GUWAHATI, Oct 3 - �Superstitions and blind beliefs are roadblocks to sustainable and equitable development, while scientific temper and the spirit of inquiry and reform are the cornerstones of all round development,� said Dr Satyajit Rath, an eminent scientist and immunologist. He made these observations while delivering the inaugural speech of the State conference of the Ellora Vigyan Mancha, held recently at Barpeta Road town in Lower Assam.
The two-day conference started with flag hoisting by EVM president Dr Chandra Mohan Sarma. This was followed by a procession on �scientific temper�. Scientists and science activists, doctors, cultural and literary personalities, social activists, besides hundreds of students, youths and cross sections of people participated in the awe-inspiring procession. The procession was flagged off by octogenarian cultural celebrity Sudakhsina Sarma.
An avowed activist of the People�s Science Movement and former Faculty of Indian Institute of Immunology (IIM), Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) and Translational Health Science Technology Institute, Dr Satyajit Rath, in his crisp speech, exhorted the audience, especially the younger ones, to cultivate scientific temper and develop the spirit of inquiry and reform with a vision for modern, progressive, just and equitable society. The inaugural session was also attended and addressed by Dr Manabjyoiti Bordoloi, principal chief scientist of CSIR-NEIST, Jorhat, Professor Barindra Kumar Sarma, former president of Assam Science Society and retired Professor of GU and prominent citizens of the surrounding areas. Noted singer Sudakhsina Sarma and Rishiraj Sarma enthralled the delegates and audience by performing songs.
A portrait of Ellora Roychoudhury, in whose hallowed memory the EVM was formed for spreading scientific temper, was handed over to the authorities of the Gauhati Medical College for displaying at the Anatomy Dissection Hall of the GMCH.
In connection with the conference, �Meet the scientists� programme was organized, which was attended and addressed by Prof. Barindra Kumar Sarma, Prof. Manabjyoiti Bordoloi, Associate Professor Tapan Kumar Sarma and Prof. Joydev Sarma, Vice Principal of GMCH. The students and younger people in particular exchanged views with the scientists in the interactive session.