The Union Minister of Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated a new institute of CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication and Policy Research (CSIR-NIScPR) on 14 January 2021. The new institute was established consequent to the merger of two prestigious institutes of CSIR, namely, CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (CSIR-NISCAIR) and CSIR-National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (CSIR-NISTADS) which work at the interface of S&T and Society, Science Communication and Policy Research.
Dr Harsh Vardhan unveiled the plaque of the new Institute, followed by plantation of saplings in the central lawn of CSIR-NIScPR campus on the occasion. During his address, he highlighted that the purpose of this merger is to combine the strength of the two institutes synergistically with a vision to become a globally respected Think Tank and Resource Centre for understanding Science, Technology & Innovation (STI), Policy Research and Communication. He emphasised that CSIR-NIScPR will serve the society with its core areas of science communication which proved to be important during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also emphasised that evidence-driven policy will play a crucial role in making ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ a reality driven by S&T and Innovation.
The Minister said that the merger of these two institutions is a turning point in their history as now the repository of knowledge vested in the two institutes will combine to make the new entity an even larger impact on the global scientific arena. He urged all to change their perspective, and start looking at the future with new dreams that will lead to a ‘New India’.
Dr Shekhar C. Mande, Director General CSIR, highlighted that the mission of the institute is to promote STI policy studies and science communication among diverse stakeholders and act as a bridge at the interface of science, technology, industry and society which is essential for a robust S&T ecosystem in the country. He said that the merger of the two institutes is like “One plus one equaling ELEVEN and not two”. He exuded confidence in the Institute's staff saying they will take the new Institute to new heights.
Prof. Ranjana Aggarwal, Director CSIR-NISCAIR & CSIR-NISTADS highlighted the key roles played by both the institutes in the past few decades. CSIR-NISCAIR has been a frontier institute in Science Communication publishing popular science magazines (Vigyan Pragati and Science Reporter) and Scientific Journals. It has also been managing the largest and oldest National Science Library and also assigns International Standard Serial Number (ISSN). It has been the custodian of the National Knowledge Resource Consortium (NKRC) which facilitates access to more than 5000 e-journals of major publishers, patents, standards, citations, and bibliographic database.
Likewise, CSIR-NISTADS has earned its reputation in its long journey in Policy research and has a rich research experience in the area of History of Science, S&T and Society, and S&T and Innovation. It has executed projects from UNESCO and the Commonwealth Science Council, State S&T Councils and international agencies to review their respective S&T promotional schemes. CSIR-NISTADS has created a Techno-Socio-Economic platform to enable development and application of socially acceptable, relevant, scalable and cost-competitive products.
Shri Hasan Jawaid Khan, Chief Scientist, CSIR-NISCAIR, delivering the vote of thanks, assured that the new Institute would live up to the expectations of the nation and achieve new heights in its specialised fields.