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Governor’s call to students

The governor on Wednesday appealed to school and college students to participate in large numbers in the five-day centenary edition of the Indian Science Congress, to be held in the city from Thursday.

“We want to take science to the masses and not keep it to a select few. I would appeal to school and college students to participate in the event in large numbers. This is the first time in the history of science congress that arrangements have been made to enable the public to follow the proceedings of the meet and give their opinions,” M.K. Narayanan said.

All the sessions of the conclave — featuring as many as six Nobel laureates from across the world and an Indian winner of the Abel Prize (the Nobel equivalent in mathematics), among other distinguished names from science — will be webcast.

President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the congress in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the Salt Lake stadium.

The Prime Minister will announce the country’s fourth science and technology policy and unveil a host of scientific programmes at the event, Narayanan said.

“It’s likely to be a momentous event. Its significance lies not only in crossing the milestone of 100 years but because the centenary event itself is a great thing…,” Narayanan said at a press conference.

Nearly 15,000 delegates, including representatives from 20 countries, will participate at the meet. There will be 14 technical sessions.

According to the governor, the congress will also highlight the efforts of the Centre and various scientific bodies to spread awareness about and improve facilities for the study of science, as well as the progress achieved in creating a scientific temper in India.

Narayanan pointed out that the centenary edition has already achieved a number of firsts — such as a Prime Minister functioning as the general president of the Indian Science Congress Association and the President and Prime Minister both sharing the stage at the inauguration.

Following the inauguration, the Prime Minister will lead a panel discussion on the theme of the congress, Science for Shaping the Future in India, another first.

On January 4, former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam will inaugurate the Children’s Science Congress at the SN Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences in Salt Lake. The Women’s Science Congress will be inaugurated by Union science and technology minister S. Jaipal Reddy on the same day at the same venue

Apart from the governor and minister Reddy, Union communications and information technology minister Kapil Sibal and chief minister Mamata Banerjee will be among the guests at the inaugural programme.

The technical and plenary sessions have been named after leading lights of science, many from India, such as Meghnad Saha, Homi J. Bhabha, Normon Borloug, C. Subramanian, S.N. Bose, P.C. Ray, U.N. Brahmachari, D.S. Kothari, H. Khurana, C.V. Raman, S. Ramanujan and Ronald Ross.