4 Jan :Hundreds of children in Shillong watched with great enthusiasm and expectations as a film took them on a journey to the making of Chandrayaan-I here at the ongoing 96th Indian Science Congress, ISC -2009. The film was brought to them by none other than Prof. M.G.K. Menon, an emminent scientist and the Chancellor of North Eastern Hill University, NEHU. The show and the interaction there after was part of the North Eastern Region Awareness programme for School Children.
ISRO’s Chandrayaan-I success story was also the theme of one of the Plenary sessions chaired by Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, Member, Space Commission and Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. Several members of the Team Chandrayaan-I participated in the discussion and enlightened the audience with detailed information on various aspects of the project.
A large number of people visited the ISRO stall within the NEHU Campus to see the Chadrayaan-I model.
Earlier, a panel discussion on Societal and Technological Response to Climate Change saw several emminent experts in the area deliberating on issues related to the subject. These included Dr. MS Swaminathan, Member of Parliament, Dr. R Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government, Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Science, Dr. Anand Patwardhan former Executive Director of TIFAC, Prof. Jyoti Parekh of eRADE, Dr. Suman Sahai of Gene Campaign, an NGO and the youngest Member of Parliament, Ms. Agatha Sangma.
The other sessions included a thought provoking discussion on Women in Science. This was chaired by Dr. Manju Sharma, former Secretary, Deptt of Biotechnology. It focused on gender issues and why women lose out. Several young students came out with useful suggestions to counter the problems faced by women in furthering their careers as scientists.
Dr. R A Mashelkar, former Director General, CSIR, chaired the session on CSIR in 21st Century which focussed on using high science for India’s technological prowess. CSIR has also put out an Exhibition on its Project 800, where the display of "Solekshwa", an eco-friendly solar operated cycle Rikshaw, is drawing huge crowds. Later, addressing a press conference, Prof. Samir Brahmachari, Director General, CSIR explained the concept of Project 800 which is expected to touch the lives of 800 million people across the country. He also announced setting up of CSIR-NEHU Centre of Excellence.
There was also a symposium on "Need for Innovative PPP Models for Science Education to Empower Emerging India".