Scientific Social Responsibility
Transfer of Knowledge to society:
Knowledge is an important resource for the sustenance of our society. Science is an avenue to explore and produce this knowledge, whereas technology applies this knowledge generated by science to real-life problems. Science contributed vastly to the benefit of society by increasing life expectancy, combating diseases, saving lives and improving the quality of life, etc.
India has made considerable progress in Science & Technology with the advent of its prestigious institutions like IITs, IISc etc and its young demographic population. India produces 3rd highest number of PhDs in science and engineering next only to China and the USA. But this potential scientific knowledge still needs to be transferred to society through various avenues to be utilised for the welfare of the people.
In line with this, the Department of Science & Technology through its Ministry of Science of technology has released the Scientific Social Responsibility Guidelines. This is a framework to facilitate the integration of science and technology into society. These guidelines emphasise the moral obligation of the scientific community to share the fruits of knowledge with various stakeholders and play an active role in the equitable distribution of knowledge.
Impact Assessment of SSR activities:
The guidelines specify having an SSR assessment cell at each and every Anchor Scientific Institution (ASI) to assess the impact of these initiatives periodically and publish these results in an Annual SSR Report.
This is a huge opportunity for M&E consultants and firms. After new amendments of CSR, where impact assessment has given more focus and direction compared to the previous notifications, this SSR assessment opportunity is a new avenue in that line. At this juncture, it is important to communicate the importance of impact assessment to various stakeholders for wide outreach and branding of the institution. The impact assessment serves as a tool to measure the outcomes and guides the program implementation towards aligned goals. The findings of these assessments also help institutions and ASIs make evidence-based decisions.