The 36th International Geological Congress (IGC) will be held in New Delhi in 2020 from November 29 to December 5. The bid by the five countries of the South Asian region — India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka — received an overwhelming response with 128 votes cast in its favour as against 51 votes in favour of Canada, the competing country.

The voting took place on Thursday at the ongoing 34th International Geological Congress in Brisbane, Australia. The last time India hosted the Congress was in 1964. The host institution would be the Geological Survey of India (GSI), along with the science academies of five countries of the sub-continent. The event will be sponsored by the Ministry of Mines and the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India.

The Congress is a prestigious conclave of geoscientists from around the world, and is held once every four years. It is for this reason that the IGC is considered as an Olympic of the International Geosciences fraternity. The 35th International Geological Congress is scheduled to be held at Cape Town, South Africa in 2016.

The Indian subcontinent is a geoscientists’ paradise. It is home to the oldest rocks (3.6 billion years) to the youngest, and Himalayas, the active fold mountain belt of the world. Adding to the long list are the Deccan Traps and active volcanoes; some of the major rivers of the world; mature foreland basins and youthful landforms; extensive deltas and fans; hot and cold deserts; salt ranges and deep oceans; hot springs and waterfalls.

About 30 guided field trips of 5-6 days duration have been planned for facilitating the participating scientists to appreciate and study the different geological environments.

The Indian delegation comprised of Vishwapati Trivedi, Secretary, Ministrty of Mines, S.K. Srivastava, Secretary, Ministry of Coal, A. Sunderamoorthy, Director General of the Geological Survey of India, Sailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences and Prof. D.M. Banerjee, INSA chair for IUGS.

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