Greetings and hearty welcome to the 99th session of Indian Science Congress being held from Jan 3rd to 7th2012 at Bhubaneswar. The congress will be jointly hosted by the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) and National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubaneswar.
The country is poised to achieve transformation from being a developing country into a developed country by 2020. In order to achieve this, it is but necessary to focus on inclusive development. Science and Technology alone can help in the realization of this goal. It is important to promote innovation driven research and develop appropriate technologies to ensure that the diverse population with diverse needs that forms the fabric of India is richly benefited by science and technology.
It is important that women are not left behind in this march towards prosperity. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehruji remarked “the advancement of a nation can be judged by the status women enjoy”. It may be noted that of the 8 millennium goals identified by the UN at least five directly centre round women namely.
The 99th session of Indian Science Congress intends to draw the attention of scientists, technocrats and all stake holders towards the need to employ science and technology to reach the unreached and to empower every citizen. Tapping the potential of and increasing the efficiency of over one billion population effectively in doing whatever they are required to and capable of doing can have a tremendous impact not only within the country but globally. India which enjoys demographic advantage is poised to achieve such a revolution, provided science and technology is employed in the most effective way.
It is especially significant that the Congress is held in the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) with the sister institution Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) which creates an admirable pool of talent out of 15,000 tribal children, picked up from the poorest of the poor families, adopted and educated in the best possible environs from kindergarten to Post graduation. This talent would have gone unnoticed otherwise and reminds one of the vast untapped potential hidden in the nooks and corners of the country emphasizing the importance of inclusive development. It is a heartening sight to see thousands of tribal children thronging the campus filled with confidence and burning desire to achieve. As the General President of the Indian Science Congress Association, I feel privileged to extend a cordial invitation to every one who is interested in contributing for the welfare of humanity through science and technology. I do hope the deliberations will enthuse every scientist to focus on the needs of every section of the people that are spread over this vast country and the rest of the world.
Finally, the State of Odisha, cradled between sunlit waters of Bay of Bengal and the lush green forests on Eastern Ghats is a sample of the diversity India can boast of. It is known for its rich biodiversity including rich marine fauna with pristine beaches across 482 km of coastline, wild life sanctuaries, the largest brackish water lake in Asia and lagoons, bird sanctuaries and gorgeous waterfalls. Bhubaneswar is known for its architectural marvel of 13th century, the sun temple referred to as “poetry in stone” and several other temples fetching the name “the city of temples”. The city is known for its own unique arts and crafts including applique work of Pipli and filigree. Bhubaneswar has something interesting in store for every type of visitor. Once again, I extend a warm welcome to one and all.