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  state-owned rail, radio, telegraph, public works, irrigation, and mining depart- ments mainly after the 1850s owed to these surveys.
The Indian intellectuals of those times quickly understood that scientific advancement was the tool catapulting Britain to the high position of the global power pedestal. To absorb the British scientific advancement and bring it home, some of them offered monetary grants to the corpus that bore the Research Fellow- ship initiated during the Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1851. The contributions were for financing Indian researchers visiting Britain for training in natural sciences. However, London was able to see through the strategy behind these do- nations. The First War of Independence of 1857 ensured that the thousands of pounds from India for this corpus re- mained unused until the 1940s.
The British Empire’s India Office, which came about after 1857, over- saw the establishment of universities of Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras (1857), followed by those in Lahore (1882) and Allahabad (1887). However, un- like European universities, which were becoming prominent nuclei of advanced scientific research, Indian universi- ties provided trained human resources that would administer India for the Brit- ish Empire.
The newly-established colleges and universities began graduating profession- ally successful, affluent, yet conscientious bankers, lawyers, and medical doctors who were adept with the European worldview. This community, although informal, became India’s first scientific think tank. They quickly realised that the British had no intention of allowing In- dians to carry out cutting-edge research in exact sciences. The reluctance was be- cause allowing them to innovate would be detrimental to the empire’s strangle- hold over India. Therefore, the India Office never made any attempts to raise research institutions nor fund scientific research. This obstructive prejudice was reason enough to stir the first Satyagraha in India, for science, five decades before the Salt Satyagraha of Mahatma Gandhi.
By the late 1800s, many astute in-
JC Bose, seen here demonstrating his work at the Davy-Faraday laboratory of the Royal Institution, London, was not just a pioneering scientist but also a pioneering institution builder for research in natural science
tellectuals from numerous walks of life like Taraknath Palit, Mahendralal Sircar, Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar, Maharaj Prabhu Narayan Singh, Anand Mohan Bose, Dayal Singh Majithia, Vishnush- ashtri Chiplunkar, Ashutosh Mukher- jee, Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, Mahamana Madan Mohan Malviya, Annie Besant, Swami Vivekananda, and Jamshedji Tata became India’s pioneer- ing natural science research institution builders. They took upon themselves the responsibility of financing young Indian scholars to undertake scientific research in India and overseas, offering them fac- ulty positions in their institutions, all in the absence of any support from the Brit- ish Empire for India.
By the turn of the 20th century, their efforts bore fruits as some of them began establishing modern India’s first indepen- dent scientific research institutions. The Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), founded by Mahendra Lal Sircar in 1876, became the first genu- inely Indian modern research institution
The Indian intellectuals
of those times quickly understood that scientific advancement was the tool catapulting Britain to the high position of the global power pedestal.
that served India’s purpose. The found- ing Indian scientists Jagadish Chandra Bose, Prafulla Chandra Ray, and CV Raman were associated with the IACS. By the 1910s, India’s modern science diplomacy began for good. These three scientists and their students started fre- quently attending scientific conferences and taking up doctoral and postdoctoral research appointments overseas.
The intellectuals, now accompanied by the pioneering career scientists, were quick to identify the geopolitical fault lines in Europe. They realised that con- tinental Europe and the United States could provide them the necessary peer recognition and scientific collaborations that the India Office would not facilitate. To this end, they began track-2, people- to-people diplomacy with non-Com- monwealth nationals, especially those from the French Third Republic, Ger- man Republic, and the United States. The diplomatic networking saw great success during the Roaring Twenties, a period of relative peace until the Great Depression of 1929 set in.
It was during the Roaring Twenties that CV Raman and Arthur Compton met in Toronto in 1924. Their meeting was the earliest rendezvous between an Indian scientist and an American coun- terpart who would later work on the Manhattan Project. Debendra Mohan Bose, JC Bose’s student, took up post- doctoral research with experimental
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        Image Courtesy: Bose Institute, Kolkata



















































































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