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Scientifically Validated Societal Traditional Knowledge (SVASTIK)
이름: 1234
2023-02-02 16:58:51  |  조회: 60


India is endowed with a rich heritage of traditional knowledge (TK) that spans diverse S&T domains such as food, agriculture, medicine, architecture, metallurgy, and mathematics, amongst many more. The traditional knowledge of India is available in various forms such as classical texts, manuscripts, and/or oral communication that have been passed on from generation to generation and sustained within our communities for centuries. Most of our traditional practices are inextricably linked to human needs and nature, and some of them are even livelihood means of the concerned knowledge holders. This knowledge has evolved further with time, offering both rationality and significance for its extensive acceptance and adoption. However, we observe attrition in people’s faith towards India’s TK and practices. It is important to understand that traditional heritage is an integral part of a nation’s growth and thus calls for much-needed attention and action from the different stakeholders.

Some of our traditional knowledge have been scientifically validated for their relevance in today’s context, but a substantial volume of such knowledge is still awaiting validation. Chronicling validated data and bringing them together at a single platform for greater visibility is also necessary. It has been realised that the lack of effective communication with society on our S&T heritage has been one of the major gaps in our existing practices.

Considering the immense significance of the topic, at the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) Society meeting 2021, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India and President of the CSIR, Shri Narendra Modi, exhorted the “Need to combine traditional knowledge and modern science to develop world class products.” Hon’ble Prime Minister also underlined the necessity to test the scientific validity of traditional practices and to clarify the same to the public wherever there is scientific evidence available to support them. Following a stakeholders consultation meeting, CSIR was directed to lead the efforts to collaborate with concerned stakeholders from across the country. As the coordinating body, CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication and Policy Research (NIScPR) was assigned to implement the national initiative to communicate India’s scientifically validated traditional knowledge to the society.

CSIR-NIScPR, a newly formed institution of CSIR after merger of CSIR-NISCAIR and CSIR-NISTADS, has a glorious legacy of 70 years in science communication and building scientific temper among diverse stakeholders. CSIR-NIScPR has been actively involved in the conservation and promotion of traditional knowledge through its various activities such as the publication of ‘Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge’ and its acclaimed projects including ‘Wealth of India’, a monumental documentation of India’s flora, fauna and minerals, and ‘Traditional Knowledge Digital Library’ which was later established as a separate Unit under CSIR Headquarters.

Under the guidance of Prof Ranjana Aggarwal, Director, CSIR-NIScPR, and a Steering Committee of distinguished experts led by Prof B N Jagatap, Senior Professor, IIT Bombay, CSIR-NIScPR has launched the nationwide initiative with the brand name/tagline "SVASTIK" - Scientifically Validated Societal Traditional Knowledge. SVASTIK aims to preserve and perpetuate the practice of the appropriate tradition, instill the scientific temperament of verifying tradition scientifically, and boost public faith in our traditional knowledge and practices. Various research organisations, higher education institutions, experts and NGOs have joined hands with SVASTIK to document and disseminate content on scientifically validated Indian traditional knowledge.

Crowdsourcing and literature survey, along with the expert advice from the Steering committee and various sub-committee members are being taken into account for identification, evaluation, documentation and content creation on scientifically validated TK in the identified domains. The SVASTIK campaign using attractive infographics, short audio-visuals, virtual lectures, webinars etc., has been launched on all popular social media platforms through @NIScPR_SVASTIK. So far, eighteeeen interesting infographic series on Indian traditional knowledge such as Aranmula metal mirror, URO-5, ?ryabha?a, Yoga, rolu, turmeric, hydrological advancements of the Mauryans, Kunapajala etc. have been disseminated. Efforts are also being made towards communicating these knowledge in all scheduled Indian languages. Until now dissemination has been done in English and 16 Indian languages.

A Discuss activity and a Quiz on Indian traditional knowledge in partnership with MyGov, an online citizen engagement platform of the Government of India, have garnered appreciable public participation. The SVASTIK campaign has reached approximately 3 lakh people through its social media handles, and with the partnership with MyGov, it reached more than 22 million people.

Several interesting infographic series are in the pipeline. As part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, SVASTIK aims to create a valuable repository for scientifically validated TKs, and publish popular science books/articles/blogs on the disseminated content. We look forward to valuable contributions and support from concerned stakeholders towards strengthening this initiative and inclusion of Indian traditional knowledge in leading towards a path for transforming India into a global S&T leader.

To know about and follow SVASTIK, please visit: https://niscpr.res.in/nationalmission/svastik





Dr Charu Lata
Senior Scientist, CSIR-NIScPR







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