Tuesday, January 10, 2012

99th Indian Science Congress

The five-day 99th Indian Science Congress was held in Bhubaneswar (Orissa, officially Odisha since November 2011) on January 3, 2011. The Congress, which was attended by approximately 15,000 delegates, including 12 Nobel laureate scientists, from across the globe, including scientists and policymakers, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Prof Geetha Bali, general president of the Indian Science Congress Association, presided over the inaugural session of the Congress
The Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) and the National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) jointly hosted the Congress, the largest gathering of the scientific community. The focal theme of the five-day scientific extravaganza is “Science and technology for inclusive innovation — Role of women”.
India’s Research and Development
Pointing out that India’s Research and Development (R&D) spending as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) had been ‘low and stagnant’, the prime minister made a strong pitch for increasing it to at least 2 per cent of the GDP from the current level of less than 1 per cent. He said: “This can only be achieved if the industry, which contributes about one-third of the total R&D expenditure today, increases its contribution significantly.”
The prime minister made a frank assessment of the country’s progress in science and technology area, highlighted the lacunae in the policies and implementation and called for greater alignment of the S&T sector with the inclusive development needs of the country.
Decade of Innovations
Stating that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government had declared 2010-20 as the ‘Decade of Innovations’, he appealed to scientists and policy makers to use the research-based knowledge productively for social benefit. “For a country grappling with the challenges of poverty and development, the over-riding objective of a comprehensive and well-considered policy for science, technology and innovation should be to support the national objective of faster, sustainable and inclusive development,” the Prime Minister said.
Coinciding with the mega event, he announced that the Centre was considering a proposal to build national capacity and capability in supercomputing to be implemented by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, at an estimated cost of Rs 5,000 crore. Another proposal to establish a Neutrino Observatory in Tamil Nadu with an investment of Rs. 1,350 crore was also under consideration.

No comments: