Chandigarh February 12, 2018
        “The need of the hour is to equip our young workforce with employable skills
and knowledge so that they can help in transforming India into a developed nation” said
Dr. Manjit Singh, DS & Director TBRL during the inauguration of 3 days, 12th Chandigarh
Science Congress, CHASCON-2018 organized by Panjab University, Chandigarh in
association with Chandigarh Region Innovation and Knowledge Cluster (CRIKC), here
        CRIKC institutes under the leadership of Vice Chancellor of PU can play an
important role in familiarizing our young and innovative minds with the emerging
interdisciplinary technologies useful for sustainable development of society, he added.
        Dr. Singh pointed towards the unprecedented economic growth that has adversely
affecting the relationship between mankind and nature by depleting as well as polluting
the available natural resources. He gave the example of Plasma Pyrolysis Technology
developed by IPR Gandhinagar for the disposal of bio medical and municipal waste and
also of Bio-digesters developed by DRDO which is eco friendly bio degradation
technology. Bio-digesters have been installed in various locations in J&K, Sikkim and
Arunachal Pradesh and in Indian Railways.
        On the occasion of birthday of Charles Darwin i.e. 12th Feb, he highlighted his
contribution and the importance of Theory of Evolution put forward by him which gave
rise to Genetic Engg which finds applications in medicine, agriculture and forensics.
He gave the example how the Theory of Relativity is being used in everyday life in GPS
through our mobile phones for navigational aids.
        Scientific discoveries generally depends heavily on the needs and interest of
the society but sometime the scientists are influenced by the cultures in which they
grew up and the societies in which they live. These shapes their values, belief which
in turn influence their work. He quoted the example of Joseph Rotblat, a Polish born
Physicist, working for Manhattan project for development of atomic weapon, leaving the
team on ethical grounds and joined nuclear non-proliferation movement for which he was
given Noble Peace Prize for the year 1995. He highlighted the importance of shock waves
physics which originated from nuclear weapon development program and contributed
immensely in areas like high pressure material research, biomedical and industrial
application. He appreciated the efforts of IISc Bangalore in popularizing shock wave
techniques for many new areas like artificial insemination of cows and activating the
dormant oil well.
In his concluding remarks he showed the concerns towards the depleting resources due to
exponential economic growth and the responsibilities of each citizen of our country for
conserving the resources for next generation.
        Prof. Arun K. Grover, Vice Chancellor, Panjab University in his address
informed that recently Department of Science and Technology, Government of India has
asked CRIKC to expand and assume the role of cluster for the North Western Region of
India. The need of the hour is that there should be a societal benefit of the
scientific research and this can emerge only if industry-academia interaction is
improved, he said. He added that since the inception of Science Congress, it has come a
long way and continues to encourage the young and innovative minds to pursue career in
science by providing a suitable platform to enhance their research acumen through
interaction with eminent scientists in varied science disciplines.
        Prof. Meenakshi Malhotra, Dean University Instruction, in her address said that
the theme of the congress was relevant and in today’s world, one can only grow if we
are cost effective. Science is the most important channels of knowledge. It has a
specific role as well as variety of functions for the benefit of our society.
Earlier Dr. Promila Pathak, Professor, Deptt of Botany, PU and Coordinator of CHASCON,
in her welcome address said that this Annual event  on the theme Science and Society
Interface: Exploration Of Cost Effective and Efficient Technologies Through Physical
and Natural Sciences is Exploring how science and technology   could be effectively
utilized in teaching, learning and educational administration, she further added that
the event will give platform to exchange views and idea and how to communicate science
and its basic values to the society at large. At the end, co-coordinator of CHASCON,
Prof. Sonal Chawla proposed vote of thanks

The technical session after the inauguration had lectures by eminent speakers. The
Social Relevance of Basic Science was delivered by Prof. (Dr.) Sunil Mukhi, Chair,
Physics programme, Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research, Pune informed
that how the lives of ordinary people are being continuously improved through advances
in technology, communications and medical tools.

A lecture on National Security through Horticulture by Dr. M.K. Verma, Principal
Scientist, Ministry of Agriculture, GOI. He explained that horticultural contribution
has been multidimensional by providing support to the farmers and entrepreneur to face
challenges to globalize markets with improve quality production, post-harvest
management and value addition through its broad based entrepreneur driven innovative

Lecture on Averaging of Positive Definite Matrices was delivered by Prof. (Dr.)
Rajindra Bhatia, wherein he explained the simple notion of averaging from different
perspectives. He explained that the geometric mean introduced about 10 years ago is
finding lots of applications in areas like image processing, brain-computer interface,
smoothing of radar data.

The Special evening saw an expository talk delivered by Prof (Dr.) B.S. Chavan Director
cum Principal of GMCH-32 on Economic Cost of Mental Disorders. Prof. Arun K Grover
also expressed his desire towards a larger participation of the public in the
expository talks organized at Panjab University, Chandigarh.


 Dr Alexander Evans is Deputy High Commissioner to India.

 Dr. Evans is a career diplomat who has previously served in New York (on a leave of absence leading a United Nations Security Council expert team), Washington DC (as senior advisor to the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke in the US Department of State), Islamabad and New Delhi. In London he has worked as a member of the Policy Planning Staff, and in national security and analytical roles. Prior to joining the diplomatic service, Alexander was director of studies for a financial services think-tank and worked as a management consultant, journalist and regulator. He has also held think-tank appointments at Chatham House and Policy Exchange in London, at the Stimson Center in Washington DC and at the Asia Society in New York.

 Alexander is a visiting senior research fellow at King’s College London, a former Gwilym Gibbon Fellow at Nuffield College Oxford and has twice held appointments at Yale University, first as a World Fellow and then later returning to teach international relations as a Senior Fellow. He is a past Henry Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy at the Library of Congress. He has also served on higher education and non-profit boards in the United Kingdom and the United States. He has a PhD in South Asian politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, and in 2010 was appointed to the Order of the British Empire (OBE).