President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the centenary session of the Indian Science Congress here on Thursday in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, six Nobel laureates and a gamut of eminent national and international scientists and thousands of delegates from different sections of society.
Describing it as a “momentous event”, West Bengal Governor and chairperson of the Host Committee of the event, M.K. Narayanan, said its significance is not only that the Science Congress has surpassed 100 years but that it is the first time that a serving Prime Minister is its general president.
Mr. Narayanan said it is also the first time that the Prime Minister will chair a panel discussion on the event’s theme, ‘Science for Shaping the Future of India’. Referring to the distinguished participants, Union Minister of Science & Technology S. Jaipal Reddy said all the scientists will contribute through lectures and papers to make the centenary session a “glorious and memorable occasion”.
Scientists and Nobel laureates such as Venki Ramakrishnan, Ei-ichi Negishi and Abel Prize winner Mathematician S.R. Srinivasa Varadhan are among those who will participate.
Central Science & Technology Secretary T. Ramasami said about 14,000 delegates will participate in the five-day event. The number of papers and abstracts that will be presented during the Science Congress has crossed 8,000.
“All the plenary sessions and the technical sessions have been named after people who have made contributions to science from the country,” Dr. Ramasami said.
He added that all nine science departments and councils under the Government of India will showcase their programmes and hold public outreach sessions.
Organisers of the Science Congress said about 70 scientists from 20 countries which include members of the Royal Society, UK, and the US Academy of Sciences will participate in the event.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will unveil a book, ‘The Balancing Act’, which is an autobiographical account of 21 eminent women scientists and their scientific pursuits.