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Centenary Celebrations of the Bose Institute in Kolkata

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, graced and addressed the closing ceremony of centenary celebrations of the Bose Institute in Kolkata on November 29, 2017

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the Bose Institute occupies a unique and exalted position in the landscape of Indian science. This was one of the earliest scientific institutes to be established in the country. It has served the cause of science and served the cause of India. It has contributed much to research in the biological and physical sciences. At the same time, this Institute has had a very active social outreach programme in rural Bengal through its rural bio-technology initiative. It has also been pursuing educational uplift programmes for school children in various states of the Northeast. Truly, it is making an honest effort to spread the culture of science and innovation down to the grassroots of our society.

The President said that Bengal was one of India’s earliest industrial and manufacturing economies. With that legacy, and with its educational institutions, it should have led the IT revolution in our country. But for whatever reason, it was a slow starter in IT and IT-enabled services. That boom moved to other states, such as those in the south of our country. Now Bengal has another chance. We are in the midst of an explosion of digital technologies. Cutting-edge disciplines like precision manufacture and bio-informatics are changing the way we work. And robotics is changing the way we live.

The President said that all this throws up great opportunities for Bengal, for Bengal’s science, and for Bengal’s talented pool of young scientists. Our greatest tribute to Acharya J.C. Bose would be to embrace this new era of innovation and discovery – just as he embraced and led the process of innovation and discovery a century ago.

Besides being a physicist par excellence, another remarkable contribution of J. C. Bose was that he was the first in the world to initiate interdisciplinary research by probing plants from the vantage point of physics - an integrated biophysical view of life that is in vogue. His studies on coherer led to the discovery of the common nature of the electric response to external stimuli by organic and the inorganic. He pioneered in understanding electrical and mechanical responses to stimulation, the transmission of excitation in plant and animal tissues and in vision and memory, all opening up a completely new field called electrophysiology. Many of these experiments were possible because of his design and fabrication of novel instruments, all made in India — crescograph, photosynthetic bubbler, soshnugraph to name a few.

Ignited by his indomitable spirit of nationalism and deeply shaken by his bitter experience of discrimination by the colonial rulers while working as a Professor at Presidency College, J. C. Bose set forth to establish Bose Institute in 1917, the first dedicated scientific research institute in the country. In his inaugural speech on founding the institute, he said, “I dedicate today this Institute – not merely a laboratory but a Temple – to the Nation.” Swami Vivekananda, Sister Nivedita and Rabindranath Tagore were among those who inspired and supported J. C. Bose in his endeavour. For the past 100 years, Bose Institute has served the nation through its high-quality research in various branches of science and by developing highly competent scientific manpower. Among major contributions made by Bose Institute the most noteworthy are the pioneering of cosmic ray and nuclear physics research in India by Prof. D. M. Bose, and, the unravelling of the mechanism of action of cholera toxin by Dr. S. N. De. Over the years, the scientists of Bose Institute have made significant research contributions spanning the areas of plant genetics, structural and computational biology, molecular medicine, microbiology, systems biology, astroparticle and quantum physics as well as environmental sciences. Besides, Bose Institute undertakes extensive social outreach program in rural biotechnology and organising science camps for school children and teachers. In addition, Bose Institute contributes to human resource development by running an integrated MSc-PhD program.

Now, with the ushering in of the centenary year, Bose Institute is poised to take on new challenges towards building a scientifically strong and socially responsible India.

By releasing a collection of written correspondence between Acharya Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose and Rabindranath Tagore, Bose Institute today kicked off its centenary year celebrations.      Bose had established the multi-disciplinary institute on fundamental research on this day in 1917. Institute's director Siddhartha Roy said beginning from their 100th foundation day celebrations today they have decided to invite a large number of scientists from India and abroad during the year 2016-17.

Bose had established the multi-disciplinary institute on fundamental research on this day in 1917.

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