8th Science Congress Begins in Srinagar

Srinagar, Sept 17: The three day 8th J&K Science Congress began here this morning. It was inaugurated by Vice-President of India M. Hamid Ansari.

Delivering the inaugural address, Mr. Ansari said that in order to emerge as an effective knowledge power for the welfare of people, stronger capabilities and a more integrated view of Science and technology is required. This, besides enhanced financial support, would need more effective mechanisms to catch and encourage talent.

The Congress is being organised by University of Kashmir in collaboration with J&K State Council for Science and Technology, Department of Science & Technology(GOI) and J&K Academy of Sciences.
Governor, Mr. N. N. Vohra, Chief Minister, Mr. Omar Abdullah, Minister for Science & Technology, Aga Ruhullah Mehdi, President, Indian National Science Academy, Prof. Krishan Lal, Vice Chancellor, Kashmir University, Prof. Talat Ahmad, judges of the J&K High Court, vice chancellors of IUST, BGBS and Central University of Kashmir, Chief Secretary, DGP, officers of state government, former vice chancellors of Kashmir University and scholars and scientists attending the three day congress were present on the occasion.

The Vice President said that inspiration and creation of role models would be easier if the barriers between teaching and research are lowered, if not eliminated altogether, by senior and eminent teachers making it a point to teach undergraduate classes. He said that an essential concomitant would be a new culture of research, greater autonomy and sufficient freedom of dissent. The challenge then is three fold: to catch young talent inclined to pursue science studies, to nurture it, and to motivate it sufficiently to remain attached to the domain of science to become the next generation of teachers and researchers.

Ansari said that research is one aspect of the matter, development leading to technological innovation is another. When the two come together, the objective of socially relevant innovation is achieved. This, in turn, contributes in varying measures to the production of economically relevant public goods. Innovation thus becomes an index of progress and development.
Referring to Jammu and Kashmir, the Vice President said the state faces great many challenges in the area of S&T Education and Research infrastructure. He said most of these can be addressed by adoption and implementation of various central government schemes aimed to attract students towards science subjects. Similarly, he said, various Doctoral and Post Doctoral fellowships to promote the interest in Research can be availed of. Furthermore, the special packages announced for S&T Sector in Jammu and Kashmir from time to time have to be implemented in letter and spirit to give fillip to the development of scientific temper among youth of this region. This is a moral obligation apart from being a functional one, he added.

Maintaining that vocational training has to be linked to employability and therefore to different segments of local economy, Mr. Ansari said that acquiring excellence in traditional crafts results in value addition. Similarly, training in service skills needed by the tourism sector could add considerably to employment generation.

The Vice President said that while each researcher ploughs the field individually, he or she should also be aware of, and benefit from, what is being done elsewhere in that branch of knowledge. Modern communication techniques have made this much easier. It is said that internationally, one-fifth of research papers are co-authored; this percentage should be higher in national terms.
Governor, Mr. N. N. Vohra, Chief Minister, Mr. Omar Abdullah, Minister for Science & Technology, Aga Ruhullah Mehdi, President, Indian National Science Academy, Prof. Krishan Lal, Vice Chancellor, Kashmir University, Prof. Talat Ahmad also spoke during the inaugural session.
About one thousand research scholars from across the country are attending the congress.
The inaugural function was followed by several plenary and technical sessions.

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