The Mizo Academy of Sciences (MAS) was founded as the Mizo Post-Graduate Science Society (MIPOGRASS) in 1995 at Shillong, Meghalaya. It was initiated by postgraduate students studying MSc at the North Eastern Hill University as a welfare society. It primary focus was on scholarships from the Planning Department of Mizoram, and to publish a newsletter. It started a single-paged monthly bulletin named Scientia. It was subsequently headquartered at Aizawl, Mizoram, in 1996 as the interest and activities of the members were more concentrated there. The same year, it was registered with the Registrar of Firms and Societies under the Indian Societies Registration Act (later the Mizoram Societies Registration Act, 2005) with a registration number S.R. 42/96/MZ-RFS of 1996. It became a non-profit, voluntary, scientific and educational organisation “to promote and make further development of science for the younger generation.”
As membership grew not only from mainstream courses, but also allied subjects such as pharmacy, applied biology, and others, membership became a more inclusive umbrella. With a vision to establish a forum for science education, the society created a quarterly magazine Science Vision in 2001. From the very beginning, financial assistance was received from the erstwhile Mizoram Science, Technology and Environment Wing, Planning Department, now under the Directorate of Science and Technology, Government of Mizoram.
The time also witnessed monumental landmarks in the development of scientific research. As new institutes such as Mizoram University, Regional Institute of Paramedical and Nursing Sciences, and College of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry developed into full-fledged research centres, there was a compelling demand for scientific journal to publish scholarly and peer-reviewed articles. Science Vision was the perfect solution. In 2009, it became the first refereed journal in Mizoram.
Development of higher education institutes fostered science education among the Mizo people, and membership was sought from new branches of science including engineering, architecture, medicine, nursing, and others, who are otherwise not in the box of postgraduate degrees, but at the same level by educational standard and qualification in terms of government criteria. To add another spark to the burning dilemma, Mizoram Government revoked special scholarship to science and merged it into general scholarship under the Mizoram Scholarship Board. By definition of "postgraduate", the name of the society was becoming obsolete, along with it its main policy as a postgraduate welfare also waned.
The need for change in the name and policy was unanimously decided in the 2012 General Conference held at Synod Conference Centre, Aizawl. Nominations for possible names were collected from members. Opinion poll was invited from all members in June 2013. There 72 respondents out of which 46 voted for the change of name. As to the name, Mizo Academy of Sciences stood out by a margin.
On 28 August 2013, the General Conference at Synod Conference Centre adopted the new name. Office of the Registrar of Firms and Societies was consulted, which advised for new constitution. A special draft committee prepared a new constitution, which a special General Body meeting approved on 21 March 2014. The amended consitution was then recognised by the Registrar of Firms and Societies on 28 March 2014.
Notable members include Prof R. Lalthantluanga, former Professor of Biochemistry and Pro Vice Chancellor at North Eastern Hill University and Vice Chancellor of Mizoram University; Prof Lalnundanga, Registrar of Mizoram University (President of MIPOGRASS 1996-1998); Prof Lalnuntluanga, Controller of Examinations of Mizoram University (President of MIPOGRASS 2008-2010); and J.H. Zoremthanga, Secretary of Mizoram Scholarship Board and former Principal of Government Zirtiri Residential Science College. We have three members in the Mizoram Legislative Assembly 2018-2023, namely Prof F. Lalnunmawia, Professor of Botany at Mizoram University (President of MIPOGRASS 2006-2008), L. Thangmawia, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Pachhunga University College (President of MIPOGRASS 2001-2003), and Dr K. Pachhunga, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Lunglei Government College (founder President of MIPOGRASS 1995-1996). MAS so far has only one Patron Member Dr L.N. Tluanga, enrolled in 2011. He was former President of Mizoram Mathematical Society and Director of Mizoram School Education.
Highlights of activities
- Annual seminar on national themes in celebration of the National Science Day under the sponsorship of Directorate of Science and Technology, on behalf of the National Council for Science and Technology Communication, Government of India.
- Annual celebration of members who passed national eligibility tests and earned doctoral degrees.
- Since 2000, we advised the Government of Mizoram to extend science education by opening geology in government colleges. The General Body meeting in the 2009 Annual Conference made a strong resolution for the demand. In pursuit and response, the government officially started geology subjects at Government Zirtiri Residential Science College and Lunglei Government College in 2014.
- Since 2005, we requested the Mizoram University authority to open BSc in Environmental Science. The course was introduced in 2009 at Pachhunga University College.
- In 2009, we submitted a memorandum for the establishment of a separate Department of Science and Technology. The Government of Mizoram has partially implemented our petition, it created the Directorate of Science and Technology in 2011.
- Special Coaching Class for Higher Secondary students, especially those having backlog of papers, from 2001 to 2015. It was sponsored under Condensed Courses in Education by Mizoram State Social Welfare Board.
- Our society registration was dissolved by the Registrar of Firms and Societies in 2011 to communication breakdown. We had to appeal before the Aizawl Disctrict Judiciary, which restored our registration following Civil Judge No 5 "Judgement and Order", dated 1/8/2011.
- A research project on "Environmental Impact Assessment of Tuirial Dumping Site" was conducted in 2011-2013.
- A research project on Lantana camara eradication was carried out in 2014 in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Forests, Government of Mizoram.
- "Advocacy Workshop on Oil and Natural Gas Exploration in Mizoram" was organised on 18 July 2014, under the arrangement of the Chief Minister's Office and in collaboration with the Directorate of Geology and Mineral Resources, for stakeholders and all Members of the Legislative Assembly of Mizoram.
- General Body meeting in the Annual Conference on 1 October 2015 made a resolution to collaborate with Directorate of Science and Technologies and all scientific establishments in Mizoram for making Mizoram Science Congress. The first Mizoram Science Congress was held on 13-14 October 2016, hosted by Mizoram University. The congress is planned to be held every two years.
- In 2017, we submitted a memorandum to the Minister of Finance and Planning for introduction of special grants for science researchers to enable them attending international events outside India. International Travel Support Scheme was created under the management of the Directorate of Science and Technology. Under the assistance, our members have visited Beijing, Egypt, and London presenting papers.
- President of MAS, by office, is member of the Mizoram State Higher Education Council.
- President of MAS is also member of Mizoram RUSA, a centrally-sponsored scheme for higher and technical institutes.
- Representing MAS, Dr John Zothanzama and Dr Lallawmkimi are members of the Mizoram Core Team for REDD+ (Reducing Emission from Deforestaion and Forest Degradation) under the Department of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
Office Bearers (2018-2020)
|President||Dr H. Lalruatsanga, Pachhunga University College|
|Vice President||Dr H. Lalthanzara, Pachhunga University College|
|General Secretary||Dr Lalrokima Chenkual, Department of Disaster Management & Rehabilitation|
|Assistant Secretary||Dr K. Lalchhandama, Pachhunga University College|
|Finance Secretary||Dr John Zothanzama, Mizoram University|
|Treasurer||Dr Esther Lalhmingliani, Mizoram University|