Dialogue 2023 held in Bengaluru facilitated extended stakeholder discussions on contemporary Science and Technology (S&T) Policy issues

The Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India jointly with the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, convened one of its kind S&T Policy summit – ‘Dialogue 2023: Expanding Science and Technology Horizon’ on November 18, 2023, in Bengaluru.

The summit was inaugurated by Prof. T.A. Abinandanan of the Indian Institute of Science.Prof. G. Rangarajan, Director, Indian Institute of Science, delivered the opening address and introducedthe theme of the summit.Prof. Ajay Kumar Sood, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, delivered the keynote address on ‘Expanding S&T horizon: Within and Beyond’.

In his keynote address, Prof. Sood shared insights on India’s technological advancement and various missions that are driving national technology competitiveness. He emphasized the connection between Science, Research, Education, and Innovation, underscoring their role in achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

The forenoon sessions of the summit focused on the theme of ‘Shaping Technological Futures’ and the afternoon sessions on ‘Science, Technology and Society’. The session on ‘Ethics of Disruptive Technologies’ featured a free-flowing conversation between a renowned technologist, Dr Sharad Sharma, co-founder of iSPIRT Foundation, and an eminent technology ethicist, Prof. Nimmi Rangaswamy, Professor at the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad. The conversation touched upon various facets of ethical principles for shaping anticipatory governance strategies in dealing with disruptive technologies.

The second segment titled ‘Diversity of Knowledge: People’ featured three lightning talks. Prof. Anil Gupta, Founder of Honey Bee Network, highlighted the importance of treating local knowledge holders as valuable sources of knowledge in our policies. Dr. Anamika Dey, CEO of Grassroots Innovations Augmentation Network (GIAN), spoke about viewing the diversity of knowledge through a gender lens. Dr. Viswajanani Sattigeri, Head of CSIR-Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), presented a policy perspective on integrating traditional knowledge systems.

The summit concluded with a closing plenary session featuring a popular talk on the ‘Public Perception of Science’ delivered by Prof. Shubha Tole, Senior Professor, and Dean of Graduate Studies at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai. In her talk, Prof. Tole emphasized the need for extended public outreach and engagement in science. She also provided recommendations for scientists and scientific institutions to strengthen their capacity for outreach activities. This session was chaired by Prof. Navakanta Bhat, Dean, Division of Interdisciplinary Sciences of IISc. The session culminated with an engaging open discussion, providing participants with the opportunity to share their thoughts and insights. The summit concluded with a vote of thanks.