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Swadeshi Science Congress begins

Staff Reporter
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The Spirit of Science: Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology Director M. Radhakrishna Pillai inaugurating the three-day 21st Swadeshi Science Congress in Kollam on Monday.
The Spirit of Science: Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology Director M. Radhakrishna Pillai inaugurating the three-day 21st Swadeshi Science Congress in Kollam on Monday.

M. Radhakrishna Pillai, Director of the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, on Monday said the general decay in the science education standards posed an alarming situation in the State, which was detrimental to the younger generation.

He was inaugurating the 21st Swadeshi Science Congress (SSC) here on Monday. The three-day event is organised by the Swadeshi Science Movement (SSM) in association with the Cashew Export Promotion Council Laboratory and Technical Division.

Dr. Pillai said a clear science policy was the need of the hour. Equally important was a science education policy. He wanted the SSM to bring about a general awareness on the values of science education. Dr. Pillai later delivered the C.V. Raman Memorial Lecture on “biotechnology for a better future”.

President of the SSM V.P.N. Nampoori, in his address, said the SSM's objective was to spread the spirit of science based on the concept of swadeshi science.

Dr. Nampoori, who is also the emeritus professor in the Department of Physics, CUSAT, said though science was universal, it had regional connotations too which required modifications accordingly.

At the inaugural function, Executive Director and Secretary of the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI) K. Sasi Varma said while the cashew processing industry needed 13 lakh tonnes of raw cashew annually for processing, only half of the requirement was produced domestically.

By 2020, the processing industry would require about 20 lakh tonnes of raw cashew since statistics showed that cashew consumption worldwide was increasing because of the health benefit in cashew nuts. “Therefore it is vital that measures are taken to increase raw nut production in the country.”

Chairman of the CEPCI Harikrishnan R. Nair, in his presidential address, said that for the growth of the cashew industry, which is a valuable foreign exchange earner, it was important that the production capacity per worker had to increase from the present 2.5 kg to 25 kg. “This is because the industry will be facing a shortage of labour in the coming years.”

Collector P.G. Thomas; Mayor Prasanna Earnest; and N. Peethambara Kurup, MP, addressed the inaugural function.

Chairman of the SSC organising committee V.P. Potty welcomed the gathering and secretary Mary Teresa P. Miranda proposed the vote of thanks. The SSC comprises eleven technical sessions.


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