Indian Science Congress (ISC) to start Monday
Indian Science Congress
The 98th edition of the Indian Science Congress (ISC) that gets underway here Monday will not only focus on the quality of education and excellence in scientific research in Indian universities but also on chemistry of the future, nano materials and the challenges of climate change and energy security, amongst other issues.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is slated to inaugurate the five-day event Monday at the SRM University in Kattankulathur near here. Speaking to reporters here Sunday, ISC general secretary K.C. Pandey said: “The prime minister will also present the 27th Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) awards during the inaugural session.”
“Notables amongst the awardees are industrialist Ratan Tata (for societal contribution); V.K.Saraswat, scientific advisor to the defence minister; V.M. Katoch, secretary, department of health research in the ministry of health and family welfare and Prameswarn Sankaran of the Institute of Mathematical Sciences.”
According to Pandey, the focus of the event will be on how universities can improve and contribute. Higher quality of science education and excellence in scientific research in Indian universities is the key to success if the country has to become a knowledge superpower.
“Till now we have around 7,500 registered delegates. There will be spot registrations as well. We expect a total of around 9,000 delegates attending the ISC-2011. If that happens this will be the largest science congress ever held in the country,” said SRM university Vice Chancellor P.Sathyanarayanan, who is also the ISC organising committee chairman.
Six Nobel Laureates – Amartya Sen, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Ada Yonath, Thomas Steitz, Tim Hund and Martin Chalfie – and around 140 eminent scientists from within and outside India are expected to participate in the conference. For the first time perhaps, the annual premier science event will be focussing on several major issues of the future relevant to India’s growth in the next decade. Science research will be in particular focus, as well as major interactions with industry and the education sector.
With both science and technology and education ministries with Kapil Sibal, the organisers expect some policy initiatives to be announced at the Congress which will help bring innovation and research into mainstream industry as India takes big steps toward energy security, defence and space.
Sectoral sessions will be devoted to healthcare, research, new drugs, drug delivery systems. Food security and climate change will both be debated in detail and roadmaps for India’s future decisions on climate change issues and food security for the subcontinent’s 1.3 billion people.
Biodiversity and conservation along with nano, bio and space technology will be highlighted in 16 plenary sessions and the Nobel laureates will present their perspectives on issues of public and popular concern. Like in the previous editions of the event, there will also be a Children’s Science Congress where school children from different parts of India would display their models/charts.
The Childern’s Science Congress will be inaugurated Jan 4 by Nobel laureate Ramakrishnan. On Jan 5 around 2,000 school students will meet the six Nobel laureates attending the conference. The union ministers who are expected to attend the event are Home Minister P.Chidambaram and Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister M.K. Alagri.