The Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) is an autonomous body under the Ministry of S&T, Kerala, constituted in November 2002 to be an agency for change and development through Science and Technology. Formerly it was the Science, Technology and Environment Committee (STEC), established in 1972 in concurrence with the Science Policy of Government of India. The council promotes and activates programmes for increasing the stock of knowledge in science, and fine tunes policies which are significant and for the sustained development of humanity. The council prepares the road map for development through scientific research and innovation in technologies. Achieving excellence in basic research, academia-industry interactions, strengthening indigenous initiatives, and building strong infrastructure and developing a high quality science education system in the state are our targeted goals. This has been achieved through various schemes and programs and by the R &D organisations established by the council.
KSCSTE has a State Council headed by the Chief Minister of Kerala and an Executive council chaired by the Executive Vice President (EVP).
- Plan and formulate science technology and innovation policy pertaining to the development of the Kerala State
- Create excellence in basic as well as applied research
- Establish strong infrastructure for research in Science, Technology and Environment
- Develop a high quality Science Education system in state
- Propagate the application of Science and Technology
- Facilitate the dissemination of scientific knowledge
- Leverage the cooperation of international leaders
- Strengthen ecosystem and promote indigenous practices
- Enhance the academia-industry interactions
Main functions of the State Council
- Plan, formulate and implement Science and Technology Promotion and other related research and development programmes.
- Provide overall guidance to the programmes and the developments of R&D centres of the Council.
- Withdraw and disburse the grant-in-aid funds from the Government and sponsoring agencies to R&D Centres and other grant-in-aid institutions.
The decisions of the State Council and Executive Committee are implemented by the Council Headquarters (CHQ) based in Thiruvananthapuram. The functions of CHQ are carried out under the overall guidance of Executive Vice President who is also the ex-officio Principal Secretary of Science & Technology Department (S&TD). The executive functions are administered by the Member Secretary. The Science and Technology programmes are managed by the Principal Scientific Officers, Scientific Officers and other staff members, both technical as well as administrative.
There are eight institutions under the ambit of KSCSTE which undertakes research work in specific identified domains. The Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) was established by recognizing the need for catering to the R&D needs in the field of water management. The Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI) is established to undertake research in areas like forestry, biodiversity etc., that are vital to the development of the Kerala State. National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) is undertaking research and consultancy works in the fields of traffic engineering and transportation planning, highway engineering, public transport system, inland water transport, tourism planning, rural roads, environmental impact assessment and transport energy. Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI) is established with the vision of Conservation and sustainable utilization of the plant biodiversity of India, particularly of Kerala for the well being of her people. Malabar Botanical Garden & Institute for Plant Sciences (MBGIPS) is dedicated to the conservation and research on aquatic plant diversity, lower group plants, endangered plants of the erstwhile Malabar Region, as well as disseminating knowledge on various facet of plant sciences. The Kerala School of Mathematics (KSoM) has been setup as a joint venture of KSCSTE and National Board of Higher Mathematics, under Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India. The main objective of the institute is to promote Mathematical research in the country, particularly in Kerala.
The idea of utilizing science & technology with a wider reach to achieve faster development in the country necessitated the establishment of S&T institutions at the State level. Kerala is the first State in the country which created a State Committee on Science & Technology headed by a scientist/technologist, as Chairman.
The Separate Department for Science, Technology and Environment was created in 1987. A technical secretariat was also established. With the creation of the department and technical secretariat, the State Committee on Science Technology and Environment (STEC) could expand its activities in diverse fields and impart S&T inputs to line departments for solving their problems. Over the years, the R&D centers under STEC umbrella have built up an impressive record of achievements to create a suitable research environment in Kerala.
The Advancement in Science and Technology coupled with liberalization of the economy and progressive globalization has brought in new challenges to the Science & Technology sector. To cope with the emerging scenario, the Government of Kerala took a timely and pro-active step by replacing State Committee on Science Technology and Environment by Kerala State Council for Science Technology and Environment. The council came in to existence on 21 st November 2002 as a registered society under the Travancore – Cochin Literary scientific and Charitable Societies Registration Act 1955. The R&D Institutes namely Centre for Earth Science Studies, Rajiv Gandhi Centre of Biotechnology, Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute, Centre for Water Resource Development and Management, National Transport Planning and Research Centre and Kerala Forest Research Institute were amalgamated fully with KSCSTE for their integrated development.