The Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) was constituted in November 2002 as an autonomous body to encourage and promote Science and Technology related activities in the Kerala State by restructuring the erstwhile State Committee for Science, Technology and Environment (STEC) established in 1972 in concurrence with the Science Policy of Government of India.
The apex body of KSCSTE is the State Council with Chief Minister of Kerala as the President. The chief executive officer of the Council is Executive Vice President (EVP).
The Main functions of the State Council are to:
- Plan, formulate and implement Science and Technology Promotion and other related research and development programs.
- Provide overall guidance to the programs 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 programs 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. Rajiv Gandhi Center for Biotechnology. 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. 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 and 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 challenger to the Science & Technology sector. To cope with the emerging scenario, the Government of Kerala took a timely and pro-active step to replacing State Committee on Science Technology and Environment by Kerala State Council for Science Technology & Environment. The council came in to existence on 21st 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.