Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday will inaugurate here the 99th edition of the prestigious Indian Science Congress, the biggest congregation of the country’s best and brightest scientists.
Security arrangements have been tightened in the state capital in view of the prime minister’s visit, a police official said.
More than 15,000 delegates from across India, 20 Nobel laureates and 500 other scientists from abroad are slated to participate in the five-day brainstorming science event, to be held in the campus of KIIT University here. About one lakh students are expected to attend the event.
KIIT University and National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) are jointly hosting the event, which will also feature the Children’s Science Congress and Women Science Congress. Former president APJ Abdul Kalam will inaugurate the Children’s Science Congress on Wednesday, while Nirupama Rao, India’s ambassador to United States of America, will inaugurate the Women’s Science Congress on Thursday.
The theme for the 99th Indian Science Congress is “Science and Technology for Inclusive Innovation – Role of Women”. Renowned scientist Geetha Bali, vice chancellor of Karnataka State Women’s University, will preside over the event which will have more than 15 science based plenary session and 30 technical sessions.
According to Achyuta Samanta, founder, KIIT University and chief patron, 99th Indian Science Congress, a wide range of topics
including food and living, rural development and science, agriculture, nano-technology, environmental sciences, bio-diversity, bio-technology, forest and environment, health and medicines, space science and technology, pharmaceutical science, climate change, communication and transport and women and child healthcare are expected to be covered in the ongress.
The major highlights of the Indian Science Congress in the five days will be science communicator’s meet, science exhibition, summery presentation (thematic/ posters), plenary sessions, sectional sessions, panel discussion and public lectures. Besides, the Young Scientist Award, UNESCO-Kalinga Award for Science will also be presented during the event.
Best scientists in the field of medicine to defence and agriculture to communications including space scientist K Kasturirangan, agriculture scientist MS Swaminathan and atomic energy commission chairman Srikumar Banerjee will take part in the congress. Nobel laureates such as Richard R Ernst, Rolf M Zinkernagel, Carolyn W Greider and Dale T Mortensen will be addressing the delegates.
“Organising such an event is a matter of great honour, not only for KIIT but also for Odisha as both bask in the glory of this honour,” said Samanta.
The Indian Science Congress was established with various objectives such as to develop and propagate science in India. The first Indian Science Congress started in 1914 with the initiative of two British chemistry professors, Prof JL Simonsen and Prof PS MacMohan. So far, the Indian Science Congress has held 98 annual conferences celebrating silver jubilee in 1938, golden jubilee in 1963, diamond jubilee in 1973 and platinum jubilee in 1988.
The membership strength of the Indian Science Congress has gone up from a meagre 105 at the state to a whopping 30,000 on Monday.