The biggest science fest of the country-Indian Science Congress (ISC) kicked off in style at Mysuru, Karnataka. The five-day fest was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 3 by stressing on the need to bridge the gap between science and indigenous knowledge. The fest was organised on a mega scale which witnessed a participation of around 20,000 delegates. More than 5,000 speakers shared their knowledge and work while around 150 institutions in and outside Bharat were tied together to form a network to ease the ISC proceedings. The 103rd Indian Science Congress (ISC) had chosen ‘Science and Technology for indigenous development in India’ as its theme. As the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi himself conceptualised ‘Make In India’ movement, the ISC has got a major responsibility of proving the capability of Bharateeya Science. While inaugurating the event, he said, “This is especially critical for Bharat to achieve target of adding 175 GW of renewable generation by 2022. We need to go for efficient use of fossil fuel and explore newer sources of renewable energy like ocean waves to geo thermal.”
While speaking to a popular English Daily, Bharateeya-born Nobel laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan expressed his strong discontent with the way the Science Congress was being held and said, “I attended one day (of an earlier Congress) and very little science was discussed. It was a circus. I find that it's an organisation where very little science is discussed. I will never attend a science congress again in my life.”
An innovative science exhibition was also organised in the University of Mysore (UoM) campus displaying a lot of innovative and interesting science projects and instruments. This time, a larger space had been allotted in the campus for the science exhibition, which was one of the major attractions of the ISC. ISC also featured Women’s Congress inaugurated by Union Human Resource Development Minister Smt Smriti Irani who said that the ordinary saree-clad Bharateeya women were the faces behind our successful Mars Mission. The Union Government had launched twin programmes; ‘Rastriya Avishkar Yojana’ where children would be given opportunity and ‘Unnat Bharath Abhiyan’ where five villages would be adopted to enhance the living conditions, she added.
Dr Samanta elected as Next ISCA President
As the 103rd Indian Science Congress is coming to an end, Dr Achyuta Samanta has been elected as the general president for the 105th Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) scheduled for 2017-18. Dr Samanta, who is a well-known educationist for setting up renowned institutions like KIIT University and KISS, is currently serving as member of ISCA’s executive committee.
The ISC also saw who's who of the science world descending at the UoM campus. Bharat Ratna Prof CNR Rao said, “As I travel across all the rural parts of the country, I have seen a number of kids enthusiastic about Science. There are a lot of Einsteins and Faradays in Bharat, but how many opportunities are offered to them?”
The Children’s Science Congress was a major attraction of the event that aimed at encouraging the children, who were coming up in a faster rate to achieve in the field of Science and Technology. The children’s science congress which entered its 25th year identified and felicitated children who had achieved a lot at their younger age. Guruprasad