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Bengaluru decks up for 5-day science congress

Bengaluru, Jan 2 (IANS) India’s tech city decks up for hosting the 107th Indian Science Congress (ISC 2020) for 5 days from Friday amid tight security, a top official said on Thursday.

“About 15,000 delegates, including 2 Nobel Laureates and eminent scientists from across India and abroad are set to attend the Science Congress from January 3-7 in the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), which is hosting the annual event,” ISC President K.S. Rangappa told IANS ahead of the meet.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the mega summit at a huge makeshift hall in the sprawling Gandhi Krishi Vigyan Kendra (GKVK) campus on the city’s northern outskirts.

About 10,000 delegates, including students, academicians, researchers, keynote speakers, experts and policy makers have registered to participate in the congress from across the country and 35 countries worldwide.

“This is the third time Bengaluru is hosting the science congress after 2002 and 1987. Modi inaugurated the 103rd session at Mysuru in the southern state on January 3, 2016,” Rangappa, former vice-chancellor of Mysore University, recalled.

As the event is being held by an agriculture university, the focal theme of the congress is “Science and Technology: Rural Development”, ostensibly to bridge the gap between urban and rural India and improving the quality of farmers’ life through science and technology.

The national jamboree will cover 14 sectors in contemporary science, with concurrent sub-events like Women’s Science Congress, Children’s Science Congress, Science Communicators; Meet and Farmer’s Science Congress.

“For the first time, the Farmer’s Science Congress on January 6 will provide a forum to ryots across the country to interact, share their experiences, success, failures and showcase their innovative techniques/methods developed and followed by them in farming,” Rangappa said.

With agrarian crisis gripping the country and the farm sector’s contribution to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stagnating, the day-long farmers’ session will focus on innovation in integrated agriculture and entrepreneurship for doubling farmers’ income.

Climate change, bio-diversity, conservation, ecosystem services and farmers empowerment will be discussed in parallel sessions along with one on agrarian distress, bio-entrepreneurship and policy issues.

Four public lectures and 26 plenary sessions will be held concurrently. In addition, a science exhibition (Pride of India) will showcase the latest developments in science and technology the world over, leading products and services, path-breaking research and developments (R&D) initiatives, schemes and achievements of the public and private sectors.

The public lectures (two each) will be held on January 3-4 at the international convention centre in the campus. The first lecture on “Ultrasharp Fluorescence Microscopy” will be delivered by Nobel Laureate Stefan Walter Hell from Gottingen in Germany, followed by a talk on “Science Across Disciplines and Some Consequences for Industry 4.0” by Subra Suresh, an India-born American scientist. He was awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2014.

The third lecture on January 4 will be on “From basic science to an acute problem of modern medicine” by Nobel Laureate Ada E. Yonath, an Israeli scientist from Jerusalem. She was awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Indian-born American physicist and molecular biologist Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and American biophysicist and biochemist Thomas Steitz in 2009.

The fourth lecture will be given on “Life style diseases and Recent advances in Cardiac Sciences” by eminent Indian cardiologist C.N. Manjunath, Director of the state-run Jayadeva Hospital in Bengaluru.

“In addition, 74 expert speakers from 24 countries will deliver keynote addresses on different subjects on application of science in technology,” added Rangappa.

–IANS

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