Based on the theme ‘Planet Earth’, for this Science Congress, I am discussing two aspects in my presentation. How do we make our earth livable and free from carbon di oxide bombardment and thereby reduce the damage to the ozone layer? Also how do we find an economic solution to energy production, which has several scientific challenges encompassing many scientific fields?
“It gives me great pleasure to inaugurate the 94th Session of the Indian Science Congress. Since the theme of this year’s Science Congress is Planet Earth, it is only appropriate that you are meeting here in this historic town of Chidambaram. It is home to the world famous temple of Nataraja. This temple, dedicated to the Cosmic Dance of Lord Shiva, is a timely and contextual reminder of what this year’s Science Congress is about. We in India hold the five elements – wind, water, fire, earth and space in worshipful respect. In Chidambaram’s vicinity there are temples to wind, water, fire and earth. As one of the holy five temples, where we worship the cosmos, Chidambaram is a fitting venue for your gatherings this year.
India is a microcosm of Planet Earth. We have just about every ecosystem that you can imagine. Our national anthem speaks of the unity of these diverse places and peoples, and our national song, Vande Mataram, pays homage to Mother India’s natural bounty. The wisdom of India’s forefathers is no different from that of the famous Chief of an American Indian tribe, Chief Seattle, who said: “we do not own this earth, we borrow it from our children”.
I am delighted to be here at Annamalai Nagar for the inauguration of the 94th Indian Science Congress as the event is unique for at least three reasons.
First, all the previous 93 Congresses have been held in major cities and towns. It is for the first time that the Science Congress is being held in this salubrious environment away from the hustle and bustle of cities in the midst of our countryside.
Second, is that the theme of this Congress addresses issues relating to ‘Planet earth’ as a holistic all encompassing system, whereas in the past, Science Congresses have addressed specific aspects or components of the earth system. We all know that the United Nations has declared year 2008 as the ‘International Year of Planet Earth’. Associated activities he world over will occur over the triennium 2007 – 2009. In that sense, the 94th Indian Science Congress is first in addressing issues that will be centre-stage in the International Year of Planet earth.This again is an unique aspect of this Congress.
Third, we have at the national level, set-up full fledged Ministry of Earth Sciences to concentrate and deal on the diverse issues and matters concerned with the Earth System as an integrated whole. The Government is thus fully seized of the import of the theme of this Congress. Now to turn to Planet Earth the reason for our very existence.
Courtesy: Department of Science & Technology ~ www.dst.gov.in
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