19.11.2013 - UNESCO Office in New Delhi

65 years: Natural Sciences at UNESCO New Delhi

On 10 November of this month, the NDL cluster Natural Science sector will have computed 65 years.  After the foundation of the UNESCO in 1945, the Science programme at UNESCO New Delhi was the first to be established in the field, in 1948.

In its initial days, it played an important role in setting up prestigious institutions in the Indian sub-continent such as the Indian Institutes of Technology in Kharagpur (1951), and Bombay (1955), the Central Arid Zone Research Institute in Jodhpur (1959),  and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in Kathmandu (Nepal) in 1979.

Furthermore, India had been instrumental in setting up the Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System for the Indian Ocean in 1960. In the following decades and between the early eighties to the beginning of the millennium, UNESCO New Delhi saw a surge of science and technology activities in the sub-region, under all of its major divisions; Basic Sciences and Engineering, Water Sciences, Ecological and Earth Sciences and all its related inter-sectoral platforms.This report attempts to give a broad overview of the programmes and activities that the UNESCO New Delhi office had assisted in implementing, since its creation in 1948.

In order to appreciate the way the Science sector has evolved in the organization and particularly in the New Delhi cluster office, this report was divided into three sections, as follows:

1. The distant past 1948-2001; gives an overview of UNESCO Science sector achievements in south Asia through a historical context.

2.  The past decade 2002-2012; traces back the changes in priorities since the beginning of the millennium via UNESCO’s medium term strategies; 31 C/4 (2002-2007) and 34 C/4 (2008-2013) and gives an overview of key results achieved.

3.  The future; on the formulation of a new mid-term strategy; 37 C/4 (2014-2019) and how this will be translated into priorities for the cluster.

The report also contains detailed science sector activities conducted in each of the cluster countries and the partnerships forged.

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