Range of events held on Day 2 of science festival

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New Delhi, Dec 23 (PTI) From the Global Indian Scientists and Technocrats (GIST) to the Women Scientists and Entrepreneurs Conclave, the India International Science Festival (IISF) saw on Wednesday a range of events and discussions.

The IISF is an annual four-day event that was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday and it is being held virtually.

The GIST meet has participants from several countries, including the US, the UK, Qatar, Angola, Australia, Switzerland. The meeting involves students, educators, engineers, physicians, researchers, scientists, doctors.

Deliberations and presentations in the area of agriculture, water, artificial intelligence applications, healthcare, education and skilling for better employability are some of the key topics that would be deliberated upon.

At the GIST meet, Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan expressed satisfaction that the session would enable developing long term linkages for creating and effectively applying tools for sustainable development particularly in the rural sector.

'We all are aware that science and technology are a propellant for building a thriving country and are the key drivers for empowering nations and mankind at large,' he said.

Vardhan stressed that scientific inventions ensuring technologies that enable development in all its dimensions and enhance human capabilities are of particular importance.

The minister pointed out that many of the challenges that the world is facing today -- from climate change, food security, energy to poverty reduction -- have scientific dimensions that can be only effectively addressed through S&T.

'No country can achieve these in isolation. Such challenges can be addressed through cooperation, particularly seamless scientific and technological cooperation,' he stressed.

Vardhan highlighted the various initiatives by the government to strengthen the connect with the Indian S&T diaspora, such as the Vaishwik Bharatiya Vaigyanik (VAIBHAV) Summit, which was collectively organised by scientific departments/ministries/councils wherein many of the diaspora experts deliberated on several topics and priority areas.

An event on 'Women Scientists and Entrepreneurs' Conclave was also organised.

The inaugural session of this conclave was addressed by Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan and the Union minister Smriti Irani.

Soundararajan said the role of women was very important in achieving the goals of self-reliant India. She pointed out that the presence of women workforce was meagre in science and entrepreneurship in the country.

The governor emphasised the need to increase seats for women in engineering and technical institutions, and more number of fellowships to encourage women scientists and technologists.

Irani said the number of women scientists in India was very low and it needed to be increased, adding that various government schemes had been initiated to motivate women to enter the field of scientific research.

The IISF also saw 'AyurFestiwell' under 'Wellness Conclave' of IISF-2020.

Speaking at the event, AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik said: 'Wellness is the act of practising healthy habits on a daily basis to attain better physical and mental health outcomes, so that instead of just surviving, you are celebrating life.' PTI PR HMB