Paying a price for being disciplined

BANGALORE Jan. 3. The instructions to delegates attending the inauguration of the 90th Indian Science Congress at the Jnanabharati here were clear. Get to your seats by 9 a.m. and stay put. But at the venue, not even the Special Protection Group commandos deterred determined wanderers from making any number of trips in and out, for coffee or to the toilet.

There was also a small group of people that took the instruction to heart and tried to stay put. They could be seen squirming in their seats, or occasionally waving in the air. The reason: if one stayed put, he became game for a host of mosquitoes there.

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Luckless hawker

On the opening day of the ISC, the food court was the most popular part of the venue. Visiting delegates ignored the national anthem at the end of the inaugural ceremony and made a beeline for the food court.

A group of strong men manned the entry to the "court" and only those with a "coupon" were allowed to pass. Now, a poor man selling "kallekai" in a basket decided to try his luck and chose an inconspicuous corner to make his sortie. But it was doomed even before he started, as two of the "bouncers" spotted him a long way off. He was shooed away in a manner not very different from the way a stray dog is stoned away.

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Soporific music

More on the waiting period, between 9 a.m. and the arrival of the Prime Minister at 10 a.m., when the inauguration got underway: Waiting delegates and anyone else in the large enclosure -- a glorified tent -- were treated to a monotonous music similar to what one hears when put on hold over a telephone. Besides, the music couldn't sort itself out between Hindustani classical, fusion, and Western pop.

The arrival of the "dignitaries" brought a welcome relief from the soporific "music" to which silence was preferred.

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Everything live

For those who are wondering what all this brouhaha is about the science congress, Gyan Darshan will show it all live.

The Educational TV Channel of the Indira Gandhi National Open University will air the plenary sessions of the ISC. The signals will be broadcast via an INSAT 3C transponder on 4165 MHz frequency.

The free-to-air channel can be viewed if the cable operators carry it. Gyan Vani, IGNOU's FM radio channel will also carry live broadcasts of the proceedings of the sessions of the congress, on 107.6 MHz.

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