IMPHAL, March 16 - Shifting of venue at the last minute has hit Indian Science Congress (ISC) hard, organisers said, adding that fewer delegates will attend the science carnival starting here today and plenary sessions will not be held.
As many as 12 Nobel laureates, who had confirmed their participation in ISC, have backed out due to change of dates from January to March.
The annual science carnival was to take place from January 3-7 this year at Osmania University in Hyderabad. However, the varsity later conveyed its inability to host the ISC due to tensions on the campus.
Following this, Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) decided that any university that wishes to host ISC in the future must produce a letter from Chief Minister and Governor of that particular State assuring all support to the event.
ISCA general president Achyuta Samanta said nearly 12,000 delegates, scientists and academicians attend the ISC, but this time the number will dip to 5,000.
�Twelve Nobel laureates had confirmed their participation. But due to change of dates, they will not attend the event,� Samanta said, adding that Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus may participate in the science carnival.
Ashok Saxena, the former general president of ISCA, said every year ISC has 32 plenary sessions with experts from across the world taking part and this gives students an opportunity to interact with them. However, Samanta said, �There will be no plenary session this year.�
Asked about the Dalai Lama not attending ISC, he said after the event, which was to be held in Hyderabad, was postponed, they had approached the Tibetan spiritual leader, but ISC was told that his calender was full. Also, ISC was told that the Dalai Lama had only recently visited Manipur, Samanta said.
The organisers have blamed Osmania University for their �hardships�.
�They (Osmania University) have damaged us. We are the one who are suffering,� Saxena said.
The new dates of Indian Science Congress has clashed with exam schedules of students. Several delegates had to face monetary loss due to cancellation of tickets, the organisers said.
�The nearest railway station is at Dimapur (Nagaland). Then the delegates have to travel by road to reach Imphal in Manipur. This has led to several of them cancelling their plans,� Saxena said.
This is also perhaps the first time that ISC had to be postponed. After Osmania University expressed its inability to host the event, ISCA got requests from five varsities, including Manipur University to host the science carnival. � PTI