ACC Appointments

ACC Appointments

Assignment of additional charge of the post of CMD, ITPO to Shri J.S. Deepak, IAS (UP:82), Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry for a period of three months with effect from 03.01.2015 or until further orders, whichever is earlier.

2.      Premature repatriation of Shri Jiji Thomson, IAS (KL:80), Director General, Sports Authority of India, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, to his cadre.

3.      Assignment of additional charge of the post of Director General, Sports Authority of India to Shri Ajit M. Sharan, IAS (HY:79), Secretary, Department of Sports for a period of three months with effect from the date of relinquishment of charge by Shri Jiji Thomson, IAS (KL:80) or until further orders, whichever is earlier.


Indian Railways Runs Additional Trip of ‘Maitree’ Express Between Kolkata and Dhaka

The Ministry of Railways in consultation with the concerned Government agencies has decided to run one additional trip of Kolkata-Dhaka Cantonment Maitree Express each week. Indian Railways has now started running Mairtree Express from Kolkata with its own rake from 4th January 2015 every Sunday and from Dhaka Cantonment from 5th January 2015 every Monday for six month i.e. upto 29th June 2015 in the exiting timing, in addition to the existing days of service on Tuesday and Saturday from Kolkata and on Wednesday and Friday from Dhaka Cantonment.

On the completion of six months, this arrangement will get reversed and Bangladesh Railway rake will start running from Dhaka Cantonment from 5th July 2015 every Sunday and from Kolkata every Monday in the existing timings, in addition to the existing days of service on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Increase in the frequency of Maitree Express was decided in the Inter-Railway Meeting between the representatives of Indian Railways and Bangladesh Railway held in Kolkata on 26th and 27th October 2015.


102nd Indian Science Congress
Day 2 of the 8th Science Communicators’ Meet

The second day of the 8th Science Communicators’ Meet held on 5th January, 2015 witnessed an equivalent enthusiastic turnout as the first day. The meet commenced with the technical session (Theme: Innovations in Technology : A Must for Human Development). Dr. Rohini Sivabalan, Retired Head, Department of Biological Sciences, Ruia College, Mumbai and Dr. Gauhar Raza, NISCAIR – CSIR, New Delhi, being the chaired the session for oral presentations and Mr.Suhas B Naik-Satam, General Secretary, National Centre for Science and Communicators and Programme Coordinator (Scientific), Nehru Planetarium and Dr. Biman Basu, Former Editor, Science Reporter, New Delhi chaired the session for poster presentations. The coordinators were Mrs. Ujjwala Tirkey, DST, New Delhi for poster presentations and Dr. Indrani Banerjee, Academy of Clinical Excellence, Mumbai for oral presentations.

Dr. Rohini gave her credible inputs and suggestions on the presentations of the participants stating the need to bridge the gap between the young and the old.

Dr. Raza remarked that science communication is a cultural, political and social activity besides being a scientific activity particularly when it is being communicated to the public and pressed on the point that science by intrinsic character keeps on changing and that the ways of communicating the facts are as important as the facts communicated.

The technical session was concluded by felicitation of Dr. Raza and Dr. Sivabalan by Dr. Banerjee and of Dr. Naik-Satam and Dr. Basu by Mrs. Tirkey. The technical session was proceeded by interesting and intriguing lectures on various facets ranging from ‘use of online tools’ to ‘mass communication’ to ‘the Mars Orbiter Mission’ by the invited speakers.

Mr. Charusudan Kasturi, Assistant Editor, The Telegraph, New Delhi, was the first to come to address the gathering after a brief introduction by Dr. B. P. Singh. He spoke on ‘The Untapped Possibilities for Indian Science Communication using Online Tools’ talking primarily about the key challenges that a science communicator faces and the complications involved in handling them and the need to decode technical terminologies and simplifying complex concepts without diluting the scientific content or oversimplifying the researcher’s work.

The stage was then taken over by Mr. Hans Desale, Associate Scientist II, Receptors Inc, USA, who elucidated on Mass communication and its effects on Scientific Innovation and the dangers which hover when science meets media exemplifying it with the anti-vaccination movement that took place in the UK.

It was Mr. Srinivas Laxman’s speech on The Indian Mars Orbiters Mission that kept the audience hooked to their seats. Mr. Laxman, a Space Journalist, Formerly with the Times of India, Mumbai stated the challenges which were encountered while communicating the record breaking accomplishment of MOM to the public as it had to be conveyed in a way which would trigger curiosity and interest among them, particularly among school children. He concluded by saying that the success of MOM which involved risk of first order, can be well attributed to a policy of transparency adopted by ISRO throughout the mission. The first half was concluded by felicitation of the invited speakers by the chairpersons before breaking in for lunch.

Dr. Anuradha Majumdar was the coordinator for the invited lectures in the post lunch session. Chairperson Dr. Gauhar Raza introduced Mr. S. K. Malhotra, Head, Public Awareness Division, Department of Atomic Energy, Mumbai, who spoke on Role of Communication in Managing Public Perception about Atomic Energy. Dr. Asad Rahmani, Director, Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), Mumbai cited the importance of Science Communication for Conservation using a few case studies. He remarked on the various means of communication that BNHS uses and whole strata of the society that it targets. He also tagged Dr. Kalam as perhaps Indias’s best communicator.

Dr. Raza introduced Dr. Rohit Srivastava, Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering Group, IIT, Mumbai. In his phenomenal presentation on Affordable Point of Care Diagnostics he gave a terse introduction to the various technologies developed at IIT – Bombay, particularly mentioning about U - chek and Su - chek devices. The lecture series was concluded with a Q&A session and was succeeded by felicitation of the speakers by the chairpersons.

The valedictory session of the meet was graced by the presence Nobel Laureate, 2013 (Physiology and Medicine) and the Guest of Honour, Dr. Randy Schekman who threw light on the dissemination of scientific research through publication in journals. He was of the view that mere publication of a research paper in a journal of a high impact factor doesn’t indicate the quality of the research. Moreover there are elements of artificial barriers that the publishers impose to restrict the number of publications. He preferred the online journals to the printed ones as these reduce time in publication and are optimally accessible to the readers.

Dr. Anuradha Ghosh Majumdar felicitated Dr. Schekman and the Chief Guest of the valedictory session, Hon’ble Shri Vinod Tawde, Minister for School Education, Sports and Youth Welfare, Higher and Technical Education, Medical Education, Marathi Bhasha and Cultural Affairs, Maharashtra State. The convener, Dr. Majumdar summarized the two day meet. The Chief Guest then addressed the audience by pressing the point that propagation of science is the most imperative, so that it reaches the common man from the lab to land.

The meet thus came to the tail end with a Vote of Thanks by the Convener and acknowledged all the people who extended their support and helped the event become a grand success.


Motivated Teachers Inversely Proportional to Needy Students

“The demand for good motivated teachers at the university level has gone up but the supply for it has gone down”, said Mr.A.S.Kolaskar, Consultant and Mentor of the Neotia University, Kolkata. He was speaking at the session on Internet 2025- its impact on Research and Higher Education, being conducted at the National Centre for Nanosciences and Nanotechnology at day three of the 102nd session of the Indian Science Congress, at University of Mumbai’s Kalina Campus here in Mumbai today.

Kolaskar was speaking about the exponential growth of new knowledge, globalization of commerce and culture, lifelong educational needs of citizens in a knowledge-driven, global economy being challenges of our times in the arena of higher education. He presented Case Studies of Internet Impact on Research and Education, where he underlined that textbook structure hasn’t really changed as such. We need to bring about pedagogical changes where one is thinking about the job of the teacher as not a provider of information but as someone who can tell you how to learn. Assessing children should be driven not by examinations but by competency driven credentialing. Technology should be helped to grow both parts of the brain. Children should be evaluated differently and not examined so that a great future musician does not end up in an engineering college without his wish. He also added that there should be improved collaboration between researchers through next-gen high definition Skype or Telepresence for conferences. Stressing on affordable, inclusive access to higher education by all, he put forth that while combating existing severe faculty shortages, relying on experts globally is essential.

“Orbital Angular Momentum (OAM) Multiplexing is a potential technology which requires new fibers and there is room for improvement in the current technology,” said Stephen Wolff, Principal Scientist from Washington, DC 200036, USA. He was speaking on The Internet, Reloaded.

Prof. Bharat Bhaskar from IIM Lucknow very confidently told that it was time to think of newer ways of folding the future in today. He was speaking on the Impact of Digital Technology on Society. Redundant IT plants bring overspending and inefficiency, said he. With digital camera countless sensors and IoT becomes reality. With improvement in technology, the big data and AI based analysis technique would probably be anticipating our every move! With wearable devices and augmented reality, early detection of disease risks would be possible and lifestyle and medication, gaming sectors would be benefited.

At a time when ‘selfies’ are a craze amongst the youngsters, Bijendra Nath Jain, Vice-Chancellor, BITS, Pilani spoke about e-attendance being a reality. By using selfies with smart devices and automated attendance in large classes, face recognition in cloud and analytics on recorded attendance, he transported the audience into a completely digitalized educational institution. With ERP system using PeopleSoft, multi-campus high-definition video conferencing has also been made possible. With changing technology trends in internet, speed, reach and security become prime areas of importance and change. With time, internet would achieve greater reach in developing and developed countries with wireless access beyond 3G, 4G or LTE. He also echoed the audience’s concern about greater access control and robust user authentication. He also spoke about ICTBioMed, a consortium built on foundation of domain knowledge, network and computing resources. The session also shed light on foreign institutes using Indian facilities for research and development, on the request of a member in the audience.


102ND Indian Science Congress

Science and Technology for Human Developement

Good Health: A Key for Sustainable Development

“Injuries and disabilities are going up” said Vijayshil Gautam, Professor and Head, Trauma and Emergency Care, All India Institute of Medical Sciences AIIMS, Patna who presented on the topic “Road safety and Trauma prevention” on the 3rd day’s session, chaired by Manju Sharma, pertaining to the symposium held for Health and Development which took place in the ISC 102nd of Science and Technology for Human development here today in Mumbai University Campus .

Professor Gautam spoke about road accidents which contribute highly to the death rate. Uttar Pradesh is the state which contributes to killing maximum number of people and sadly is recorded under industrial death rather than road accidents. People are unaware or rather not empowered enough to deal with accidents and panic in case they witness one. Society as a whole needs to be empowered with knowledge and information on various health aspects in case of an emergency.

“He who has health has hope: and he who has hope has everything” began Sandeep Kumar, Director, AIIMS, Bhopal, who summarized the session of health and development. According to the world health organization that health indicators can help in the measurement of sustainable development goals and support governance. He further emphasized that healthy people are better able to learn, work and contribute to the economies and societies….sustainable development leads to improvement of health by adopting smart strategies for the reduction of communicable diseases, maternal and child health, nutrition.

Narendra Kumar Arora, Executive Director of the International Clinical Epidemiology Network, India spoke on the topic of “economic development and child health” in which he applauded the government for polio eradication which is one of the most innovative public health achievements. Further he added that the country turned the tide of HIV epidemic, cutting new infections by more than half in just a decade and averting the disaster that had been predicted by many. He emphasized that educating mothers and processing of clean water are two important steps in the development of child health.

“Non-communicable diseases are a threat to the developing and under developing countries” stated K , K Srinath Reddy, President of the Public health foundation of India elaborating on the adverse effects of non-communicable diseases which targets the young population as well. These diseases cause loss of productivity which leads to disabilities. He said that non communicable disease agenda is a core element which leads to sustainable development.

All the speakers shared one view in common that the government should have co-ordination between the various health care departments and each department should come ahead and actively take part in the sanitation and innovation ideas that could help in curbing the non-communicable diseases and that each person is wholly responsible for the society and one should not wait for answers from the government or others.
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