DOOMDOOMA, Nov 2 - Asserting that science is an integral part of life in the 21st century, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal was all praise for child scientists of Assam for their enthusiasm for science. He was addressing the inaugural ceremony of the 27th State level National Children Science Congress (NCSC) held at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV), Rangajan, about 7 km away from Doomdooma, in Tinsukia district as the chief guest on Saturday.
He was specially pleased to note that out of 292 child scientists that came from 33 districts of Assam, as many as 150 were girls against 142 boys. Here again, the heartening aspect was that of them 228 were from the rural areas and only 64 were from urban areas. This shows that over the years, science has taken significant strides in the rural areas of Assam as well. Sonowal said that nature had gifted Assam abundantly. At the same time, the land is inhabited by different ethnic groups having rich traditions and cultures. He lamented that before independence , Assam was among the topmost states of India and its GDP was six times higher than that of other advanced states.
On superstition and witch hunting, he said that we have to prove that we are a civilised society and so a reform agency under the name and style �Manuhe Manuhar babe� had been started by the State Government since last year to deal with the problem. Before the inaugural meeting, Sonowal planted a tree at the entrance of the venue.
The meeting was presided over by Arup Kumar Mishra, Director, Assam Science, Technology and Environment Council (ASTEC) and was attended by Science & Technology Minister Keshab Mahanta, MLA, Digboi Suren Phukan, MLA, Margherita Bhaskar Sarma and MLA, Duliajan Teras Gowala and Chingphou King Bisanam Chingphou among others.
In the beginning, the District Development Officer, the Deputy Commissioner in-charge Sarangapani Sarmah welcomed the guests. The keynote address was delivered by Dr G Narahari Sastry, Director, North-East Institute of Science and Technology (NEIST), Jorhat. Appreciating the role of NCSC as the biggest platform for children to exercise their scientific talents, he said that India was respecting the 5000 years of traditional wisdom with 100 years of Science.
He announced that from next year the CSIR-NEIST would guide and mentor 10 Assamese students of class XI and they could stay and work at the institute for one to three months during their holidays or vacation. Earlier, he had a highly enthusiastic and active interaction with young scientists along with his colleague from CSIR-NEIST, Dr Mantu Bhuyan and released the newsletter ncsc NEWS published by the reception committee.
The programme was anchored by the State Co-Ordinator Ramen Gogoi. Two teacher guides namely, Jyotish Kumar Kalita of Darang district and Tahsil Chutia of Dhemaji district who were selected as Best Teacher Guide were given prizes by the Chief Minister and the Science & Technology Minister Keshab Mahanta respectively. The souvenir Bikshyan published by the reception committee under the editorship of Harakanta Baruah was inaugurated by Science & Technology Minister Keshab Mahanta while the mouthpiece of State NCSC Amar Bigyan was released by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.