ISCA to ask for letters from CM, governor for future Congress

ISCA to ask for letters from CM, governor for future Congress

ISCA to ask for letters from CM, governor for future Congress

Stung by Osmania University's last minute cancellation, the Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) would henceforth ask host universities to produce support letters from the governor and the chief minister before deciding on the venue for future congresses.

The decision was taken by the ISCA executive council after the original host of the 105th session of the Indian Science Congress declined to host the mega event at the eleventh hour.

Last year on December 21, the university conveyed its inability to host the Congress - scheduled to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 3 - citing student unrest on the campus. Such last-minute cancellation happened for the first time in the 104 year history of the Congress.

"The University in Hyderabad damaged us and we are suffering," Ashok Saxena, a Kanpur-based professor and past president of ISCA said here on Thursday.

While 12 Nobel laureates were to attend the event at Hyderabad, none would be coming to Imphal as new dates don't match their calendars.

Three other Nobel winners - Dalai Lama, Mohd Yunus and Hiroshi Amano - initially approached by the organisers are also not coming.

Instead of 12,000 registered delegates, only around 5,000 delegates are expected. The Manipur Science Congress will also not be having its signature plenary sessions where top scientists give lectures on the frontiers of science.

The relative inaccessibility of the venue - Imphal is not on India's railway map - and annual examinations further reduced the participation as college teachers don't get leave to attend the meet and students can't afford their time.

To improve the attendance, the ISCA will allow researchers from Manipur and surrounding areas to be present their papers at the sections and publish them as an additional supplement. This was approved as a special case for this session only.

This is the second time the annual congress would be hosted by a North East university. The 96th session of the Congress in 2009 was held at the North Eastern Hill University in Shillong.

Since March 2017, the border state is headed by a BJP government with N Biren Singh as the chief minister.

Two BJP appointed governors - Padmanabha Acharya of Nagaland and Kesari Nath Tripathi of West Bengal - have confirmed their presence to the Children Science Congress and Women Science Congress respectively.

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