In the just concluded 108th (Indian Science Congress ) ISC held at Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University (RTMNU) at its Amravati Road Campus, Dr Arvind Kumar Saxena, Professor and Director at the Institute of Basic Science, Bundelkhand University, Jhansi, received the torch of the next Indian Science Congress from outgoing president Dr. Vijayalakshmi Saxena on Jan 7. So, the next edition of ISC will be held in Jhansi.
In the run-up to ISC which was inaugurated virtually by the Prime Minister Modi on Jan 3 , the Vigyan Jyot programme, a tradition of the Indian Science Congress a day prior. More than 400 school and college students gathered at Zero Milestone and, wearing special caps and T-shirts, proceeded in a rally to the university campus. They took a pledge to adopt scientific thinking in their lives. ISCA General President, Dr. (Mrs.) Vijay Laxmi Saxena urged them not to study science as merely a subject, but make it a part of life in anything that they do.
Vigyan Jyot – Flame of Knowledge – was conceived on the lines of the Olympic flame. It is a movement dedicated to nurturing scientific temper in the society, especially the youth. The flame was installed at the university campus and continued to be alight until the end of the 108th Indian Science Congress.
The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi in his addressed emphasized that the basic motivation of our scientific community should be the development of science in India to meet the needs of the country and added: “Science in India should be such which will make India self-reliant. We also have to keep in mind that today 17-18 percent of the world’s human population lives in India. Scientific works should be such which will fulfill the needs of India and will give momentum to 17-18 percent of the world’s humanity. And its effect will be on the entire humanity. Therefore, we should work on such issues which are important for the entire humanity. For example, if we take the issue of energy. India’s energy needs are going to grow continuously. In such a situation, if the scientific community of India makes innovations related to energy requirements, then it will be of great benefit to the country. In particular, the country is working on the National Hydrogen Mission for the immense possibilities in hydrogen energy. To make it successful, it is necessary that various essential components like electrolyzers should be made in the country itself. If there is scope for any new options in this direction, then research should be carried out in that direction also. Our scientists and the industry have to work together in this regard.”
The valedictory session of 108th ISC was addressed by Nobel laureate Ada Yonath (winner of Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009), an Israeli crystallographer and director of the Helen and Milton A. Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structure and Assembly of the Weizmann Institute of Science. Yonath said, she has continued her scientific research even after two decades of being awarded the Nobel Prize. According to her, a researcher should never discontinue research work. She said, Indian scientists Dr Tanaya Bose and Dr Venkatraman Ramkrishnan helped her in the research. “I have always had high regards for Indian scientists. My guide Dr Ramchandran was an Indian scientist. He introduced me to the rich traditions followed by Indian scientists.
Tribal Science Congress was organized for the first time during this Congress. More than three thousand research papers were presented while more than fifty thousand delegates participated in the various events.
Awards to Scientists:
Ashut Mukherjee Memorial Award – Prof. Ajay Kumar Sood
Dr. C. V. Raman Birth Centenary Award – Prof. S. R. Niranjana
N. Bose Birth Centenary Award – Prof. Subhash Chandra Parija
K. Mitra Birth Centenary Award – Dr. Ranjan Kumar Nandy
J. Bhabha Memorial Award – Dr. Kaushal Prasad Mishra
S. Kothari Memorial Award – Dr. Shyamal Roy
Names of other award winners are as follows:
Prof. R. C. Mehrotra Memorial Life Time Achievement Award – Dr. U. C. Banerjee – Amity University, Mohali.
Prof. S. S. Katiyar Endowment Lecture Award – Dr. Kesturu S. Girish – Tumkur University, Karnataka.
Prof. Archana Sharma Memorial Award in Plant Science – Dr. Rajiv Pratap Singh – BHU, Varanasi
K. Manna Memorial Award – Dr. Basant Kumar Das – ICAR Kolkata