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Foundation Day at NISER

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 27: The National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), a premier research institute in the city, celebrated its first foundation day this evening at the Institute of Physics here.

Last year on this day, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had laid the foundation stone for the institute’s permanent campus at Jatni, on the outskirts of the city.

Distinguished personalities such as Srikumar Banerjee, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), David Gross, Nobel laureate in physics, C.S. Seshadri, director of the Chennai Mathematical Institute and T.K. Chandrasekhar, professor of NISER, addressed a large crowd that included students, professors and researchers at the programme today.

Banerjee said India is a “tremendously energy hungry country” where 40 per cent of the population does not have access to electricity. “Solar energy or wind energy have their own limitations so we need massive expansion of nuclear energy, a clean form of energy, to meet the (country’s power) requirement to some extent. Orissa holds great promise of energy exploration and exploitation,” he said.

According to him, NISER, which has been operating since 2007 under the DAE of India, provides an ambience for students to get an idea about atomic energy.

“NISER combines research and education, with an emphasis on basic sciences such as physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics.

“With hands-on training, the students can devise experiments and translate their experience into real products,” he said. Delivering his address, Gross said youngsters must inculcate a scientific temper to ensure progress in the field of science.

“The only way science can move forward is when young minds put forth their ideas and challenge the old, existing theories and make necessary advancements,” the Nobel laureate said. Mathematician Seshadri said NISER came into being when talented students began drifting from science to other subjects because of parental or peer pressure.

“Science is an intriguing field and offers great career prospects today. It is not about just having a concept in mind but realising it — one of the biggest weaknesses of Indian students,” he said.

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