Dr. J.C. Sharma
It was a great surprise for me when some friends and senior colleagues advised and insisted that I should take up the presidentship of our imposing NPL-Former Scientists Forum (NPL-FSF) which was founded and nurtured for 18 long years by our distinguished colleagues and had set up high standard rarely seen in many such associations. I did not have those qualities but had to yield before the collected wisdom of guides and colleagues. The election of the new Management Committee (MC) for next two years took place in the AGM of the Forum held on August 29, 2021 and the new management took office on 19th September, 2021 in the 57th Meeting of the MC. While assuming this role I feel humbled and thank all the Patrons, Advisors and Members of the Forum for putting faith in me. I do see a silver line that I will be working again with my old colleagues with whom I worked and interacted intensely at NPL before retirement. The MC consists of very dedicated members and are already putting in their best efforts in continuing the legacy of FSF.
My team will strive to continue with the good work that the old guards had started and fill-up the gaps which will keep appearing as time goes by.
Our first and foremost attention will be focused on the welfare of our members with particular reference to their healthcare. With advancing age one faces age related ailments for which the Forum will continue to play active role in trying to alienate problems connected with CGHS facilities. We will work with NPL administration and CSIR administration towards automatic renewal of CGHS cards (after 10 years of annual contribution) and cashless facilities in good number of empanelled hospitals/test labs. Our next step will be to get CGHS facilities at par with central government employees. Of course it depends on GOI policies vis-a-vis our status of one of the autonomous bodies. Besides this, the Forum will continue to help its members for all pension related issues especially in situations where the next of kin of our departed colleagues need guidance in resolving the necessary administrative procedures.
The Forum has also been playing a useful role, right from its inception, by providing Scholarships & Awards instituted by its members for encouraging children of the staff members of NPL. It also provides awards and scholarships to the Grand Children of the members of the Forum for pursuing higher studies. It has also provided limited help to school-going children of the staff members of NPL, who deceased while in service. These awards and scholarship will continue but with changing time Forum might have a fresh look to make certain changes in the methodology of disbursement of these scholarships in consultation with the generous donors.
The Forum has been encouraging increased use of electronic communication, social media and email. Our members communicate via WhatsApp and Facebook and keep informed of Forums activities as well exchange useful information. Notwithstanding this development, members attend the Forum meetings in good strength. For example the last AGM in August 29, 2021 was attended by all our patrons, past NPL directors as well as the current director, Prof. (Dr.) Venu Gopal Achanta. This speaks volume of the prestige of the Forum. Their age, health and busy schedule does not stand in the way. The Forum also felicitates our 80+ fraternity, that is, colleagues who have attained the age of 80 years. The Forum has a plan to start felicitating colleagues who attain the age of 90 as well.
The Forum publishes “News Letter” at regular intervals which is a treasure of information and unheard from any other organization. In fact even a member wouldn’t remember all the information about himself / herself that the News Letter manages to. The News Letter also publishes all CGHS Rules/Regulations changed from time to time, lists of empanelled Hospitals and articles written by its members. The Forum feels indebted to our Patron, Late Shri G K Arora who started the FSF Directory, and had put in Herculean efforts to bring out such a resourceful document. Recently the Forum has published an updated directory which contains full bio-data, address, contact details, etc. Additionally, the forum has also launched an Android mobile app version of the directory, with efforts of Sri N K Wadhwa. In the near future we plan to publish and upload on website the list of members along with their expertise who will be willing to give lectures in colleges/Uni. In & around the NCR to render expertise to the Indian industry on demand. This will lead to utilization of scientific knowledge accumulated over decades with the members of FSF, spreading science temper among students and the visibility of our Forum.
The Forum also hold scientific lectures as well as lectures from CGHS experts and Police Officers to make the members aware of provisions of CGHS facilities or the police protection to senior citizens. We plan to have short talks (15-20 minutes) by our members on current developments in scientific field in upcoming Forum meetings. We also hold special lecture “Dr. A P Mitra Memorial Lectures” annually which is delivered by peers in the country. Dr. A Sen Gupta has been carrying this responsibility admirably well.
Our website which was launched over two years ago is updated with useful information regularly. Good progress has been made in solving some problems related with the renewal of CGHS cards and cashless treatment at empanelled hospitals with the cooperation of NPL and CSIR administrations. Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Anil Gupta who made expeditious efforts in reducing the misery felt by most of us for a long time by convincing the authorities to implement online renewal system. Effort will continue to take up other pending issues, like issuance of pension slips among others.
The new Management will strive hard to take our Forum to greater height