Indian Society of Lighting Engineers- Historical update

Right from the inception of the lighting industry in India a need was felt for a technical body for the dissemination of knowledge in the field of lighting. The first attempt in this direction was the establishment of the Illuminating Engineering Society of India. For various reasons this institution was unable to sustain itself and efforts to revive it failed to give results.

As a consequence, in May 1983, with encouragement from Prof. M.G.K. Menon, Scientific Adviser to the PM and Mr. Maheshwar Dayal, Secretary Science and Technology a core group began working towards setting up a new professional Lighting Society.Finally, ISLE , including its name as Indian Society of Lighting Engineers was born  during a casual meeting on 3rd May 1983 at the Bombay office of Mr. P.K.Bandyopadhyay and in the august presence of the past stalwarts Mr.M.L.Dongre, Mr.N.S.Chari, Mr.V.P.Chhabriya, Mr.Ajit Mirchandani, Mr.G.A.Rao , Mr.Mamak , Mr.Rashmi Bhuta , Mr.J.Mahindharia and Mr.Anil Valia .  It took a year and a half of hectic activity and the Indian Society of Lighting Engineers officially came into being on 19th November 1984.

 Soon after the preliminary works to form the society and in its endeavour to open a window for its members to access the latest science and technology of Lighting , , attempts were made to get the membership in CIE    when Mr.  P.K.Bandyopadhyay attended the CIE summit in Amsterdam in 1983. However this was possible   in 1987 only when  ISLE became the 37th member of the International Commission on Illumination, the world body for Lighting. In 1991 ISLE held its first International Conference and Exhibition with a record 1100 delegates and participants from the Netherlands, UK, Australia, USA, Germany and a special delegation from Japan. This led to the hosting of the CIE Session in 1995 and several subsequent International events ensuring a continued flow of the latest international knowledge in the field. This included the Lux Pacifica Conferences at Delhi (2002) and Kolkata (2015) and the Light India International Conferences and Exhibitions at Delhi (2002, 2005 &2008), Mumbai (2009), Chennai (2011 & 2013) and Kolkata (2015). This activity was augmented by the signing of MOUs of cooperation with other Lighting Bodies – IESNA in 1995, ILE UK in 2000, IESANZ in 2002. In the year 2000, ISLE became a member of Lux Pacifica.

To spread this Lighting information and awareness nationally, a Light Show was organized in Mumbai in 1987 and in Bangalore in 1988. There was a simultaneous geographical spread of ISLE with the opening of the first State Centre in Calcutta in 1987 followed soon after by State Centres in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Jaipur and Indore.

A key driver of ISLE has always been Lighting Education and the Society helped the setting up of Lighting Courses at Jadavpur University and the MIT Manipal which has been followed by several initiatives across the country. In collaboration with the Lighting Research Center at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the US and The University of Sydney in Australia, Courses have been run across the country. Smaller courses and seminars are held regularly at the State and Local Centre level. A scholarship scheme was introduced and India’s first PhD in Lighting, Dr Biswanath Roy was an ISLE scholarship holder.

Another key element in the ISLE mandate is Standardisation. Since its inception, ISLE members have been part of BIS committees and the Society was instrumental in the publication of the National Lighting Code in 2010. ISLE is presently working on the revision of this code to update it and incorporate the technology changes in the intervening years.