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:
- To advance and promote the cause of science in India
- To hold an annual Congress at a suitable place in India;
- To publish proceedings, journals, transactions etc.
- To popularise science.
The first meeting of the Congress was held from January 15-17, 1914 at the premises of the Asiatic Society, Calcutta, with the Honourable Justice Sir Asutosh Mukherjee, the then Vice-Chancellor of the Calcutta University, as President. One hundred and five scientists from different parts of India and abroad attended and the papers numbering 35 were divided into six sections-Botany, Chemistry, Ethnography, Geology, Physics, Zoology under six Sectional Presidents.
From this modest beginning, with hundred and five members and thirty five papers communicated for reading at the first session, ISCA has grown into a strong fraternity with more than ten thousand members till to date. The number of papers communicated for reading has risen to nearly one thousand. There are now sixteen sections, two committees and six forums, namely Sections- Agricultural Sciences, Anthropology & Archaeology, Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology, Botany, Chemistry, Computer Sciences, Earth System Sciences, Engineering sciences, Material Sciences, Mathematics, Medical & Veterinary Sciences, Physics, Physiology, Psychology & Educational Sciences, Statistics, Zoology, Entomology & Fisheries; Committees-Home Sciences, Science & Society; Forums-Communication & Information Science, Environmental Sciences, Forensic Science, Science Education, Science for School Students and Women & Science.
The 34th Annual Session of the Indian Science Congress was held at Delhi in January 3-8,1947 with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India, as General President. Pandit Nehru's personal interest in the Science Congress continued ever since and there had been hardly any session which he did not attend. He has immensely enriched the activities of the Congress by his sustained interest in the development of scientific atmosphere in the country, particularly among young generations. In fact from 1947, 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.
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.
For more information contact:
Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA)
14, Dr. Biresh Guha Street,
Kolkata - 700017,INDIA
E-mail : iscacal[at]vsnl[dot]net
Website: Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA)