The 12th International Student Science Conference this year hosted by The Doon School between the 25th to the 28th of October 2016 was a huge success. This year the theme of the conference was “Sustainable Development”.
The five days of conferences proceedings had three major focus areas based around the central theme of Sustainable Development: The first being the presentation of work done by the students of various countries. The second being keynote addresses being given by experts belonging to different areas of scientific work and the third being various field visits. In the paper presentations students from different participating schools got an opportunity to share their findings with the participants of the conference. Each paper presented was deliberated upon with several perceptive questions being raised.
Several eminent keynote speakers addressed the students over the duration of the conference. Dr.Bivash Pandav, from the Wildlife Institute of India spoke about Tiger and Leopard conservation. Dr. P.C. Banerji, a physician by profession and a bird enthusiast by passion, involved all the participants in bird identification and conservation through his interactive talks. Mr. Biju Negi, a well-known seed conservator and the visionary behind the “Beej Bachao Andolan” sensitized the participants about the important role both farming and the farmers play in our society. He very lucidly explained the entire movement of saving the seeds and its significance in promoting sustainable agriculture.
Other speakers included Ms. Manu Mehta, a Scientist at of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Department and Dr. Brij Mohan Sharma a member of the Society of Pollution & Environmental Conservation Scientists (SPECS).
The delegates of the conference also had an opportunity to go on field visits. They visited the ‘Navdanya Farms’ an organic farm which is not just an initiative but a movement towards organic farming. The students during the visit also got an opportunity to interact with Dr. Vandana Shiva, an eminent environmentalist behind the movement promoting sustainable agriculture who reiterated the importance of sustainable agriculture without the use of chemicals. The conference participants were amazed by the various methods adopted at the farm to make ‘Organic’ a way of life. The visit to the seed bank was the highlight of the trip followed by the unique experience of working in the fields and feeling one with the nature. They participants also visited UCOST where Dr. Rajendra Dobhal, Director General of Uttarakhand State Council for Science & Technology (UCOST), Dehradun, was especially present to interact, motivate the young scientists from all across the globe and to distribute certificates for the “LED Bulb Assembling and Repairing Workshop”.
Apart from all the academic pursuits the participants of the conference also had an opportunity to have some fun and get a glimpse of the spiritual and cultural life of India. The participants white water rafted at Rishikesh and attended the evening Aarti at Parmarth Nikaten. They were also enthralled by melodies of Hindustani Classical Music with a scintillating performance on the Santoor and Table by Mr. Partho Roy Choudhary and Mr. Avijit Chattopadhyay, both masters at The Doon School.