BENGALURU: Amidst the innumerable stories of people’s growing dependence on superstition, faith and rituals in a hope to resolve natural calamities like drought and floods, is a heartening story of coming together of a city-based virtual institute with the prestigious National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) to form a research and resource platform, which would offer comprehensive and implementable solutions for issues, which threaten the social, economic and environmental fabric of society
On June 7 the Institute of Frontier Science and Application (IFSA) - comprising of a group of scientists and domain experts and NIAS have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to address critical problems of societal and national importance through implementable, evidence-based, policy advocacies and proof of concept. “NIAS is an inter-disciplinary institute and IFSA has similar objectives. This MoU will be of great help in providing multi-disciplinary solutions to the society in critical areas with special emphasis on modern science and traditional Indian wisdom,” Prof. Sisir Roy of NIAS told The New Indian Express.
“Some of the focal areas of this joint platform will be to provide help in developing disaster resilient cities, low carbon development pathways, inclusive and sustainable developments and enhancing farmers’ income in the country,” said Chairman, IFSA and former Director, Council of Scientific Industry & Research (CSIR), National Institute of Science, Technology & Development Studies (NISTADS), Dr. Prashant Goswami.
“IFSA is a virtual research and application platform that works on the motto of knowledge without boundaries and aims to work, both, at the level of expanding scientific research and enhancing its application for the benefit of the society. As a virtual platform, IFSA’s coverage is global,” said Dr. Goswami.
“We rely on a network of associates from various disciplines. They could be scientists, economists, engineers and other experts, who can address problems related to their discipline and are approached to address issues in their domain. As a first step, IFSA is planning to host a workshop in August to develop strategies for enhancing farmers income. This event will involve agricultural scientists, economists, legal experts, thought leaders and others, including media for outreach,” he added.
“Most of the R&D organizations are often found wanting to provide a comprehensive and implementable solution to real-life problems as acute as water scarcity, farmers’ distress or unemployment. A major reason is that such issues need multi-disciplinary and innovative solutions, which these institutions with large manpower do not offer at one single platform. We are hoping that IFSA, which is multidisciplinary and based on modern IT solutions is able to provide practical and sustainable solutions based on scientific, domain knowledge and expertise,” added Dr Goswami.
THE IFSA TEAM
Chairman Dr Prashant Goswami is a former director of CSIR, NISTADS. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award (2001) in Earth Sciences. The virtual institute is guided by an advisory council consisting of eminent experts with multi-disciplinary expertise.