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105th INDIAN SCIENCE CONGRESS: Reaching the Unreached Through Science and Technology



105th INDIAN SCIENCE CONGRESS: Reaching the Unreached Through Science and Technology

By Neelesh Pandey

The 105th Indian Science Congress was hosted by Manipur University from 16 -20 March, 2018. It was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi with grand opening ceremony.

The focal theme of this year’s congress was “Reaching the Unreached Through Science and Technology.” Hosting such a prestigious event itself is a life time achievement for Manipur University as expressed by the General President, Achyuta Samamta, Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA).

This is the first time that the 105 years old and the biggest scientific event of its kind nationwide event was organised in Manipur and 2nd time in the entire North East. Earlier, the North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), hosted the five-day ISC in Shillong, capital city of Meghalaya, from 3 -7 January, 2009. The focal theme of the Congress was ‘Science education and attraction of talent for excellence in research’. More than 4,000 delegates, consisting of scientists, engineers and technologists of different disciplines participated in the congress for sharing their expertise and experience on a common platform.

Achyuta Samamta, General President, ISCA applauded Professor Adya Prasad Pandey, Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University for hosting such a mammoth event in a very short period of two months time. Without VC’s sincere efforts and the efforts of the stakeholders of this University, it would have been impossible to have a successful event. He rather believed that it was predestined to host the 105th Indian Science Congress.

The theme, “Reaching the Unreached Through Science and Technology”, justifies this session being held in the North East, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is paying special attention to.

We have multiple problems relating to poverty, hunger, cleanliness, health, sanitation and gender equality, etc. It is time when we must sit together with scientists to find out the way to fight with this socio-economic menace. We India are fortunate to have a leader like Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has the vision to take people to new heights with proper application of science and technology.

The 105th Indian Science Congress 2018 was organised by the Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA), a premier scientific organisation in India. Approximately, 5000 delegates from all over the country and 2000 scientists participated in this mega event. Under the focal theme, “Reaching the Unreached Through Science and Technology” scientists from all over India and from across the world looked at bridging the social gaps through science and its innovations. Its thrust was on science disciplines which impact society and sustainable development.

This annual event, which is on the Prime Minister’s Calendar in January every year was postponed and changed venue for the first time in its 105-year history. It was earlier scheduled to be held at Osmania University but the event was postponed barely two weeks before the event was to commence from January 3 -7.

The ISCA was established in 1914 to the foresight and initiative of two British Chemists, namely, Professor J. L. Simonsen and Professor P.S. MacMahon. It occurred to them that scientific research in India might be stimulated if an annual meeting of research workers organised on the lines of the British Association for the Advancement of Science could be arranged.

The first meeting of the Congress was held from January 15-17, 1914 at the premises of the Asiatic Society, Calcutta. 105 scientists from different parts of India and abroad attended and the papers numbering 35 were divided into six sections – Botany, Chemistry, Ethnography, Geology, Physics, Zoology – under six Sectional Presidents.

From this modest beginning, ISCA has grown into a strong fraternity with more than 40 thousand members till date. There are now 14 sections namely Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Animal, Veterinary and Fishery Sciences, Anthropological and Behavioural Sciences (including Archaeology and Psychology & Educational Sciences), Chemical Sciences, Earth System Sciences, Engineering Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Information and Communication Science & Technology (including Computer Sciences), Material Sciences, Mathematical Sciences (including Statistics), Medical Sciences (including Physiology), New Biology (including Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology and Biotechnology), Physical Sciences, Plant Sciences and one Committee Science & Society.

Narendra Modi called upon the scientists to develop an appropriate mechanism for interaction with school going children. He also urged to spend 100 hours every year with 100 students of classes 10, 11, and 12 discussing various aspects of science and technology: 100 hours and 100 students, this way we can nurture many scientists.

ISCA introduced the programme for Young Scientists from the 68th session of the Indian Science Congress in 1981. The programme enables Young Scientists to present their research work with opportunities to exchange ideas in the relevant scientific problems with their counterparts and specialists. The ISCA Young Scientist Awards are given to candidates for making the best presentations. Fourteen such awards are given at present. The award amount has been enhanced from Rs. 5,000/- from 93rd session and now carries Rs. 25,000/- and a Certificate of merit. This year also 14 best paper presenters from across the country were honoured with best young scientists’ awards.

Dr Chaitana Prasad Nath of ICAR, Indian Institute of Pulse Research, Kanpur, one of the young scientist’s awardees, did his research on conservation agriculture on certain cropping system at ICAR New Delhi. Conservation agriculture is very important to mitigate climate change, enhance carbon sequestration and increase the crop per drop of water. It minimises intensive tillage operations and crop residue retention on soil surface. According to him, adopting conservation agriculture can help double farmers’ income.

Governor of Nagaland, Shree Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya inaugurated Children Science Congress on March 17. The Children Science Congress, an important event of the Indian Science Congress, was organized to provide a unique opportunity to children of the age group of 10-17 years to use their scientific temperament and knowledge and to quench their thirst for creativity by conducting scientific experiments. The two-day event encouraged children to stimulate their scientific temperament by giving the school children a unique platform to showcase their innovation and creativity in scientific projects. About 700 school children in the age group of 10-17 yrs participated at various levels from the districts, states & union territories. Science Congress identified papers for the award based on the originality of their works.

Prizes and certificate were distributed to the participants of the Indian Science Congress Model Exhibition competition. Winners of the poster painting competition and NSCTC Project Presenters were also awarded. Cash prizes of rupees 5000,3000 and 2000 along with certificates were distributed to the 1st , 2nd and 3rd position holders of the Local Model Exhibition Competition respectively. Consolation prize of rupees 1000 each with certificates and kits were awarded to the rest of the participants as an encouragement.

Shir Keshari Nath Tripath, Governor of West Bengal inaugurated the 7th Edition of Science Congress for women at the Centenary Hall of Manipur University.

“Women if given the opportunity and support may excel in any field. In this light the 7th Women Science Congress should be able to pave ways for our women folks,” said Shri Keshari Nath Tripathi Hon’ble Governor of West Bengal in his inaugural speech. He mentioned in his speech that women need to be brought into the limelight as they have been underrepresented in the field of science and technology. He also noted the tremendous roles of Manipuri women who are contributing in maintaining the peace and harmony of the state and also playing a major role in contributing to the economic and commercial activities.

Dr. Veena Pandey stressed on the importance of hosting the Women Science Congress as part of the Indian Science Congress as it will grow the interest of many younger women and girls in the field of science. She singled out the fact that in terms of women empowerment, Manipur as a state is a great example, as the women of this state are empowered in various ways.  “A nation will progress when its women takes the steps towards progress. Women scientist of India will help to bring progress and development to the nation,” Dr. Pandey said.

“Let us not forget that behind the simple, docile and humble identity of every woman there is a razor sharp brain, and an uncanny ability to execute, to convert thought into action without much effort,” Shir Keshari Nath Tripath, Governor of West Bengal  said in the inaugural function of the 11th Women’s Science Congress.

Women if given the opportunity and support may excel in any field. It is a great step to removing the disparity that exists between them and their male counterparts. Through Women’s Science Congress, more young female minds can be inspired to be a part of scientific community, to engage themselves in active research in science. Indian women have significant contributions at various levels but contribution in field of Science and Technology is less than expected. This Women Science Congress may be regarded a small but an important step towards women empowerment through science and technology.

Women of Manipur are brave, courageous and enterprising. They contribute in maintaining peace and harmony in the state. They take major role in economic and commercial activities. The local and traditional markets are run by the women only. History proves the bravery and courageous nature of Manipuri women right from the British rule in India. In times of turmoil and unrest in the state women come to the forefront to resolve and bring peace. These women equipped with scientific and technological acumen can go a long way in bringing overall development of the region and the nation at large.

Prof. Vijay Laxmi Saxena said that Women Science Congress was held for the 7th time to salute the enthusiasm of Indian women and commemorate their contributions to the society. India is a country with 50% of female population. So, women empowerment is immensely important for the development of the country. She said in spite of women performing exceedingly well in school and colleges very few women make science and technology as their chosen career due to certain limitations raised by our society and opt out of their professional career. She said the most important step was to empower women to remove the gender disparity and gender bias.

Mrs. Namita Gupta also pointed out that Women’s Science Congress has been successfully organising for the last six years. In rural settings even today some people have the notion that women should get married early and maintain household rather than pursue the bright path of knowledge. The same challenges still persist in urban areas sometimes despite significant development. More women scientists should participate in spreading science as a career. She asserted that the study of National Academies also reveals that the number of women fellows is not proportionate to the number of women scientists. She said that the women’s science congress forum may bring out an action plan to evolve parity.

Deputy Chief Minister of Manipur, Shri Y. Joykumar Singh inaugurated the Women’s Science Congress on March 19.  The 7th Women Science Congress opened with two sessions categorized into two themes: Women and Science – Reaching the Unreached and Women and Health Issues respectively. Eminent women science professionals took part on the first day of the women science congress by presenting their research papers on the two given themes.

Pride of India Expo awards were presented in seven categories, with the Department of Science & Technology bagging the award for the Most Innovative Stall and the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports being declared the Most Interactive Stall. The award for Best Design was given to Directorate of Advertising & Visual Publicity and National Highways Authority of India.

Gujarat and Odisha state governments were awarded the Best State Participation. The stalls of Defence Research & Development Organisation & Indian Council of Medical Research were declared Most Informative, while Council of Scientific & Industrial Research and Ministry of Earth Sciences were declared ‘Exhibitor of the Year’. The State of Manipur and National Small Industries Corporation was presented with a Special Recognition Award.

The pride of India (PoI) Expo organised concurrently with the 105th Indian Science Congress (ISC) in Manipur University had become the most happening place in this biggest convention of the scientists of the country.

Spread over an area of more than 18,000 sq m, almost equal to the size of two cricket fields, the expo showcased cutting-edge technologies, scientific products and services, achievements, innovations, initiatives and vision for future of India’s leading public and private organisations, research labs, and institutions dealing with science and technologies, education, defence, space, life sciences, health care, agriculture & food processing, energy, environment, infrastructure and automobiles. There were about 500 stalls put up by 150 organisations.

Apart from scientific models and other technological samples and innovations from various laboratories, the dinosaur egg fossils displayed at the Geological Survey of India’s stall and sports stall in particular were the main crowd-pullers.

A minimum of 1,000 visitors daily came to see the expo.  The visitors were coming from various parts of the state to witness the first ever expo organised at such large scale. It created a local impact through the children who visited the expo where the government’s research and development labs demonstrated latest research and technologies to them to whet their interest in science and technologies.

The scientists and experts attending the ISC have discussed and shared their findings and knowledge through 14 different sections and takes respective recommendations for the further incorporation and implementation in the policymaking process of the government.

“Prime Minister’s Research Fellows” scheme has also been recently approved. Under this scheme, bright minds from the best Institutions in the country, namely , IISc, IIT, NIT, IISER and IIIT will be offered direct admission in Ph.D. programme in IIT and IISc. This scheme will help address the brain drain from our country. It will go a long way in promoting indigenous research in cutting-edge Science and Technology domains.

In the day’s valedictory, General President-elect, 106th Indian Science Congress Association, Prof Manoj Kumar Chakrabarti announced that the 106th edition of the Indian Science Congress will be held from January 3-7, 2019 at Barkatullah University in Bhopal. The theme will be “Future India: Science & Technology”.

Besides holding scientific discussions and knowledge sharing sessions by scientists and experts from various parts of the country and abroad through 14 different science sections, Children’s Science Congress, Women’s Science Congress and Science Communicators meet were also organised as part of the 105th ISC.

Hon’ble Chief Minister of Manipur said 105th Indian Science Congress would give an enriching knowledge and experience to the students and scholars particularly to the people of Manipur. This would give an opportunity to the outside world to see this tiny and highly promising and beautiful state. This event happened here in Manipur because of our prime minister’s determination to have a new India with North East India.

Prof. Adya Prasad Pandey, Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University expressed his gratitude to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi,  Dr. Najma Heptulla, Hon’ble Governor of Manipur and N. Biren Singh, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Manipur for all the support and inspiration rendered to make the 105th edition of Indian Science Congress a grand success. Pandey expressed that Manipur University is honoured to organise the 105th Indian Science Congress. The event has given impetus to inculcate scientific temper among the young students of Manipur and other states. He hoped that the attitude and approach of the students towards science will now change under the impulsion of the just concluded prestigious scientific event. VC conveyed that one the main objectives of the meet was to propagate science and so that it percolate to the grassroots level. Around 7000 students’ participation in the Children’s Science Congress laid a new foundation in the field of science and technology for the future generation by infusing the spirit of scientific temper to these young minds. Once the correct perspective of science is conceived in their minds, they can fathom the wonders of science and technology. This will help in our endeavour of explaining science to all so that not a single person is left with the slightest of doubt about science. He applauded all the stakeholders of the event, faculty members, staff, students, volunteers, media, government departments, and everyone who directly or indirectly contributed to the success of 105th Indian Science Congress and making it a historic event.  A trend has been set and we need to rise on.


WhatsApp to introduce Native File Sharing feature similar to Apple’s AirDrop

Users can choose to be visible to others without disclosing their phone numbers to people who are not their contacts.



A Meta-owned messaging platform, WhatsApp is all set to introduce a new feature that allows Android users to share files with another user nearby. According to reports, the feature will be developed similar to Apple’s AirDrop.

The file sharing feature nearby is not currently available for beta testers. However, according to a report from WhatsApp feature tracker WABetaInfo, it seems that the feature will soon be introduced. The report reveals a screenshot that shows an option within the app stating, to share files with people nearby, along with a list of nearby users.

It is interesting to note that users can choose to be visible to others without disclosing their phone numbers to people who are not their contacts. In order to share files with other users, one needs to wait for nearby users to accept their request. The process involves a unique interaction, where nearby users can shake their device to receive incoming share requests. It is important to note that this feature is designed with end-to-end encryption to ensure user privacy.

In the upcoming update, WhatsApp is expected to introduce a nearby file-sharing feature. However, the current beta version for Android, which is, has addressed a camera issue. Some Android beta testers have reported difficulties in launching the camera within the app after the update. Upon launching, users were presented with an error message that said, can’t start camera, please restart your device. This issue persisted even after restarting the device or relaunching the app.

The latest beta update of WhatsApp, located at, has fixed the camera bug. This allows users to launch the camera within the app and share photos and videos with their contacts without any interruptions. As WhatsApp continues its efforts to improve its features and address bugs, users can expect a better messaging experience on the platform.

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Meesho mega blockbuster sale: E-commerce platform to offer 80 percent discount on electronics

The e-commerce platform’s first mega blockbuster sale will sell more than 400 brands directly with the help of authorised partners on its digital store called Meesho Mall.



Meesho online shopping app

Ahead of the festive season, e-commerce platform Meesho’s mega blockbuster sale is starting on Friday, October 6, 2023. The platform will provide a massive discount of up to 80 percent on different categories such as essentials, accessories, electronics, footwear, etc.

The blockbuster sale is scheduled to conclude on October 13, 2023. Notably, the Softbank backed e-commerce platform is starting its festive sale a day before Flipkart or Amazon’s festive sale goes live.  The e-commerce platform’s first mega blockbuster sale will sell more than 400 brands directly with the help of authorised partners on its digital store called Meesho Mall.

Reportedly, the platform also added over 50 lakh new customers during these sales. More than 75 percent of the demand was received from Tier-II cities, including Amravati, Aurangabad, Dehradun, Nellore, Solapur, and Warangal. The platform further claimed that they have added more than 2 lakh sellers in the past two years.

Recently, Meesho affirmed that  they have received over 10 million (approx) from its pre-festive sales during Onam, Raksha Bandhan, and Ganesh Chaturthi. The platform has more than 14 lakh sellers, selling approx 12 crore products in 30 different categories. 

In an effort to increase the seller base, the company announced the onboarding of non-GST sellers on the platform earlier this week. The GST council announced to permit the e-commerce platform to onboard sellers with turnover of up to Rs 40 lakh.

Prior to Meesho’s Mega Blockbuster Sale, the company introduced a loyalty programme during which eligible users will earn Smart Coins, which the user can redeem every time they make the purchase of any products on the platform. 

As per Redseer, over 140 million shoppers are likely to make purchases during the festive season. This will enhance the Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of the Indian e-commerce sector by 18 to 20 per cent and may touch Rs 90,000 crore as compared to Rs 76,000 crore last year.

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Phones & gadgets

Apple launches iPhone 15 series, India price, features, availability  

The iPhone 15 series will be available in India from September 22 but iPhone lovers can also pre-order, starting from September 15 onwards.



Apple launched its most anticipated iPhone 15 series, including the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max during the Wonderlust event globally on September 12 night.

The iPhone 15 series will be available in India from September 22 but iPhone lovers can also pre-order, starting from September 15 onwards.

People can buy a new iPhone 15 or upgrade it to the old one. There are five colours available for the people.  

According to reports, Apple has been manufacturing the iPhone 15 series in India and China. Apple has moved 7% of its iPhone production to India. Previously, India was not making the newest models. The Centre’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for smartphones played a part in Apple moving its production to India.

The new iPhone 15 has been launched with the same starting price as its prototype, the iPhone 14. The 128GB variant is priced at Rs 79,900, while the 256GB variant costs Rs 89,900. For people who need more storage, the 512GB variant is available for Rs 1,09,900.

This latest iPhone series puffs a 6.1-inch display and comes in five different colours which are pink, yellow, green, blue, and black. While the design remains the same as the previous models, the iPhone 15 features a dynamic island notch instead of the usual notch, which was highly popular among the iPhone 14 Pro phones.

The camera part of the iPhone series has undergone significant upgrades, the new iPhone 15, with an enhanced 48-megapixel primary sensor replaces the 12-megapixel dual camera system which was available in the previous iPhone 14. This significant improvement promises better low-light photography and portrait shots.

The tech giant announced that the iPhone 15 has an all-day battery life, making it more convenient for users to go about their daily activities without worrying about their phone’s battery.

The iPhone 15 Pro models feature a lighter body and thinner bezels. The new AirPods Pro with USB-C charging case will support Lossless Audio with Apple Vision Pro.

Additionally, the iPhone 15 is powered by Apple’s A16 bionic processor, an upgrade from the A15 bionic chipset used in the previous iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus models. The Pro models had the faster and better A16 chip, but now this feature is available in all iPhone 15 models.

The USB-C port on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus remain limited to lightning speeds up to 480 Mbps. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max support USB 3 speeds up to 10 Gbps. People will need to buy a separate 1-meter Thunderbolt 4 Pro cable for Rs 5,724 or Rs 10,701 for the 1.8-meter cable to support faster speeds.

The dynamic island notch feature, which can adjust its size according to notifications, was widely discussed before the launch of the iPhone 15. This unique feature can now be available in all models of the phone.

Another important feature of the iPhone 15 is the shift to the USB Type C charging port. Apple has abandoned the lightning port in favour of the more commonly used USB Type C charging port. This means, there is no longer a need for a special iPhone charging cable to be carried around everywhere you go.

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