INSA-INYAS Vigyan Setu Webinar Series

14th webinar in the series of Vigyan Setu will be available on the following link:

This webinar will be available on the INYAS YouTube channel

Prof. Ajoy Ghatak, President-Elect, NASI & Former Professor of Physics, IIT Delhi, will be delivering the 14th webinar on December 12 at 11:00 am.

Title: The Fiber Optics Revolution

About the topic:
Charles Kao was awarded half of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for “groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication”. This is truly a very apt recognition of an area which has touched almost everyone. Production of low loss optical fibers, availability of semiconductor lasers (which could be operated at room temperatures) and development of Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifiers have created a revolution in communication making phone calls and video conferencing almost free. In addition, Fiber Lasers and Fiber Bragg Gratings find widespread applications in many diverse areas including strategic defense applications. This talk will briefly describe some of the important developments in the general area of Fiber Optics.

About the Speaker:
Prof. Ajoy Ghatak is currently Meghnad Saha Professor of The National Academy of Sciences, India. He received his BSc from Agra College, M.Sc from Delhi University and PhD from Cornell University. After a Research Associateship at Brookhaven National Laboratory, he joined IIT Delhi in 1966. Professor Ghatak has research interests in Fiber Optics & Quantum Mechanics. He has authored several books including his undergraduate text on OPTICS which has been translated to Chinese and Persian. His other books include Quantum Mechanics: Theory & Applications (coauthored with Professor S. Lokanathan), Fiber Optics, Lasers and Optical Electronics (all 3 coauthored with Professor K. Thyagarajan) and his most recent book is on Einstein’s Year of Miracles: E=mc2, The Light Quantum & Special Theory of Relativity. He is recipient of the 2008 SPIE Educator award in recognition of “his unparalleled global contributions to the field of fiber optics research, and his tireless dedication to optics education worldwide..”; the 2003 Esther Hoffman Beller award, instituted by OSA (The Optical Society of America), in recognition of his “outstanding contributions to optics education ” ; International Commission for Optics 1998 Galileo Galilei award and also the CSIR 1979 S.S. Bhatnagar award for “outstanding contributions in physical sciences”. Very recently he received the OSA 2020 Sang Soo Lee award for his seminal role in the development of fiber optics and guided wave photonics and for pioneering optics education in India.

Thirteenth webinar in the series of Vigyan Setu is available on the following

Title: Science & Technology for Addressing Societal Challenges-Learnings from Covid-19

Dr. Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt. of India, New Delhi, delivered the thirteenth webinar on October 16 at 11:00am.
She has actively contributed in the formulation of India’s Biotechnology Vision and Strategy. She is credited with the establishment of India’s largest microbial resource centre, Microbial Culture Collection.To acknowledge her support in microbial diversity research in India and simplifying provisions of the Biological diversity Act, 2002, a newly discovered microbial species Natrialba swarupiae has been named in her honour by the National Centre for Cell Science.

About the Topic:
Dr. Renu Swarup talked about Science & Technology as a tool for addressing the societal challenges, especially in the current perspective of global pandemic, Covid-19. This webinar was an open discussion on the related theme based on the questions from moderators and viewers.

Twelfth webinar in the series of Vigyan Setu is available on the following link:

Title: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy: Cosmic Illusions and Gravitational Waves

Dr. Somak Raychaudhury, Director of the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune delivered the twelfth Vigyan Setu webinar on September 19 at 11:00am.
Dr. Raychaudhury is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, Royal Astronomical Society and the Astronomical Society of India. His research involves a wide range of topics in Cosmology and Astrophysics, from the ground and from Space.

About the Topic:
It has been a century since Einstein changed our way of looking at gravity. He showed us that Newton’s idea that any two things in the Universe pull each other with a gravitational force wasn’t the whole story: gravitational attraction is due to the distortion of space and time due to matter. This view works, but can have many outrageous consequences, some of which feature prominently in future plans for Indian science. For instance, light can bend around stars and galaxies, causing mirages and illusions on a cosmic scale. ‘Gravitational lensing’ reveals the underlying dark matter, which needs large optical telescopes for its study. The motion of objects makes Space vibrate like a drum, causing ‘ripples’ of spacetime. Such ‘gravitational waves’ are distortions of space-time which carry a large amount of energy and yet produce only infinitesimally small effects as they pass through space at the speed of light. I will talk about recent discoveries in this field, and about the plan and prospects for building LIGO-India, a gravitational wave observatory in India.

Eleventh webinar in the series of Vigyan Setu is available on the following link:

Title: COVID-19 Pandemic and Life Scientists: Where do we go from here?

Prof. Chandrima Shaha, President, Indian National Science Academy (INSA) delivered the eleventh webinar on August 29 at 11:00am.
Prof. Shaha is a biologist and also the Former Director of the National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi where she is currently serving as the Professor of Eminence. She is an elected fellow of the World Academy of Sciences and fellow of all three Science Academies of India. Her notable awards include the Ranbaxy Science Foundation Award for basic sciences; the J.C. Bose Fellowship; Om Prakash Bhasin Award; Archana Sharma Memorial Award; Chandrakala Hora Memorial Medal; Darshan Ranganathan Memorial Award; SSB Medal of INSA and the Shakuntala Amir Chand Prize of ICMR.

About the Topic:
The impact of the SARS-CoV-2 viral outbreak has affected lives all over the globe. The progress of life science research suffered because laboratories closed down, the wet lab experiments were terminated and valuable resources and time were lost. On the contrary, research flourished at some equipped places that initiated SARS-CoV-2 research and generated elegant data about the biology and evolution of the virus. Depending on where they are, the student community, the post doctoral fellows, the mid-career scientists as well as established scientists face stress to cope with this disruption, yet there are opportunities that are to be utilized to create new spaces for themselves. Life science has to answer many questions on this pandemic and prepare for the future but society has to learn to listen to science to create a healthy planet. Future is uncertain but as the pandemic unfolds, it shows the importance of relevant scientific research and good leadership in dealing with such crises.

Tenth webinar in the series of Vigyan Setu is available on the following link:

Title: Creating and Enabling Innovation Eco-System for Translational Science

Ms. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Executive Chairpersn, Biocon Limited, delivered the tenth webinar on August 17 at 11:30am.
Ms Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is a pioneering biotech entrepreneur, a healthcare visionary, a global influencer and a passionate philanthropist. She is a pioneer of India’s biotech industry and founder of Biocon. Ms. Mazumdar-Shaw is the proud recipient of two of India’s highest civilian honours, the Padma Shri (1989) and the Padma Bhushan (2005). She was also honoured with the Order of Australia, Australia’s Highest Civilian Honour in January 2020. In 2016, she was conferred with the highest French distinction – Knight of the Legion of Honour. She has most recently been named as the winner of EY World Entrepreneur of the Year™ 2020 Award, which is a testimony to her entrepreneurial journey of over four decades. She has been ranked as one of the world’s top 20 inspirational leaders in the field of biopharmaceuticals by The Medicine Maker Power List 2020. She was felicitated with ‘Advancing Women in Science and Medicine Award for Excellence’ in 2017 by The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, USA.

Ninth webinar in the series of Vigyan Setu will be available on the following link:

Dr. Subhra Priyadarshini, Chief Editor, Nature India will be delivering the ninth webinar on August 10 at 11:00 am.

Title: Lessons from COVID-19 for science communication

About the Topic: For the first time in our collective memories, the entire human race is looking up to science for solutions. It isn’t the Gods, it isn’t astrology, it isn’t quackery. People have pinned their hopes on science to find a drug or a vaccine that will end the rampage of the novel coronavirus across the world. This is a great time for scientists to siege the opportunity and bolster public trust in science. Armed with evidence, it’s a great time to stand up to pseudoscience and misinformation. This talk will aim to set the ground for some introspection by the scientific community in India. Living through the pandemic offers rich lessons in public engagement, outreach and communication. It also spurs the thought – is it time for publicly-funded scientists to embrace science communication as a natural extension of their work? 

This webinar will be available on the INYAS YouTube channel

Eighth webinar in the series of Vigyan Setu is available on the following link:

Prof. Partha P.Majumder, National Science Chair & President, Indian Academy of Sciences & Founding Director, National Institute of Biomedical Genomics, Kalyani, Kolkata delivered the eighth webinar on July 25 at 11:00 am.  Prof. Majumder is a J.C. Bose National Fellow and an elected fellow of the Indian National Science Academy, Indian Academy of Science and National Academy of Science, India. 

Topic: “Evolution and Spread of SARS-COV-2

About the Topic: 

I shall make some general remarks about viruses, their evolution, and modes of tracking spread. Then I shall narrate the results of our phylodynamic analysis on the evolution of subtypes of SARS-CoV-2 and narrate our observations on the geographical spread of the subtypes. I shall finally present a biological model that impacts on transmissibility and the spread of a specific subtype.  

This webinar will be available on the INYAS YouTube channel

Seventh webinar in the series of Vigyan Setu is available on the following link:

Dr Rakesh Mishra, Director, CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) Hyderabad, Sir J.C. Bose National Fellow and elected fellow of the Indian National Science Academy, Indian Academy of Science and National Academy of Science, India delivered the seventh webinar on July 11 at 11:00 am

Topic: “ Role of Academic Institutions in Fight against COVID-19:  CSIR-CCMB perspective

About the Topic: Most of the living human population across the world has not faced uncertainties at a scale as in these last six months. These range from not understanding enough of a pathogen to not having enough mechanisms for disease management in the country, and beyond. It is in such times that society turns to scientists and academic institutions and research organizations having cutting-edge infrastructure, as these are not only trained well to think and innovate but also stay abreast with the global progress in science. Like many other institutions, CSIR-CCMB has been in the think of the battle against COVID-19. The community has taken the onus of leading the efforts in training and testing. Our in-house expertise helped us in embarking on research to understand the viral genome better as well as culture the virus. These have opened up possibilities to collaborate with industry partners to develop products that aim to help mitigate the crisis

This webinar will be available on INYAS YouTube channel

The sixth webinar of INSA-INYAS Vigyan Setu Webinar Series will be on June 27, 2020, at 11:00 am

The sixth webinar in the series of Vigyan Setu is available on the following link:

Prof. Gagandeep Kang, MD, Ph.D., FRS, FRCPath, FAAM, FASc, FNASc, FNA, FFPH, Executive Director of the Translational Health Science Technology Institute (THSTI), Department of Biotechnology, Government of India will be delivering the webinar. 

Topic: “Evidence for prevention of COVID 19”.

About the Topic: The prevention of SARS-CoV2 infection is front and centre of many discussions today. Whether it is distancing, closing schools, malls, and transport systems, or the wearing of masks, these are traditional public health measures for the prevention of infection, but their relative effectiveness in decreasing COVID 19 infections remains a challenge to measure. Vaccines are being considered as a solution for the ongoing pandemic, but while there is a great promise, there are also perils that require caution. We have been able to get every possible technology platform to address vaccine development at a speed that we have never seen before, but questions on the duration of protection, correlates of protection and potential safety issues remain. Indian manufacturers are ready to play a role in both development and manufacture, but global cooperation will be required to get vaccines to the people who need them the most as rapidly as possible.

About the Speaker: Professor Kang is the Executive Director of the Translational Health Science Technology Institute, Department of Biotechnology. She serves/served on the scientific and advisory committees of several national and international institutions, including the World Health Organisation, Wellcome Trust, International Vaccine Institute, and International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology. She currently chairs the Immunization Technical Advisory Group of the WHO South East Asian Region. She is Vice-Chair of the Board of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, a global partnership seeking to pro-actively develop vaccines for epidemics.

Professor Kang is internationally recognized for her contributions to vaccine development for rotavirus and vaccine policy.  She is the first Indian and globally the first woman to edit the 100+ year old classic, Manson’s Textbook of Tropical Medicine. Her work has been recognized through several awards, most notably the Infosys Prize in Life Sciences, so far the only award to a physician. In 2019, she was the first Indian woman elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

The fifth webinar in the series of Vigyan Setu is available on the following link

Prof. Sandeep Verma, FNA, FASc, FNASc, Secretary, Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB), New Delhi will be delivering the next webinar.


About the Topic:  The novel coronavirus, SARS-Cov-2, and the ensuing disease caused by the virus, COVID-19, has created pandemic of epic proportions causing enormous loss of lives, widespread infection, and an incalculable disruption of normal life across communities. Medical service professionals and civic authorities have risen to mount a befitting response to the pandemic, despite the initial struggle to learn about the new virus, its infection life-cycle, and associated morbidities. Given the high-level infectivity of SARS-Cov-2, a strict lockdown was implemented across the country leading to the closure of academic and research institutions. As the unlockdown begins, we brace ourselves to a phased opening of laboratories and work environments. Inevitably, the challenges of restarting the R&D engine in the changed economic order, while striving to maintain excellence, requires that we set priorities aligned with our pre-eminent position in research, our national needs and innovate along with the new mantra of self-reliance through focus, dedication and renewed vigor.

This webinar will be available on the INYAS YouTube channel

A direct YouTube link to the webinar is also here:

The fourth webinar in the series of Vigyan Setu is available on the following link:

Dr. Anurag Agrawal, MBBS, PhD, FNA, FASc, ATSF, Director, CSIR-Institute of Genomics, and Integrative Biology (IGIB), New Delhi will be delivering the next webinar.  

Topic: “Analog and Digital Health in the Aftermath of COVID-19”. 

About the Topic:

COVID19 has shaken our belief in the preparedness of our health systems and exposed its vulnerabilities. Importantly, the post-COVID world will have to reimagine health systems from its analog roots to its digital futures, perhaps hastening a transition towards automation and artificial intelligence support that has been much talked about but minimally acted on so far. This will come with a new set of challenges, some of which should be anticipated in advance and prepared for. These include increasing reliance on technology, with concurrent reduction of face to face interactions; digital front doors into healthcare; and heavy use of surveillance and data gathering. A vision of this future will be discussed.

This webinar will be available on the INYAS YouTube channel

A direct YouTube link to the webinar is also here:

Third webinar in the series of Vigyan Setu is available on the following link:

Prof. Narinder K. Mehra, FNA, FTWAS, ICMR Emeritus Scientist and Former Dean, AIIMS, National Chair, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi will be delivering the next webinar. 

Topic: “Host Immunity and Covid-19 Spectrum”

Abstarct: COVID-19 has become the most rapidly spreading communicable disease of the 21st century involving practically 213 countries/areas or territories with over 4 million cases and nearly 3 Lakh fatalities as of May 12. The dynamics of this ongoing pandemic reveals great heterogeneity in clinical manifestation ranging from asymptomatic to variably symptomatic forms including mild to severe disease. Incidentally, majority of COVID-19 cases (~80% or more) represent asymptomatic and/or mild category leading to relatively lower mortality than its most closely related human analogues like SARS and MERS-CoV. Global attempts have just begun to characterize the immune protective correlates of COVID-19 outbreak. However, overall only scarce reports are available which are inadequate to understand the immunopathogenesis of the novel SARS-CoV2 virus. In this webinar, I will discuss the innate and adaptive immune systems to COVID-19 toxicity resulting in the release of large amounts of cytokines that can rapidly progress to ARDS, single or multiple organ failure, eventually leading to death. Further, an effort will be made to understand how population specific genetic diversity could select HLA molecules with higher binding specificities to the SARS-CoV2 peptides and thus compromise viral replicative fitness. Finally, I will discuss both the immediate challenges and the expectations from Immunology towards finding solutions to the several unanswered questions related to this novel disease.

All questions asked during the first webinar are answered by the speaker, Prof.  Mehra and are available on INYAS FB page.

QR Code for INYAS YouTube Channel

Second webinar is available on the following link:

Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India delivered the second webinar on May 12 at 11:00 am on the topic: “Science and Scientist in the New Millennium”.

It was a candid discussion covering many aspects related to the challenges and opportunities for the Young Scientists.

Topic: “Science and Scientist in the New Millennium”.

This webinar will be available on the INYAS YouTube channel. A direct link to the INYAS YouTube channel is given below. QR Code of INYAS YouTube channel is also attached here.

YouTube Link:

The First webinar is available on the following link:

In continuation of our efforts of Science outreach despite the present lockdown situation due to Covid-19, INYAS is proud to join INSA to start the “INSA-INYAS Vigyan Setu Webinar Series” from May 2, 2020.

Prof. L S Shashidhara, FNA, Prof. and Dean (Research), Ashoka University (Online from IISER, Pune) delivered the first webinar on May 2 at 11:00 am on the topic: “Science on the pandemic and science through the pandemic”.

About the Topic: Thanks to a series of discoveries on the novel coronavirus within weeks of the first Covid-19 case, the importance of basic science in the society is being felt more now than any time in human history. But Covid-19 also has put a brake on the pursuit of science due to lockdowns and the stress caused by the pandemic. Humanity has seen worse than this. Science and all other domains of knowledge have sailed through crises. One can’t pick up where we left off. We should ensure that science progresses, particularly the basic science through this phase. It is not a crime to pursue basic science during a pandemic. In contrast, it is our commitment to society that we don’t pause.    

This webinar series will be available on our newly launched INYAS YouTube channel. A direct link to the INYAS YouTube channel is given below. QR Code of INYAS YouTube channel is also attached below.

All questions asked during the first webinar are answered by the speaker, Prof. Shashidhara, and are available on the INYAS FB page or INSA FB Page.