CSIR Celebrates 80th Foundation Day

The 80th CSIR Foundation Day was celebrated at the CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL), New Delhi, auditorium on 26 September 2021. Shri Venkaiah Naidu, the Hon’ble Vice President of India, was the chief guest of the occasion, and Dr Jitendra Singh, Hon’ble Minister (S&T, ES, PMO, DOPT), graced the occasion with his august presence. 

Congratulating the CSIR on its 80th Foundation Day, Shri Venkaiah Naidu, the Hon’ble Vice President of India, said during the COVID-19 pandemic, CSIR scientists and researchers worked tirelessly to develop solutions, be it diagnostics, vaccines, medicines, makeshift hospitals, medical assistive devices, etc. The Hon’ble Vice President added that having reached a significant milestone, CSIR should look to reinvent itself, further reinvigorate and turn futuristic in a more rapid manner. While pursuing the science of the highest order, CSIR laboratories and institutes should address the nation’s challenges requiring scientific and technological solutions.  The Hon’ble Vice President said that science should help the farmers to focus on the production of protein-rich food. He said that there are many agriculture-related research problems. We need better techniques, good practices and innovations to alleviate the problems of the farmers. 

Dr Jitendra Singh, Hon’ble Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences said that we should not restrict our ambition to be the best in India but we should strive to be the best in the world. Dr Singh added that scientific organizations in the country could not work in silos anymore. The collaborations should look beyond partnerships between organizations in the same area of research. The Hon’ble Minister recalled the CSIR’s role in nation-building. He said that the Aroma Mission of CSIR has made a difference in the lives of thousands of farmers across India and especially in Kashmir. The Mission introduced a superior variety of lavender in Kashmir, and today, a purple revolution is underway in Kashmir, he added.

Prof. VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor, Govt of India, said that the scientific ministries and the many other line ministries have to work in coordination to achieve greater goals. Prof. VijayRaghavan said that CSIR would play the role of an integrator in the efforts. 

On the august occasion, the Hon’ble Vice President of India presented several awards. 

The CSIR Foundation Day Oration in virtual mode was delivered by Dr M Vidyasagar FRS, who is presently a SERB National Science Chair at IIT Hyderabad. In his oration on the title “Artificial Intelligence: An Unfinished Revolution”, Prof Vidyasagar said that the idea of using “computers” to perform tasks other than numerical computation dates back to the end of the 1940s, and the phrase “Artificial Intelligence” was coined by John McCarthy in 1955. He said that at present, there is a need to develop a sound analytical foundation for many of the ad hoc techniques that are being used. Prof. Vidyasagar gave an overview of how AI reached its current status, popular areas of research at present, including applications, and the way ahead.

Earlier, welcoming the gathering, Dr Shekhar C. Mande, DG-CSIR and Secretary, DSIR, gave a brief history of CSIR, from indelible ink to the present day COVID. Dr Shekhar Mande announced the much-awaited Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize-2021.

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