Dr. Arvind C Ranade
‘Celebration of Science by All’- this is the motto of the India International Science Festival (IISF) where it is ensured that science is honoured and its achievements reach to common man of the country and globe.
In 2015, IISF started its journey from Delhi and till now its eight successful editions have been organised in different parts of the country with varying themes each year. In 2020 when humanity was reeling under the brunt of Covid, and the world came to a halt, IISF maintained its continuity and completed its sixth edition in virtual mode. This was the largest public gathering ever on a virtual platform and the next year, IISF 2021 was organised in hybrid mode, in Goa.
Collective organisaton From the beginning, this mega science festival has been organised collectively by the Ministry of Science & Technology, and the Ministry of Earth Sciences in cooperation with Vijnana Bharati (a Swadeshi science movement of the country). In 2021, the Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of Space joined hands as organising partners of IISF. The responsibility of coordination and implementation is entrusted upon these departments and ministries on rotation basis.
This year, the Department of Science and Technology (DST), under the aegis of Ministry of Science and Technology, is the nodal department to organise IISF 2023 and National Innovation Foundation (NIF) India, an autonomous institute of DST, is the coordinating organisation for the same. With a focus on the dissemination of scientific knowledge and information about the country’s achievements among our people, the theme of IISF 2023 is ‘Science and Technology Public Outreach in Amrit kaal.’
Active participation The IISF 2023 is being organised from January 17-20, 2024 at the RCB-THSTI campus, Faridabad, Haryana. A total of 17 events are part of this mega festival which will provide platforms for active participation from all segments of the society, ranging from students and grassroots innovators to big industries and policymakers and ensure exchange of ideas, acquisition of fresh knowledge Dr. Arvind C Ranade and experiences, and building and reinforcement of valuable connections.
Events like Student Science Village, Face to Face with New Frontiers in Science, and IISF Challenge engage school students in direct interaction with prominent science personalities. These events provide insight into the latest developments and challenges in science, fostering STEM learning through hands-on experiments and much more.
On the other hand, events like the Students Innovation Festival – Space Hackathon and Young Scientists Conclave engage higher education students across diverse scientific fields where participants showcase their research, tackle scientific challenges, and propose solutions. Science through Games and Toys and Education for Aspiring India – National Science Teachers Workshop provides opportunity for current and aspiring educators to learn and share innovative ways for effective teaching and learning.
The festival also accommodates creativity and impactful science communication with events like Vigyanika and S&T Media and Communicator Conclave.
A festival of unity Through the events National Social Organisations and Institutions Meet (NSOIM), StartUp Technology, and Innovation B2B Meet and Women Scientists and Entrepreneurs Conclave, the festival unites entrepreneurs, startups, industries, and other stakeholders to explore challenges, opportunities, and strategies for advancing science and technology’s role in the economic growth of the country and improving people’s lives. The festival will also bring policymakers in a unified platform during the State S&T Ministers and Centre and States S&T Secretaries and Officials Conclave. This forum will facilitate discussions on diverse policy frameworks, scopes, challenges, and emerging opportunities.
Citizens will also get to witness and appreciate country’s scientific advancements and achievements through events such as the New Age Technology Show and the Science, Technology, and Innovation Exhibition.
Every year, IISF is witnessing increased public participation and to make it even more popular grand outreach programmes are conducted in almost every zone of the country. Social media platforms like Facebook, X (Twitter), Instagram, and YouTube are playing an important role in maximising event penetration among various stakeholders of society.
IISF 2023 is taking place in the Faridabad district of Haryana and along with various ministries and departments, the Government of Haryana is providing privileged support for the smooth and successful conduct of this mega science festival.
Innovative programmes Through its innovative programmes and initiatives, the festival is ready to offer extensive opportunities for common people and the scientific community, both in India and abroad, to join, collaborate, and participate in advancing scientific activities towards the betterment of mankind. It celebrates science and technology by demonstrating how science, technology, and innovation (STI) have been helpful in improving the quality of life which is directly or indirectly contributing to the progress of the nation.