Karnataka knowledge panel starts winding up

Karnataka knowledge panel starts winding up

K Kasturirangan, Indian Space Scientist, former Chairman Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Chairman Public Affairs Centre in Bengaluru. (DH Photo)

The fate of the Karnataka Knowledge Commission, the state’s think tank whose term will end by the end of December, remains uncertain as the government is yet to take a call on its reconstitution.

The present commission has been functional since 2013 under the chairmanship of space scientist Dr K Kasturirangan and its tenure ends on December 28. Originally, the commission’s tenure ended in 2016 but was extended for three more years.

Members of the commission said they were awaiting the government’s decision but there was no clarity at the moment. According to sources, the members have begun winding up their work. “We are in the process of completing the audit and administration work. We have started winding up,” said one member, requesting anonymity.

However, members are hopeful that the government would communicate its decision to them on or before December 28.

Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan, who also handles the higher education portfolio, told DH that the government was yet to arrive at a decision on reconstituting the commission. 

Officials in the Higher Education Department said they, too, were awaiting instructions from the Chief Minister’s Office on the issue.

“The higher education department is just a go-through in this process. The decision has to come from the Chief Minister’s office,” a senior official said. 

The commission has given as many as 20 recommendations on various subjects including unmanned aerial systems, machine design, health policy, sports policy, biodiversity, arts and culture and Geographical Information Systems.

The commission has been able to complete its tasks with meagre funds, according to its members. Use of big data in governance, machine intelligence, satellite-based education for higher education, the establishment of biodiversity park in Madiwala, the establishment of Cauvery gallery in Mysuru and a Karnataka GIS vision document are some of the recommendations submitted to the government.

Knowledge Commission member-secretary Mukund Rao said the team had completed a satisfying tenure with useful recommendations given to various departments. “At the outset itself, we decided that we would work only on issues that were pertinent to the society at large. We followed a process-oriented approach. We ensured that our recommendations pertained to topics raised either by one of the government departments, our members or a larger societal demand,” he said.

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