The Acoustical Society of India was established and registered at Visakhapatnam on 31 July, 1971 with Prof. S. Bhagavantam as the Convenor, Prof. B. Ramachandra Rao as the Secretary and 10 other leading acousticians of the country as ad-hoc Committee members. The decision to bring together the scientists working in various fields of acoustics all over the country under one umbrella and to publish a scientific journal devoted to Acoustics was taken in a symposium on ‘Acoustics in Education ‘ organised at the Andhra University, Waltair during January ,1971 under the stewardship Prof. B.R. Rao .Thus the Acoustical Society was formed with the following objectives:
“The advancement of science and technology of all branches of acoustics and the maintenance of high standards in such science and technology ; to increase and diffuse the knowledge of acoustics and promote its practical application.”
The above objectives are to be achieved by publishing a professional journal, periodic news letters, status reports and by organizing conferences, symposia and seminars in various branches of acoustics .Yet other objectives of the society include co-operation with similar allied societies both in India and abroad and representing acoustical interests at the National and International levels . It is an active member of the International Commission on Acoustics ( ICA ) which is associated with International Union of Pure and Applied Physics ( IUPAP ).
A full text of the Memorandum of Association and Rules and Regulations of the Society as initially formulated was published in the first issue of the Journal of Acoustical Society of India ( JASI ) Vol.1 , No.1 , January ,1973. A revised version of the above information was published as a booklet in September , 1982.
Thus the society was formulated to have Prof. S. Bhagwantam as its founder President, Dr. M. Pancholy as Vice-President and Chief Editor of JASI and Prof. B.R. Rao as Secretary and Treasurer. Other eminent acousticians associated with the growth of the society to its present status were Prof. B.S.Ramakrishna, Prof.S.K.Kor, Prof. Rais Ahmed, Dr.D.Srinivasan, Prof.T.Seshagiri Rao, Prof.E.S.R.Gopal, Prof. S.Kameswaran, Sh.K.D.Pavate, Dr.S.S.Agrawal, Late Shri.M.S.Narayanan, Prof.M.L.Munjal, Dr.V.K.Aatre, Dr. S. P. Singal, Prof.B.V.A. Rao, Prof.S.Narayanan, Prof.G.M.Srinivasan, Prof.B.V.A.Rao and a number of acousticians in the country.
The current membership of the society is over 800 including more than 250 Honorary and Life Fellows.
The major activities of the society include
- Annual Meeting of the Society
The Executive Council of the society meet periodically and the General Body meet at least once every year to review the progress of the work and other activities of the society and to prepare action plan for the coming year. Also the election of the office bears of the society are held once in two years during the annual GB meeting of the society.
- National Symposium on Acoustics
The Society holds every year a “National Symposium on Acoustics” at different parts of the country. Although all branches of Acoustics are covered during this symposium, a special theme is usually selected for major discussion. Both contributed and invited papers are presented in the symposium with participation of delegates from abroad as well.
- Journal of Acoustical Society of India
Although JASI was published quarterly in the earlier period, the paucity of funds compelled the society to publish it as proceedings of NSA every year .The articles submitted are reviewed by a Technical Committee before being accepted for presentation / publication.
- ASI News Letter
The ASI News Letter is published periodically to inform the members and other interested organisations the on going activities of the society and other similar bodies.
To promote the growth of acoustics in the country and to encourage Indian Scientists / Technologists, the society has instituted the following awards:
Sir C. V. Raman Award, which is given every year to the author(s) of the best paper published in JASI during the year.
Dr. S. Bhagavantam Award, which is presented once in every two years to a distinguished acoustician in the country who has contributed to the growth of the subject and provided leadership over a considerable period of time.
Distinguished Services Award, which is presented once in every three yearsto a person who has rendered distinguished services to promote the activities of ASI.
These awards carry a citation and a cash prize.
- Sir C.V.Raman Endowment Fund
The society has instituted a special fund called “Sir C.V.Raman Endowment Fund” in the Raman Centenary year – 1988 to encourage young scientists in the field of Acoustics .This fund will be utilised to support the existing awards for the best paper published in JASI and to institute one award exclusively for young scientists .
- Chapter Activities
To ensure wider participation the society has encouraged formation of local chapters in different parts of the country .There are more than 20 such active chapters in India andone each in USA and Canada. These chapters hold periodic conferences, lecturers, seminars ,and educational tours to related industrial units.
- Professional Groups
The society has formed professional groups in different branches of Acoustics. These groups prepare status reports, review papers and organise seminars and workshops in identified thrust areas.
- Membership of the Society
The society has the following grades of memberships presently :
- Honorary Fellows
- Life Fellows
- Life Members and
- Institutional Members
- M.S.Narayanan Memorial Lecture Award
The ASI has instituted the M. S. Narayanan Memorial Lecture Award from 1994onwards in order to commemorate the services rendered by Shri M. S. Narayanan (Vice – President during 1990-92 ) to the society. Eminent scholars in Acoustics are invited to deliver this lecture during National Symposium on Acoustics. The award carries a citation and a cash prize. The corpus fund to institute this award was provided by Mrs.Gomathi Narayanan (w/o Late Sh.M.S.Narayanan) of Chennai.
- Prof. Rais Ahmed Memorial Lecture Award
The ASI has instituted the Prof. Rais Ahmed Memorial Lecture Award from 2002 onwards in order to commemorate the services rendered by Prof. Raise Ahmed, a renowned educationist and speech scientist in the country, (President during 1979-80) to the society. Eminent scholars in the areas of Speech , Signal Processing etc. are invited to deliver this lecture during National Symposium on Acoustics. The award carries a citation and a cash prize. The corpus fund to institute this award was collected by the alumini of Aligarh Muslim University.
Further the society has succeeded in highlighting various national issues like noise legislation, noise labeling, EIA studies etc. The first All India Inter-disciplinary Symposium on noise pollution was held at NPL during December 1972 to highlight the problems involved, possible remedial measures, legislative aspects etc. The proceedings were published in January 1974 issue of JASI for wider publicity. The matter was pursued with Government of India from time to time through various memoranda, parliamentary questions and meeting with decision making agencies. The NSA-85 held at Chennai was fully devoted to this cause where concrete recommendations were framed and later forwarded to GOI for its kind consideration. These persistent efforts by the society finally bore fruit in 1986 when Govt. of India accepted Noise as one of the environmental pollutant like air and water and inserted it in the Environment Act 1986 toward framing suitable rules and regulations. These efforts continue even today and ASI members continue to play major roles in National Committee on Noise Pollution Control constituted by CPCB, New Delhi .Another creditable achievement of the past ASI President, Prof. M.L. Munjal is the creation of Facility for Research in Technical Acoustics (FRITA) at IISc. Bangalore .