The Academy

(I)      An  Introduction

India could justly feel proud for its unique contributions to science in the ancient past. However, successive foreign invasions and alien rule for centuries pushed science in the background and the country went through with what may be described as the dark age for science. Western science attracted Indian intelligentsia after the establishment of the western system of education and the universities; and despite many constraints, the country could produce giants like Prof. J.C. Bose, Prof. S.N. Bose,  Prof. Meghnad Saha, Prof. C.V. Raman and Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray.

Founder President Prof. M N Saha

The 1st World War and the world-wide economic depression caused a setback to scientific research globally - much more so in India whose scientists found it difficult even to publish their research work since they had to be almost entirely dependent on foreign journals. The post World War India also saw the rise of the freedom movement which incidentally also drew attention to the numerous problems of the Indian people like poverty, hunger, diseases, recurrent floods, droughts, famines etc. Patriotic scientists felt deeply concerned with these.

 It was in this background that the idea of establishing a forum for scientists, which would bring them together to discuss and find scientific solutions to the problems of the country, was mooted by Prof. Meghnad Saha, a great scientist, patriot and then Professor of Physics at Allahabad University in 1929. His views were published in December 1929 issue of the Allahabad University magazine in an article entitled 'A Plea for an Academy of Sciences'.

Thus, the National Academy of Sciences, India (initially called “The Academy of Sciences of United Provinces of Agra and Oudh”) was founded in the year 1930, with the objectives to provide a national forum for the publication of research work carried out by Indian scientists and to provide opportunities for exchange of views among them. The Memorandum of Association was signed by seven distinguished and patriotic scientists namely Prof. Meghnad Saha, Prof. K.N. Bahl, Prof. D.R. Bhattacharya, Prof. P.C. MacMohan, Prof. A.C. Banerji, Prof. Ch. Wali Mohammad and Prof. N.R. Dhar. Of these, the Academy had the good fortune of having the continued association of Prof. N.R. Dhar until very lately when he expired on December 5, 1986 at the age of 96 years. Apart from being one of the founders of the Academy and taking continued interest in its welfare, Prof. Dhar also donated the piece of land on which the Academy building stands today.

The Rules and Regulations of the Academy were based on those of the Royal Society of England and the Asiatic Society of Bengal. These have since been revised and updated to meet the emerging challenges. Prof. Meghnad Saha was elected its first President. In the Inaugural address, Prof. Saha Said : “…..But the main function of the Academy should be towards cultural improvement by contribution to human knowledge”. Since then, the Academy has crossed many milestones, successfully serving the “Science & Society”. In its Silver Jubilee Session in 1955, Prof. Saha, further emphasized the role of the Academies in developing human scientific resources. Similarly, during the Golden Jubilee Session of the Academy in 1980, Shrimati Indira Gandhi, Prime Minster of India stressed that the need of hour was to ensure that science does not remain confined to laboratories. The address delivered by His Excellency Sri Venkataraman, President of India, during the Diamond Jubilee Session (1990-91) was a timely reminder of the vision of late Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru to integrate science with the lives of the people; and the Academy left no stone unturned in pursuing its aim and objectives, which was  appreciated by His Excellency Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, President of India, in his address during the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of the Academy in 2005. Dr. Kalam praised the role of the Academy in boosting the zeal of the budding scientists, who could do better in future with such support and endeavour.

The Academy undertakes several “science-society” programs under the guidance of its Presidents and Fellows. As its Past Presidents, very distinguished scientists like Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, Prof. Manju Sharma, Prof. P.N. Tandon, Prof. S.K. Joshi, Prof. Jai Pal Mittal, Prof. V.P. Kamboj, Prof. Ashok Misra, Prof. A.K. Sharma, Prof. Asis Datta and Dr. K. Kasturirangan are keenly associated with the Academy and enormously contributing to its development. It is  worth  mentioning  that  a  few  other Past Presidents (unfortunately who are not with us), as Prof. M.G.K. Menon, Dr. V.P. Sharma, Dr. T.N. Khoshoo, Prof. U.S. Srivastava, Dr. A.P. Mitra and Dr. S.Z. Qasim also contributed a lot to the development of science in general and the Academy in particular, in the recent past.

The Academy while starting with 57 ordinary Members and 19 Fellows, has now 1755 Members and 1777 Fellows from all parts of the country; including 16 Honorary Fellows and 97 Foreign Fellows from various disciplines of Science and Technology.  The Academy is financially supported by the Department of Science & Technology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt. of India; and it is also recognized as the Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation by the DSIR, Govt. of India.

NASI - envisions the cultivation and promotion of Science & Technology in all its branches through –

(a)    promoting scientific and technological research related to the problems of societal welfare;

(b)    publication of proceedings, journals, memoirs, transactions and other works as may be considered desirable;

(c)    organising meetings and hold discussions on scientific and technological problems;

(d)    undertaking, through properly constituted committees and bodies, the scientific work(s) of technological or public impor­tance.

(e)    co-operating with other organizations in India and abroad, having similar objects, and to appoint representatives of the Academy to act on national and international bodies;

(f)     securing and managing funds and endowments for the promotion of science and technology;

(g)    organising a Science Library;

(h)    performing all other acts, matters and things that may assist in, conduce to, or be necessary for the fulfillment of the above mentioned aims and objects of the Academy;

(i)     creating an adequate impact of the Academy all over the country, by opening Chapters of the Academy in other cities in the country, where reasonable number of Fellows and Members are available.

 (II)      Council 2018


1.      Prof. Anil Kakodkar, DSc(hc), FNASc, FASc, FNAE, FIE, Formerly Chairman, AEC & Secretary, DAE, GOI; DAE Homi Bhabha Chair Professor & Member AEC, BARC, Trombay, Mumbai – 400085

Past Presidents

2.      Prof. Akhilesh K. Tyagi, PhD, FNASc, FASc, FNA, FNAAS, FTWAS, Formerly Director, NIPGR; Department of Plant Molecular Biology, University of Delhi South Campus, New Delhi - 110021

3.      Prof. Asis Datta, PhD, DSc, FNASc, FASc, FNA, FTWAS, Formerly Vice-Chancellor, JNU & Founder Director, National Institute of Plant Genome Research, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi – 110067.


4.      Prof. Rohini Madhusudan Godbole, PhD(SUNY), DLitt, FNASc, FASc, FNA, FTWAS, Professor, Centre for High Energy Physics, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore - 560012

5.      Prof. Pramod Tandon, PhD, FNASc, FBS, Formerly Vice-Chancellor, NEHU, Shillong; Chief Executive Officer, Biotech Park, Sector G, Kursi Road, Jankipuram, Lucknow – 226021


6.      Prof. Balakrishnan Ramakrishnan, PhD, FNASc, Professor-H, Harish Chandra Research Institute, Chhatnag Road, Jhusi, Allahabad – 211019

Foreign Secretary

7.      Prof. Pramod Kumar Garg, MBBS, MD, DM, FNASc, FAMS, Professor, Department of Gastroenterology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110029 

General Secretaries

8.      Prof.  Paramjit Khurana, PhD, FNASc, FASc, FNA, FNAAS, FTWAS, JC Bose National Fellow, Professor, Department of Plant Molecular Biology, University of Delhi South Campus, Benito Juarez Road, Dhaula Kuan, New Delhi - 110021

9.      Prof. Satya Deo, PhD (Arkansas, USA), FNASc, Formerly Vice Chancellor, APS University, Rewa, MP; Hony. Scientist, Harish-Chandra Research Institute, Chhatnag Road, Jhusi, Allahabad - 211019  


10.   Prof. Madhoolika Agrawal, PhD, FNASc, FNAAS, Professor, Department of Botany, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi – 221005

11.   Prof. Jayesh Ramesh Bellare, PhD, FNASc, FNAE, Institute Chair Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Powai, Mumbai- 400076

12.   Prof. Balram Bhargava, MBBS, MD, DM, FNASc, FACC, FAHA, FAMS, Professor, Cardiothoracic Sciences Centre, Executive Director, Stanford India Biodesign Centre, Department of Cardiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi - 110029

13.   Dr. Subhra Chakraborty, PhD, FNASc, FASc, FNAAS, Staff Scientist VII, National Institute of Plant Genome Research, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi - 110067

14.   Dr. Sugeerappa Laxmanappa Hoti, PhD, FNASc, FISP,  Scientist G & Director-in-Charge,  Regional Medical Research Centre (ICMR),  Nehru Nagar (Opp.KLE Hospital), Belagavi– 590010

15.   Dr. Gyan Chandra Mishra, PhD, FNASc, FASc, FNA, Senior Scientist, National Centre for Cell Science, Ganeshkhind, NCCS Complex, Pune-411007

16.   Prof. Jayant Moreshwar Modak, PhD, FNASc, FNAE, Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – 560012

17.   Dr. Sankar Kumar Pal, PhD (Cal.& Lond.), DIC, FNASc, FASc, FNA, FNAE, FIEEE, FTWAS, FIAPR, FIFSA, Raja Ramanna Fellow, Distinguished  Scientist and Former Director, Indian Statistical Institute, 203, B.T.  Road, Kolkata -700108

18.   Prof. Anunay Samanta, PhD, FNASc, FASc, FNA, Professor, School of Chemistry, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad - 500046

19.   Prof. L.S. Shashidhara, PhD (Cambridge,UK), FNASc, FASc, FNA, Professor & Coordinator (Biology), Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, 900, NCL Innovation Park, Dr. Homi Bhabha Road, Pune – 411008

20.   Dr. Dinesh Kumar Srivastava, PhD, FNASc, FNA, Raja Ramanna Fellow, Former Director & Distinguished Scientist, Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre, 1/AF, Bidhan Nagar, Kolkata – 700064

21.   Prof. Sampat Kumar Tandon, PhD, FNASc, FASc, FNA, FGS, FTWAS, Visiting Professor, IISER Bhopal, Bhopal Bypass Road, Bhauri, Bhopal – 462066

22.   Dr. Anil Kumar Tripathi, PhD, FNASc, FNA, FNAAS, FRBS, FAMI, Director, CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Near Kukrail Picnic Spot, PO CIMAP, Lucknow – 226015

23.   Prof. Anil Kumar Tyagi, PhD, FNASc, FASc, FNA, Vice-Chancellor, GGS Indraprastha University, Sector 16C, Dwarka, New Delhi – 110078

DST Secretary’s Nominee –

Prof. Sibaji Raha, Ph.D., FNASc, Former Director, Bose Institute, P-1/12, CIT Scheme VII-M, Kolkata – 700054

(III)     Activities of NASI (in a nutshell):

The Academy (NASI) organized various activities under the presidentship of Professor Anil Kakodkar, former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission of India, during the year 2018. The Past Presidents, namely Professor M.S. Swaminathan, Professor (Mrs.) Manju Sharma, Professor S.K. Joshi, Professor Ashok Misra, Professor Asis Datta, Dr V. P. Kamboj, Dr. K. Kasturirangan and Prof. Akhilesh K. Tyagi, also took keen interest in the dissemination of science in general and the development of Academy, in particular. The noteworthy accomplishments with the kind cooperation of its Fellows and Members, and major (financial) support of the DST, New Delhi, are as follows:


NASI published the Proceedings of NASI (Physical & Biological Sciences Sections), each in IV parts & Science Letters in VI parts in collaboration with the Springer India. 

A ‘Festschrift’, dedicated to the legendary scientist Professor M.G.K. Menon, published by NASI and released by the Hon’ble Minister for Science & Technology, Government of India on August 27, 2016 at New Delhi, was distributed to several governmental and non-governmental agencies. A copy of the same was later presented to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India. The 9 volumes on the History of Science in India were also distributed to the concerned government and non-government agencies for dissemination of knowledge. A ‘Vision Document’ on women in science has also been released.

Science Communication Activities

      The highlights of these activities were Children Science Meet, Summer & Winter Schools, Vocational Training Programmes, Teachers’ Workshops, Scientific Writing Contest, Vigyan, Jal & Health Chaupals, Seminars, and celebration of the National Technology Day, the National Science Day, the Natioal Mathematics Day and the World Environment Day etc. The Academy also encouraged the teachers for out-of-the-class science activities by recognizing their talent and giving away NASI-Science Teacher’s Awards to them.

      NASI’s 18 Chapters spread across India, organized hundreds of science communication activities in and around their respective regions throughout the year. More than 10,000 students and teachers benefitted from these activities.

      A series of workshops on Scientific Paper Writing have been organized by the Academy (since 2012) to train the young researchers in the art and ethics of scientific writing. So far, 14 such workshops have been organized at BHU, Varanasi; SGPGI, Lucknow; NASI HQs, Allahabad; Udaipur; Mumbai; Dehradun; Pune; Amrawati; Nainital, Jamshedpur and IIT Guwahati,  out of  which 3 were organized during the year 2017-18.

      Two Science Awareness Programmes (relating to health issues) were organized for the Army personnel.

S&T Entrepreneurship development 

      Training programs for entrepreneurs – To inculcate the spirit of entrepreneurship in the youth and in line with the National Mission Programmes of Skill Development and Start Up India, NASI organised several programmes at Mohali, Lucknow, Chennai, Madurai, Mumbai, Jamshedpur and IIT Guwahati. Young, potential candidates interested in entrepreneurship benefited from these programmes.

      Awareness and Training – The programmes were organised on Nutrition, Safe drinking water, Health & hygiene etc. A mixed participation of rural and urban population was ensured. This was included as a part of “Swasth Bharat Mission”.

      Safe drinking water and pollution abatement - The programmes were organised especially for the rural areas and municipal workers – This is the part of “Swachh Bharat Mission”.

Science Education Programmes in joint collaboration with National Science Academies

NASI, together with other two Science Academies - Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi and Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore jointly sponsors the Summer Research Fellowship under the joint Science Education Panel to provide opportunities to bright under-and post-graduate students and teachers to usefully spend their summer vacations.

Sensitization Programmes for Women Researchers/Scientists

The Academy organized 25 workshops on Technological Empowerment of Women in different parts of the country during the last 4 years. More than 12000 women scientists/researchers were sensitized under this programme. A Vision Document on women scientists in India, prepared jointly by three National Science Academies, was also released. Three workshops (out of 25 mentioned above) were organised during the year 2017-18.

Annual Session/Symposia/Seminars & Scientific Discussions

The Academy organised the 87th Annual Session and Symposium on ‘Basic Research  - its role in national development’ at SPPU, Pune on December 8-10, 2017. More than 500 researchers and scientists participated in these events. Other seminars/symposia were also organised by NASI.

Fellowship / Membership

To recognize the outstanding scientific contributions of the scientists, the Academy awards every year the prestigious Fellowships/Memberships to them. More than 100 scientists working in different areas of Science & Technology were selected from all across the country in the year 2017. It also awarded a few Foreign Fellowships to scientists who are working in different countries and have collaborated with scientists from India.

Singhania Library

Library services were enriched through digitization of the library and subscribing more books. The library is connected to National Knowledge Network (NKN); Internet facility is being provided to the students and research scholars free of cost.

Recognition and Awards- The following awards were given in the year 2017-18:

NASI-Reliance Industries Platinum Jubilee Awards for the Application Oriented Innovations covering both Physical and Biological Sciences to four distinguished scientists; NASI-Young Scientist Platinum Jubilee Awards to about dozen young scientists/researchers in the fields of Biological/Physical/ Chemical Sciences; 11th NASI Scopus Awards to  10 young scientists/researchers; NASI-Senior Scientist Platinum Jubilee Fellowships; Professor M. G. K. Menon Memorial Lecture Award was given to Professor Manju Sharma in the year 2017; NASI – Swarna Jayanti Puruskars for Best Paper Presentation were given to eight young scientists/researchers, in the 87th Annual Session; NASI – Springer Awards for Best Paper Presentation were given to eight young scientists/researchers, in the Annual Session; Memorial Lecture Awards to about 13 eminent scientists; NASI – Science and Maths Teacher Awards by NASI HQ & Chapters to many teachers.

Establishment of River Galleries

Following the establishment of Ganga Gallery in the year 2011 at NASI Headquarters, Allahabad, the Academy established another river gallery on Brahmaputra River in Guwahati, Assam in 2015. The work on the third gallery on River Cauvery has also been completed at Mysuru, Karnataka with the major support from the Government of Karnataka.

Rejuvenation of Baolies (Step wells) in Bundelkhand area

Under the ‘Safe Water’ programme, the Academy restored 5 step-wells in Bundelkhand area to assure the availability of safe water to the local tribals and have-nots of the area. NASI also collaborated with the MP Council of Science & Technology (MPCOST) with this programme for community schemes.

A Brainstorming on’Safe Water & Sanitation’ was also organised at NASI on September 15-17, 2017.

Nutrition Project in collaboration with ICMR- National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad

The Academy took up a project against malnutrition in collaboration with the NIN, Hyderabad at three places- Allahabad, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad. The first phase of survey/study has been completed at Allahabad and Hyderabad; further extension of this programme is being planned.

Tribal Welfare Programmes

The Academy undertook several programmes for the welfare of Scheduled Tribes of different regions of India, e.g. at Jharkhand, Bundelkhand, North-East and other areas.

Major and Unique National Facilities created:

The Ganga-gallery (IGNOU, New Delhi has included the gallery in its syllabus/projects; UP Tourism and Consortium of IITs have also included the gallery on their websites) and the Brahmaputra gallery have been dedicated to the nation. The third on Cauvery has also been established recently at Mysuru. The restoration of Baolies (step wells) is an important step for assuring safe water supply to the rural population of Bundelkhand. The library of the Academy is also serving our nation for more than 87 years.

Important collaborations (national and global) established:

a)  The NASI together with other two Science Academies - Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi and Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore is jointly sponsoring the Summer Research Fellowship under the joint Science Education Panel

b)  Continuing its established collaboration with the Reliance Industries, SCOPUS and Springer, for recognizing the talent in scientific research.

c)  Also organized many science communication/ popularisation activities in collaboration with the Indian Universities/ Institutes/CSIR Laboratories/ NCSM and other prestigious institutions..