas". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 21 January 2013.
  23. ^ Jayaraman, K.S. (6 January 2012). "Indian science in need of overhaul". Nature.
  24. ^ "New science and technology policy to be unveiled this year". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 3 June 2012.
  25. ^ After vedic aeronautics, vedic surgery
  26. ^ "103rd Indian Science Congress" (Press release). The Indian Science Congress Association. 3 January 2016. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  • Hindustan Times dated 4 and 5 January 2011

External linksEdit