Nobel laureates to grace Indian Science Congress in Orissa

6 Sep

Over 15,000 delegates from India and abroad, including 20 Nobel Laureates, are set to attend the 99th Indian Science Congress slated to be held here, in January next year, with a focus on inclusive development by bridging the rural-urban and male-female divide.

To be inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the five-day mega scientific extravaganza from January 3 to 7 is being hosted by KIIT University in its campus here with academic partnership of the prestigious National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER).

Being held in Orissa after a long interval of 34 years, the Congress would be attended by distinguished scientists, Cabinet Ministers, heads of scientific bodies, top officials and captains of industry.

A new feature of the session would be Children Science Congress and Women Science Congress, founder of KIIT and chief patron of 99th ISC, Achyuta Samanta, said adding “more than 10,000 children are expected to participate in Children Science Congress to be held simultaneously with ISC.”

While nearly 20 Nobel Laureates would be among some 500 foreign delegates, the prestigious UNESCO-Kalinga Award would be presented at the Congress which would see quiz competition for students and an exhibition, Samanta said.

A ‘Vigyan Rath’ would be rolled out from Puri to travel through all the 30 districts of Orissa for spreading awareness about science and technology, he said.

“A unique feature of the Congress is that the Prime Minister will visit the session twice within a week as he is to take over as the president of the next Science Congress on the concluding day,” Director of NISER and co-organising chairman of the congress, T.K. Chandrashekar said.

Focus areas of the 99th Science Congress include climate change, food security, clean energy from renewable sources, achieving vision 2020, space technology and human welfare, rural livelihood security, nanoscience and nano-technology.

The Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) has identified that working towards transforming India into a developed nation by 2020 is the most important goal before the country, Mr. Chandrashekar said.

A major challenge in achieving this goal is the need to bride the divide in economy, prosperity and quality of life based on geography, gender and other factors.

ISCA feels that science and technology can be a powerful tool in bridging the divide and achieving inclusive development, he said pointing out there are vast divides on the basis of gender besides the rural-urban divide.

The 99th science congress intends to focus on Indian innovation system and draw the attention of scientists, policy makers, private sector and public towards the need to harness the power of science and technology in empowering every citizen.

The Congress would also give Orissa a forum to seek more central scientific and educational institutions besides providing an opportunity to showcase its potentials in many sectors like tourism, business and industry as well as its rich and multi-faceted culture, organisers said.

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