The five-day 103rd Indian Science Congress (ISC) in Mysore, Karnataka was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 3, 2016. While Indian Science Congress Mega Expo ‘Pride of India-Frontier Science and Technologies’ was inaugurated by Dr Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences. The exhibition will remain open for the general public on all five days and cultural events will be held in the evenings from 7 pm to 8.30 pm. The Pride of India Expo is spread over an area of 15000 square meters and over 180 organizations are participating in it.
The theme of the ISC this year is “Science and Technology for Indigenous Development in India”. Women’s science congress in the 103rd ISC was inaugurated by the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Smriti Irani. As per the latest report of the All India Survey for Higher Education, there has been a considerable increase in the number of girls who seek admissions to institutions of higher education. Irani added that more women are yet to be accommodated in the teaching community and another big challenge women face is to getting a doctorate degree.
Here are the glimpses of Smriti Irani’s inaugural address :
Smriti Irani laid emphasis over the fact that prejudice against women scientists ‘dramatically exists’ and the need of the hour is that the fundamental challenge should be paid heed. Science never preaches or teach prejudice hence for everyday women science is something that should be encouraged.
Science can enrich plutonium but cannot enrich the hearts of men – is true in case of India and especially during these days. If this can be transformed then there would be no need for a separate Women’s Science Congress.
Science always helps human beings to understand the differentiation between beings and encourages us to celebrate that diversity. The present condition of school going students of India is so worst that they cannot name a single Indian female scientist.
To address the challenges faced by female scientists, the first step is to teach children at the school level and tell them the remarkable contribution made by female scientists of Indian origin.
On inaugural day, Narendra Modi was supposed to present 28 awards, including six gold medals to Nobel Laureates, ISCA Best Oral Presenter, ISCA Best Poster, ISCA Young Scientists, C V Raman Birth Centenary Award at the event which is being held at the University of Mysore. However PM took a last minute U-turn as he left the venue without conferring an award on Vijnana Bharati, an important wing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.