Scientists want setting up of National Science Advisory Board

Top scientists have mooted a proposal for setting up an independent panel to advise the government on science policy matters, contending the sector was bound to play an increasing role in meeting the strategic needs of the country.

 The National Science Advisory Board (NSAB), the scientists have suggested, could serve as an apex standing body for advising the government on policy matters and development of strategies for fostering science and technology needs of the country in the mid and long-term perspective.

The setting up of NSAB has been discussed at length in the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (SAC-PM), chaired by veteran chemist C N R Rao.

"Fostering the Indian science sector as an integral part of the emerging Indian culture would need a standing advisory body with tenure not linked to that of the government," said a statement of purpose circulated among the SAC-PM members.

It said common challenges and issues are discussed at the councils like SAC-PM and SAC-Cabinet. The SAC to the Cabinet is chaired by Principal Scientific Adviser to the government R Chidambaram. "These councils generally advise scientific departments in the promotion of science. These bodies are constituted by the government and their tenure is co-terminus with that of the government," the note said.

The scientists have suggested that NSAB could be formed through an Act of Parliament as a body which advises the country on all matters relating to science and its applications of research and development. 

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