The Indian National Science Academy has been promoting activities in areas of considerable interest where specific advances in Science and Technology impact on Society. These have resulted in Seminars, Symposia and Conferences in the country and in the constitution of groups of experts to prepare authoritative Reports on various topics of societal development. The Academy has participated in major International Conferences of worldwide interest in co-operation with National Academies of several countries. An Inter Academy Panel of Academies of eighty countries has been functioning with India and USA as Co-Chairs. A Report prepared by the panel on Population was a major contribution to UN conference on Population in Cairo. A similar Report was also evolved and presented at the UN Conference on Large Urban Cities held in Istanbul. A world Conference on Sustainable Environment in the next Millenium was held in Tokyo since 14 to 16 May 2000, where representatives of eighty National Science Academies as well as renowned Economists participated. Recognising the need for continued dialogue, an Inter Academy Council has been established.
The Indian National Science Academy has organised Conferences on topics such as the Guidelines on the Standards and Care of Animal Houses and use of Animals in Scientific Research, Intellectual Property Rights in Advances in Biology, Advances in Progress in Specified Human Health Issues, Ocean Science, Information Technology in Education and Research, the Indian Human Heritage,Deccan Heritage, Perspectives in Global Science and Technology in Telecommunications, Conserving Biodiversity for Sustainable Development, Advances in Space Physics and Advances in Informatics. The Academy has bilateral co-operation and Scientists Exchange Agreements with Academies and Scientific Research Councils of thirty countries. In seminars on the topics listed above, there has been participation by distinguished leaders in Economics, Sociology, Anthropology, Agriculture, Energy, Planning, Historical Studies, Education and International Relations; Researchers in Industry, Chief Executives, Directors in Companies as well as Senior Civil Servants.
Guided by the then President Professor G. Mehta and the Council, the Academy promoted a Seminar on Advances in Science for Sustainable Development in the next Decade with emphasis on Energy and Food Security in India. Held in Ahmedabad in 19 Dec., 1999, Dr. S. Varadarajan, former President of the Academy acted as the Convener. The discussions covered perspectives on energy emerging from hydrocarbon and coal as well as on adequate food to the growing population while adhering to communities for prevention of global warming. A number of scientists, economists and social scientists responded to the invitation of the Academy and the present publication results from the presentations made. Several Fellows of the Academy as well as leaders from petroleum exploration and processing, Coal, Electrical Power and Renewable Energy-organisations contributed to the discussions. Professor G. Mehta inaugurated the Seminar and Professor M.M. Sharma, former President of the Academy enumerated the successful pilot scale demonstration of in situ gasification of deep underground coal in Western India.
The publication indicates opportunities to achieve sustainable development for the countries in the New Millenium from many innovations and scientific advances. Each of these would merit further attention for early action.
The Academy is highly appreciative of the contributors to the contents of the Volume and especially to Professor S.K. Malik, Fellow of the Academy and Editor of Publications. His untimely demise, a great loss to the Academy and to Science in India, led to the publication being delayed. The task of collecting all articles and editing was completed by Dr. S. Varadarajan.
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