The 106th session of Indian Science Congress (ISC), 2019 concluded in Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar today. The five-day session was inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and attended by Union Science &Technology Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on 3rd January, 2018. As a part of the Indian Science Congress, Women’s Science Congress was held which was inaugurated by Union Minister for Textiles & Industry Smt. Smriti Zubin Iraniand concluded by Union HRD Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar. Science Communicators’ Meet was inaugurated by Minister for Electronics & IT Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad. The Children’s Science Congress was inaugurated by the Nobel Laureates Avram Hershko from Israel and F.Duncan M. Haldane from USA.
During five days, significant lectures from three Nobel Laureates; 20 Plenary Sessions & several sectional symposia with top authorities from DRDO, ISRO, DST, ICAR, CSIR, ICMR, AICTE, NAAC, UGC, ISCA, the USA, UK Universities, were attended bynearly 30,000 participants.More than fifteen thousand delegates participated at this scientific meet.
An exhibition ‘Pride of India’ was also held during the event wherein 150 organisations including DRDO, DST, Min/o Earth Sciences, CSIR, ICAR, ICMR, NPCIL, and various other scientific departments and universities participated. The major attractions of the exhibition were the replicas of Akash Missiles, Brahmos missiles, GSLV-MK III, Astrosat satellite, INSAT-4A, IRNSS Satellite. The major attractions were the 55-feet, 25-ton massive robot ‘Metal Magna’ installed at the entrance gate. A giant microscope and a trainer plane were also displayed. During the ISC, a solar-powered driverless bus designed and created by the students of Lovely Professional University was also inaugurated. A Time capsule with items representing today’s technology and India’s scientific prowess was buried to be opened after 100 years.
The event played a vital role in stimulating scientific research effort and raising the scientific temperament in the country and the world. During concluding ceremony, 37 awardees in the categories of Young Scientists, Best Poster presentation and Pride of India-Science Exhibition were honoured. The event at LPU, which commenced with lighting of ‘VigyanJyot’, was handed over to General President elect for 2019 K S Rangappa for organization of 107th ISC. While making concluding remarks of the event, General President, Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) 2019, Dr Manoj Kumar Chakrabarti highlighted that 106th edition of ISC provided the best platform to exchange ideas and innovations among scientists gathered from across the world.He also applauded the invaluable contribution of Indian Scientists and all at different events of ISC-2019, particularly the scientific temperament of people of Punjab who participated in huge numbers.
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, delivered the inaugural address at the 106th session of the Indian Science Congress. Reflecting on the theme of the event this year – ‘Future India: Science and Technology’ – the Prime Minister said that India’s true strength will be in connecting its science, technology and innovation, with its people.
He recalled the great Indian scientists of the past, including Acharyas J.C. Bose, C.V. Raman, Meghnad Saha, and S.N. Bose, and said that they served the people through “minimum resources” and “maximum struggle.”
“The life and works of hundreds of Indian Scientists are a compelling testament of integration of deep fundamental insights with technology development and nation-building. It is through our modern temples of science that India is transforming its present and working to secure its future,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister recalled our former Prime Ministers Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri ji and Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji. He said that Shastri ji gave us the slogan: “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan,” while Atal ji added “Jai Vigyan” to it. He said that now the time has come to take a step further, by adding “Jai Anusandhan.”
The Prime Minister emphasized that the pursuit of science is fulfilled through the achievement of two objectives: generation of profound or disruptive knowledge; and use of that knowledge for socio-economic good.
As we boost our discovery science ecosystem, we must also focus on innovation and start-ups, the Prime Minister said. He said that the Government has launched the Atal Innovation Mission to promote innovation among our scientists. More Technology Business Incubators have been established in the last four years than in the forty years before that, he added.
“Our Scientists must commit themselves to addressing problems of affordable healthcare, housing, clean air, water and energy, agricultural productivity and food processing. While Science is universal, technology must be local for providing solutions relevant to local needs and conditions,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister said that big data analysis, artificial intelligence, block-chain etc should be utilised in the agricultural sector, especially to help the farmers with relatively small farm-holdings.
He urged the scientists to work towards ease of living for the people. In this context, he mentioned issues such as drought management in low rainfall areas; early disaster warning systems; tackling malnutrition; tackling diseases among children such as encephalitis; clean energy; clean drinking water; and cyber security. He called for time-bound solutions through research, in these areas.
The Prime Minister mentioned major achievements of Indian science in 2018, including:
• production of aviation grade biofuel;
• Divya Nayan – a machine for visually impaired;
• inexpensive devices for diagnosis of cervical cancer, TB and dengue
• a real-time landslide warning system in the Sikkim-Darjeeling region.
He said that strong pathways to commercialization, are needed to leverage our Research & Development achievements, through industrial products. The Prime Minister called for research, which is a fusion of Arts and Humanities, Social Science, Science and Technology.
Noting that our strengths in research and development are built on the backbone of our national laboratories, central universities, IITs, IISC, TIFR and IISERs, the Prime Minister said that a strong research ecosystem must be developed in the State Universities and Colleges, as well.
He announced that the Union Government has approved a National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber Physical Systems with an investment of over Rs. 3600 crore. The Mission will cover in a seamless way, R&D, Technology Development, Human resources and Skills, Innovation, Start-up Ecosystem and strong Industry and International Collaborations, he added.
Speaking on achievements in the space sector, the Prime Minister mentioned the success of Cartosat 2 and other satellites. He said preparations are underway for sending three Indians into space, through the Gaganyaan in 2022. He expressed happiness that research has begun to find an effective solution for sickle cell anaemia.
He said that the ‘Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council’ will help formulate appropriate Science and Technology interventions, catalyze collaborations across stakeholder Ministries and implement multi-stakeholder policy initiatives.
We have launched the ‘Prime Minister’s Research Fellows’ Scheme under which, a thousand bright minds from the best Institutions in the country will be offered direct admission in Ph.D. Programs in IITs and IISc, the Prime Minister said. The scheme will catalyze quality research and address shortage of faculty in the premier Educational Institutions, he added.