Science enthusiasts will have to wait longer for the next Indian Science Congress, as the event has been rescheduled to take place in 2022 in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was to be hosted in January 2021 at Pune.
Earlier in March, Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) awarded Symbiosis International University (SIU) to host the 108th edition of the Science Congress, scheduled to be held between January 3 and 7, 2021.
With the outbreak of Covid-19 soon after, however, the fate of the 108th Science Congress was undecided till August. There was a recommendation to organise a virtual event, but the executive council members of ISCA decided to reschedule the event by a year while retaining Pune as the host city and SIU as the venue.
“Organising the Science Congress virtually is not feasible, as it is difficult to arrange webinars or similar online platforms for 10,000 or more participants,” Vijay Laxmi Saxena, general president, ISCA, told The Indian Express.
Given the state of affairs with respect to the pandemic, Saxena said the 2022 Science Congress in Pune will have all safety measures in place.
Speaking on some of SIU’s preparations initiated for the national meet, Dr Rajiv Yeravdekar, local secretary, 108th ISC, said, “Soon after the announcement, we formed committees and identified core working groups mainly comprising faculty members. The registrations were opened for participants. However, with the postponement, the collected registration fees have been refunded and all activities have been put on standby.”
Dr Yeravdekar added, “We also contacted some vendors for construction works and were in preliminary talks for arranging travel, accommodation, catering, and other requirements for guests and participants. Some modification works at hostels too were taken up.”
The organisers had a special display to showcase ‘Villagers Science Congress’, which they plan to retain for the 2022 event. The theme of the event, planned to be organised at SIU’s Lavale campus, is ‘Science and technology for sustainable development with women empowerment’.
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