Port Blair, March 1: The Government of India is celebrating a year-long programme Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav to pay homage and showcase India’s achievements in 75 years of Independence. In this regard, the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) and Ministry of Culture, Government of India in association with Vigyan Prasar, Department of Science Technology, Government of India celebrated 22-28, February 2022 as the glorious week called Vigyan Sarvatra Pujyate (in Sanskrit, which means Science and technology is revered all over). 

The week-long science festival was conducted in Zoological Survey of India, Andaman & Nicobar Regional Centre Port Blair besides other parts of the Islands i.e., Car Nicobar, Great Nicobar, Middle Andaman, Mayabunder, and North Andaman.  The science festival celebrated under the four themes, which was identified by Government of India namely, Annals of science; Milestones of Modern S&T; Swadeshi Paramparik Inventions & Innovations; Transforming India.  ZSI, Port Blair is one of the 75 prestigious centres chosen from across the country to host this National Science Week Festival and played a pivotal role in conducting this event.  

As part of the festival, there were 22 lectures were delivered by eminent scientists under various themes, screened films, radio talks, displays of 75 posters, book fair to showcase titles related to science, innovations, biographies of scientists and India’s freedom struggle.  On 26th February 2022, various events such as Skit, Drama, Poem recitation, Poem writing, Drawing/Painting, and Rangoli were conducted.  More than 300 participants have participated in this event from different research organisation, colleges, schools, & GSDP trainees in Port Blair, also about 500 participants of other parts of Islands also participated.  Over all, about 1300 participants have participated and benefited.

The festival is culminated today on National Science Day 28th February 2022 with Grand Finale event in ZSI, Port Blair.  On the occasion Dr. C. Sivaperuman, Officer-in-Charge, ANRC/ZSI welcomed dignitaries, invited guests, and participants and congratulated the collaborative work of the organizing committee. He also augmented on the importance of processing scientific knowledge and emphasized on keen student participation, with fusion of technology and human touch.

The Guests of Honour Dr. E.B. Chakurkar, Director, ICAR-CIARI in his felicitation address has emphasised the importance of scientific research and technology in modern India, as well as the contributions of pioneer Indian scientists. Dr. P. Vijayachari has accentuated that the students should focus on the deep-rooted basics of sciences, understand the concepts and apply the same in day-to-day life to develop modern technology.

Dr. Dhriti Banerjee, Director, Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata in her presidential address congratulated Dr. C. Sivaperuman, Officer-in-Charge, ANRC/ZSI and his team on a sense of accomplishment in organising the function and meticulously. She mentioned upcoming advancements and encouraged young students to pursue science as a career in her energising remarks. She also underlined the need of ethical and moral principles in using science to the benefit of humanity. Dr. Dhriti Banerjee stated that science and technology is for everyone, and that we must study, unlearn, and relearn every day in order to innovate. She also urged students and young minds to adopt a scientific approach to learning and innovate in order to compete on a global scale.

Prof. Gurmeet Singh, Vice Chancellor, Pondicherry University, Pondicherry in his valedictory address appraised the various research institutes honest efforts in developing the research ecosystem and giving solutions to a variety of common-man concerns in his validatory address. Prof. Gurmeet Singh emphasised on the importance science communication which he said formed a very crucial part of the new science and innovation policy. He highlighted the significance of working on creative science communication across disciplines, underlined how all institutions, government and industry worked together to help India and the world overcome the challenges of the pandemic and also motivated the students by highlighting challenges in reaching solutions and how to overcome them. He also underlined the importance of identifying problems and addressing them through collaboration with various professions in order to find solutions. 

As a part of celebration of National Science week, Director, ZSI, Dr. Dhriti Banerjee felicitated scientists those who have contributed in the Island ecosystem, Dr. Dr. P. Vijayachari, Director, ICMR-RMRC for his contribution in the field of Medical Sciences; Dr. P.M. Mohan, Professor, Department of Ocean Studies & Marine Biology, Pondicherry University for his contribution in the field of Marine Sciences; Dr. Jai Sunder, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CIAR, for his contribution in the field of  animal sciences. Prizes were distributed to the winners of the various competitions conducted during the week-long Science Festival. The event was ended with a vote of thanks by Dr. R. Mohanraju.