Science meet to brainstorm on PM’s ideas

Prof. D. Narayana Rao, general president of the Indian Science Congress Association— Photo: K.V. POORNACHANDRA KUMAR

Prof. D. Narayana Rao, general president of the Indian Science Congress Association— Photo: K.V. POORNACHANDRA KUMAR  

Optimum use of coastline, genome editing to figure in discussions at the event at Tirupati

The 104th Indian Science Congress to be hosted by Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati is expected to be amusing, captivating and make sense, going by the topics chosen for discussion under the overarching focal theme 'Science and Technology for national development'.

Reckoned across the globe as the 'Science Face of India', the prestigious event is known to track the science and technology progress made in the past and act as a guiding light for the years to come. With a whopping 12,000 scientists from across India, 200 scientists from abroad and nine Nobel laureates from the USA, Japan, France, Israel and Bangladesh, the mega event is expected to roll out a roadmap for the country.

The plenary sessions have topics on making S&T relevant to the society by setting national priority areas, steps for ushering in economic development, with due focus on higher education and collaborative activities. Blue Economy is one such topic that deals with the country's vast coastline of 7000 km, which has so far remained underutilised. The session will look beyond the marine food and fishing areas to put the coastline for more productive use. Another such futuristic session is 'Offshore wind farms', which discusses possible ideas to install wind farms in the sea to achieve manifold increase in generation efficiency. Similarly, 'Genome editing' is a path-breaking topic that is set to discuss ways to isolate and edit a disease-causing gene, so as to permanently eradicate a disease.

Many topics taken up for discussion resonate with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ideas for a better India. “We have taken up for discussion topics such as Digital India, Swachh Bharat and smart cities etc., which are the dream projects of Mr. Modi,” says D. Narayana Rao, General President of the Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA). There will also be a session on S&T for the North-Eastern states, in tune with the Prime Minister's strategic importance attached to the N-E for a stronger India.

Govt.’s focus on S&T

In an exclusive interview with The Hindu , Prof. Rao indicated that an 'S&T Achievers Meet' would be conducted to tackle the paucity of young leaders in the arena by discussing the issues hindering the scientists from emerging into leaders, including the proverbial 'glass ceiling'. Similarly, the session on 'Frontiers of Defence Research' will suggest ways to make India, now having the dubious tag of being the 'largest importer of defence equipment', to envisage superior defence technology instead of buying yesterday's obsolete technology.

The image of Mangalyaan on the newly-issued Rs. 2,000 note is enough indication of the government's resolve to take scientific progress to every Indian, opined Prof. Rao, adding, “Moving ahead is easy only when the society appreciates our S&T achievements.”

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