PM to open Science Congress on Tuesday

Bhubaneswar: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the 99th Indian Science Congress here on Tuesday during which scientists will deliberate on issues like climate change, food security, clean energy and space technology.

The theme of this year`s Science Congress is `Science and Technology for Inclusive Innovation – Role of Women` and will be headed by Geetha Bali, vice chancellor of Karnataka State Women`s University. She is the fourth woman to head the Indian Science Congress.

The five-day Congress would see scientists deliberating on preventing maternal and child mortality, assisted technology for disabled, science and education in rural areas, women in science, water scarcity and security. While the Children`s Science Congress will be inaugurated by former President A P J Abdul Kalam on Wednesday, India`s Ambassador to the US Nirupama Rao, would kick off the Women`s Science Congress on Thursday.

The mega event, to be attended by about 20 Nobel laureates, corporate bigwigs, scientists and leaders, is being hosted by Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) and National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER). Some of the focus areas of the Congress are climate change and food security, clean energy from renewable sources, space technology and human welfare, rural livelihood security, nanoscience and nanotechnology and food and nutrition security, according to NISER director T K Chandrashekar.

Around one lakh students are likely to participate in the Congress, being held for the second time in Odisha after a gap of 34 years, according to KIIT founder Achyuta Samanta. About 1500 volunteers, including students of KIIT, have been engaged for smooth conduct of the Congress. The venue of the Congress has a capacity to accommodate 20,000 people.

Near the main Congress venue, an "Odishi Mandap" has been prepared to showcase the rich cultural heritage, art, history and traditions of the state. The prestigious UNESCO-Kalinga award would be presented during the ISC while a science film festival would also be organised during the mega event.