13 Feb 2014

ISC 2014 Concludes at Jammu University Haamid Ali Ansari Urges Scientists and Technologists use their Knowledge and Skills for Greater Public Good

Vice President Jenaab Hamid Ali Ansari
The 101th Indian Science Congress concluded here in Jammu today amid a call from Vice President Jenaab Hamid Ali Ansari made a fervent call to the scientists and technologists who are, individually and collectively, responsible for the advancement of science and technology to use their knowledge and skills for greater public good, while remaining rooted to the social and moral imperatives of society. 

He said science and technology are indispensable for addressing major contemporary challenges of economic growth and social transformation of societies. Also, The health of a nation now depends, more and more on, among other factors, the health of the state of its science and technology. 

Shri Ansari was addressing the valedictory session of the “101st Session of Indian Science Congress” here at at University of Jammu, Jammu (Jammu & Kashmir) today afternoon. He said the founding fathers of our Republic had the wisdom and foresight to realise this at the dawn of freedom. Their knowledge of history made evident to them the connection between technological superiority and political domination. 

Shri Ansari said scientists could perhaps increase communication and get more involved with the public, civil society and the policy-makers to find and implement solutions to issues of public need and interest. They could also take into account important questions such as reconciling the profit motive with the common good; providing for contributions from and benefits to deprived and marginalized segments of society .

Justifying current costs to prevent costs or damages to future generations; reconciling social and ethical imperatives to purely scientific pursuits and short term benefits. Scientific advances are never, in themselves, a guarantee of social gain. Science has to be fully integrated with broader needs of society. Science also has to be cognizant of the social and ethical imperatives, which are integral to our being human and the basis of our civilization. 

The influence of science on people’s lives is growing everyday. While recent benefits to humanity from science, technology and innovation are unparalleled in the history of the human species, there are instances where the impact has been harmful or the long-term effects give cause for serious concerns. Since the dawn of the modern industrial age, science has been used mainly as a potent instrument for expansion of the frontiers of economic growth and the military powers of some segments of humanity, especially in the developed western world, he added. 

Quoting Mahatma Gandhi the Vice-President said he had listed ‘science without humanity’ as one of seven deadly sins. Scientists, therefore, have an onerous responsibility towards society and their fellow beings. They must distinguish between socially beneficial and socially harmful applications of their research and innovation. Such introspection, by the scientists themselves, would be essential in order to undertake an objective cost-benefit analysis of their scientific output so that the outcome of their work is a balanced, sustainable, ‘win-win’ proposition for society. 

Shri Ansari said the development of sophisticated weapons of mass destruction based on scientific knowledge has threatened the very existence of mankind, at least a few times, in the last century. Weapons created by science have also imposed painful costs on nation-states during the several wars fought since the advent of the 20th century. 

The destructive powers of these weapons still pose a clear and present danger to humanity. Scientists, who contributed to bringing about this situation, have a responsibility as citizens to help societies make a changeover from an obsession with economic growth at any cost to achievement of a sustainable environment and an ever growing economic system. They also have a responsibility to mitigate, if not eliminate, the threats posed by excessive weaponization of our planet. 

The Vice-President gave away 5 ISCA Awards and 14 Young Scientist Awards and honoured 5 office bearers of ISCA. He also released And release of Volume “Contemporary Bio-psychological Aspects in the era of Science & Technology” by prepared by R. C. Sobti, J. Mohan & others on this occasion. 

Shri N.N. Vohra in his address emphasized on the need to extend the benefits of Scientific innovations to the remote and far flung areas of the country especially J&K so that it could act as a catalyst in bringing the mainstream of development and also to have a feeling of being unison with the rest of the country. 

Shri Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister of J&K called on the scientists coming for the ISC 2014 also to plan some initiatives in developing the scientific temperament in the state. 

Union Minister of New and Renewable Energy Dr. Farooq Abdullah in his address thaked the organisers for giving an opportunity to J&K Government in hosting such a mega event. 

The valedictory session was also addressed by Prof. Mohan Paul Singh Ishar, Vice- Chancellor, University of Jammu and Dr. R. C. Sobti General President, 101st Session of Indian Science. 

On this occasion the ISCA Candle for next ISC wS handed over to New elected President of ISCA -Dr. S. B. Nimse, Vice-Chancellor Lucknow University by the present incumbent Prof. Pamesh Chander Sobti. Prior to it the General Body meeting of ISC was also held which officially elected the new president. 

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