inaugurate Indian Science Congress Jan 3
Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the 98th Indian Science
Congress in Chennai on Jan 3, an event that will be attended by
scientists and academicians from all over the world. The
scientists, research scholars and students Saturday began
celebrating 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry (IYC) for
the achievements and contributions made by this important branch
of science to the well-being of humankind.
"The new year will be celebrated as the IYC in line with the
resolution adopted by the 63rd general assembly of the United
Nations in December 2008, with Unesco and the International Union
of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) organising the year-long
event," eminent scientist C.N.R. Rao said, inaugurating the
celebrations at the premier Indian Institute of Science here.
The year also coincides with the centenary year of the Nobel Prize
for chemistry to Marie Curie (1867-1934) for her discovery of
"All known matter is based on chemical elements or compounds and
our understanding of the chemical nature is based on our knowledge
of the subject, as all living process is controlled by chemical
reactions," Rao, who is also chairman of the scientific advisory
council to the prime minister, said.
Admitting chemistry was not the most popular, Rao told about 500
school and college students from across the city that the subject
did not attract the kind of attention physics and biology get as
the benefits of chemistry were not communicated properly.
"Chemistry does not seem to be as fascinating as other branches of
science though it deals with the basic aspects of life such as
food, water, energy, health and transportation. Teaching chemistry
as an interesting subject is lacking due to the absence of quality
teachers in the field," Rao lamented.
The Chemical Research Society of India (CRSI), set up in this tech
hub in 1999 to mark the 50th year of Indian republic, will
spearhead the celebrations of the IYC with a wide range of
activities, including demonstrations, workshops, prize rewards to
chemistry teachers at university level, partnerships with industry
for creation of national wealth and popularization of achievements
in the field to the public.
"We intend to reach across the young, not so young and general
public with opportunities for participation at the local, regional
and national levels, as chemistry is a creative science essential
for sustainability and improvements in the quality of life," CRSI
president V. Krishnan said.
To popularise chemistry, the society brought out a book titled
"Chemistry Today", authored by Rao, for free distribution among
schools and colleges and teachers across the country.
"In addition, we have decided to publish and distribute the
periodic table and physical constants as ready reckoners to
students of chemistry at the graduate and post-graduate levels,"
As part of the celebrations, the society will hold workshops at
Pune in May, Puducherry in June, Siliguri in July and Jammu in
"The two-day workshops will be devoted to chemical education
involving chemistry teachers in the area. Zonal meetings will also
be held during the workshops in the respective cities as a special
event to mark the IYC," Krishnan said.