February 7, 2012 admin

15th Punjab Science Congress inaugurated at Guru Nanak Dev University

Amritsar, February 7 – A 3-day 15th Punjab Science Congress inaugurates at Guru Nanak Dev University here today in the Dashmesh Auditorium. This Congress is being organized by the University in association with Punjab Academy of Sciences, Patiala. More than 500 Scientists and Researchers are participating.
    Eminent Scientist, Prof. Yash Pal, Former Chairman, University Grants Commission presided over the inaugural session while Prof. S.S. Gill, Vice-Chancellor, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot delivered the key note address. Prof. A.S. Brar, Vice-Chancellor read the message of H.E. Shivraj V. Patil, Governor of Punjab on this occasion. Dr. Rajinderjit Kaur Pawar, Dean, Academic Affairs welcomed the Chief guests and others. Prof. Jagtar Singh, Secretary, Punjab Academy of Sciences gave the introduction about the Academy and Prof. I.J.S. Bansal, President of the Academy detailed about the theme of the Congress. Prof. A.K. Thukral, was the Chairman of the Congress and Prof. Renu Bharadwaj conducted the stage. Vote of thanks was presented by the Prof. D.S. Arora, Organizing Secretary.
    A book on the life of Vice-Chancellor, Prof. A.S. Brar entitled ‘Profound Pursuits’ was released by Prof. Yashpal on this occasion to marks the 65th birth Anniversary of Prof. Brar. The introductory remarks about the book were read by Prof. Harjit Singh, Professor Emeritus of the University.
    Prof. Yashpal was honoured with Life Time Achievement Award for his achievements in the field of Science. Academy also honored Honorary Fellowship Awards of Punjab Academy of Sciences to Dr. Naresh Trehan, Chairman and Managing Director of Medenta the Medicity, Gurgaon; Dr. R.S. Khandpur, Director General, Pushpa Gujral Science City, Kapurthala; Dr. A.K. Srivastava, Director, Natonal Dairy Research Institute, Karnal and Dr. Harpal Singh Buttar, Senior Scientist & Adjunct Professor Reproduction and Urology Division Therapeutic Products Directorate, Ottawa, Canada. Sh. Bhagwan Das Arora Oration Award was presented to Dr. S.G. Damle, Vice-Chancellor, M.M. University, Mullana, Haryana.
    Prof. A.S. Brar while reading the message of H.E. Shivraj V. Patil said that India is still a backward country in several respects.  He said that despite plenty of water resources, ample sunshine, good weather and mineral resources in our country, we still are a poor country. He said that we have not been able to harness natural resources like water from rainfall to irrigate our fields so far.  He said that the water table in Punjab is going down every year and  need of hour is to act right now to stop the ground water depletion.  He said that scientists and scientific institutions should show a path to the people of the State in this direction. 
He said that solar energy, which is ample in the State, can save us from the energy crises.  Even though there are technologies to harness solar power and the institutes could develop new technology to use solar power. 
    He said that another problem facing Punjab is environmental deterioration.  Whole system, right from an individual to the State is responsible for it.  He said that faulty planning and unpleasant personal habits don’t allow our State to be environment clean. He said that only a two-fold action can save us i.e. we have to correct our past mistakes and formulate new plans which are justified. Only a scientific temperament could put us back on the rails, he added.
    He said that Punjab has become a home of deadly diseases like cancer, diabetes, water borne diseases and other ailments.  We have to find out ways to prevent this menace.  He said that we have to take up research in those areas which could help in building a healthy society.
He said that we must also think of improving the economy of the State by establishing IT Industries, sustainable agriculture and improving the environment. He said that as science is the backbone of Technological development and whatsoever we are today is due to contribution of science. 
Prof. Yashpal in his inaugural address said that science is deeply concerned with our every day life. He said that the contribution of science has to be acknowledged for the betterment of the society. He said that every thing from nature, galaxy and universe is working on the scientific principles.
He said that indeed there are lots of problems but there are always scientific ways to solve these problems by developing technical innovative ways. He said that scientific community needed to take lead in this direction to solve problems around them through scientific methods.
He said that science is a part of life-style of society and for healthy society, scientific innovations has to be made. For Vision-2020 and Vision-2025 for India towards eradicating poverty, providing good education, water and hygiene, eradication of illiteracy, he said that scientific temperament has to be established and only science & technology could help in this regard. He said that there are always small scientific trials behind the big scientific discoveries. He said that World is looking at India for scientific directions.     
Dr. S.S. Gill, in his keynote address said that modern sciences have transformed the human imagination to reality. He said that it has demonstrated the immense power of the human brain in creating our needs today in all walks of life. The education and science are the backbones of growth and development of a society. He said that the concept that science is necessary only for scientists and engineers is outdated in today’s high-tech world. He said that a firm science education is essential for academic community of all backgrounds. All we need the knowledge and skills that make up what we call ‘science literacy’, he added.
He said that with the advances in science and technology, value of science has been understood well. He said that innovations stemming from scientific knowledge have been greatly beneficial to human kind.
He said world has become a global village due the advances in information, communication and aviations technologies. He said that the role of science promises to be even greater in the future because of accelerating scientific advances.
He also expressed his concern over the decline in number of students for pursing their studies in sciences. He said that Indian Science Report for INSA has also shown that only 3.6 percent of the students preferred to choose science as their career, so situation is very much alarming, he added.
He said that this is due to very poor and non-existence of teachers in science and mathematics at school level. He said that science is being taught as a very difficult as a dry subject, poor planning of teaching material and labs and an exam-based studies and stress of preparation of entrance tests.
While talking about the ills of science, he said that though, scientific and technological progress has also made the life of common man very simple yet it could be used for destruction of humanity on the entire planet. He said that there are some other problems, which are also creating a danger zone for humanity includes – very sophisticated arms could be developed, science could lead to environment degradation, science could be used to deplete natural resources, global warming, Environmental problems like water soil, air etc., biological weapons, use of computer and information technology for destruction, genetic engineering, technological unemployment and unsatisfactory working conditions.  

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