Nature India | Indigenus

Nature India Annual Volume 2015 is out!

Nature India Annual Volume 3 coverLike every year, we bring you the annual compendium of science as we saw it happen in India last year (2015).

The third issue of the Nature India Annual Volume has been an exercise in introspection, what with India’s science and technology allocation continuing to be lukewarm in 2015. The year brought with it a lot of talk of jugaad (frugal innovation) being the hallmark of India’s science — a term that is met with both pride and disappointment among scientists in the country. Some think the phenomenon epitomises the Indian spirit of excelling even in a resource-poor setting while many feel it is time the country took science funding seriously to be counted among the big science faring nations.

Regardless, the year was buzzing with scientific activity making it tough to choose the events that must get into the annual volume. On the cover, we feature the story of the Indian holy basil, which caught the attention of genomic scientists, opening up the possibility of producing umpteen therapeutic molecules. The draft genomes are expected to facilitate identification of not yet identified genes involved in the synthesis of important secondary metabolites in the plant, heavily used in the Indian and Chinese systems of medicine.

The Indian Council of Medical Research got its second woman Director General in 100 years, making for a happy trend to report. In the art-meets-science genre, we featured Minnesota-based dance company Black Label Movement (BLM), which took Bangalore by a storm explaining science to common people through dance.

We looked at two intriguing tribes of India — the Sahariyas of Madhya Pradesh, who are so socio-politically stressed out that their life expectancy might be going down as a result; and the camel-rearing Raikas of Rajasthan, who baffle immunologists with a near zero incidence of diabetes.

During the year, we reported the anger of senior Indian scientists who joined scores of artists, film directors and authors to protest incidents of assault on freedom of expression. Following the April 2015 Nepal earthquake, which shook the region, Nature India also took note of an appeal by Indian scientists to lift the ban on US geophysicist Roger Bilham, who has largely contributed to the current knowledge of earthquakes in the Himalayan region.
Like its predecessors, this annual volume hopes to be an important addition to the science calendar of India — a must have for anyone interested in keeping abreast with the research highlights of the year, newsmakers, trends in R&D, careers and policy issues.

These annual chronicles of the “contemporary history of science in India” are put together by a group of editors and eminent scientists, who handpick the contents from our coverage through the year. Affiliations and research interests of some people might have changed after publication of these articles. We have mentioned the publication date on top of each article so that they make sense.

Like always, we look forward to your feedback to improve our coverage of science in India.

You will find more on our our archival annual issues here: 2014 and 2007-2013.  And some more on the content and subscription of these issues here.


  1. Report this comment

    Ankit Shroff said:

    I would like to suggest that ‘Nature India’ start a podcast series similar to the ‘Nature Podcast’. This podcast will be a better way of disseminating advances in the Indian scientific community and can cater to a larger audience – both scientific and non-scientific.

    The Nature Podcast is a well established forum and their expertise can definitely help in building a team that can interview scientists, clinicians and people related to science in the governments, attend press conferences regarding various breakthrough techniques and develop content that can be similar to the topics covered in Nature Podcast.

    As part of the Digital India initiative, the government of India issued guidelines to the research institutes to start twitter accounts and/or Facebook pages for disseminating their research to the general people. It also encourages public-private partnership in various areas and hosts a monthly ‘Mann ki Baat’ with the Prime Minister. Given this background, I am hopeful the government may allow a tie-up with the Ministry of Science and Technology, so that the podcast can gain an official recognition and can become a mainstream source for getting the latest updates from the scientific community in India.

    Best regards,
    Ankit Shroff,
    PhD Student,
    Div. of Molecular Immunology & Microbiology,
    National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health,
    Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

  2. Report this comment

    Ramakrishna Bantu said:

    I’d like to get a copy of Nature India Annual Volume 2015. Where is it available? Couldn’t find any link to PDF on Nature India site. Thank you.