Sibal opens Science congress at FISAT
Kochi, Oct 9,2012 : The UPA government is committed to ensure that the virtual world infrastructure is completed as early as possible to connect 2,50,000 gram panchayats through the National Fibre Optics connectivity, Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal said here today. "Government's plan is to connect 2.5 lakh panchayats through the National fibre optics connectivity, the last mile of which would be through wireless broadband," he said.
He was speaking after inaugurating the Science Congress and laying the foundation stone for the Federal Institute of Science and Technology (FISAT)'s Science and Technology Park and Research centre at nearby Mookkannoor.
'In real terms you are having a virtual highway which is unlimited through which data can flow at the speed of sound. It allows farmers to be told when to fish, which part of the pond there is chlorophyl, when to sow seeds, when monsoon will come and when to sell produce to get best market price', he said.
Sibal said the low cost AKASH tablet would hopefully be in the hands of every child in five to seven years at a cost of Rs 1500. "Akash 2 will have a SIM card. This is the wonder of technology," he said. Pointing out that there is a symbiotic relationship between science and technology,he said science was not about getting a BTech, MTech or MBA degree."Science is understanding elements of nature through which we can understand man." Students have a choice before them to use science for benefit of mankind.
Sibal said science can be used both for benefit of mankind and destruction. Giving an example, he said using nuclear energy one can create a Hiroshima atom bomb, but also make electricity. Students have before them the choice of using science for the benefit of mankind.
Urging educational institutions not to destroy children's scientific temperament, he said students should reach beyond classrooms and understand the simplicity of the virtual world. Sibal said he was delighted to see many girls among students in the campus embracing engineering. In Kerala, women are right upfront. 'We need more girls to come to engineering as they will understand nature better," he said.
Later,in a brief interactive session with students, he was asked if money power or human power was greater, to which he said "Money power vanishes quickly. Human power does not." Knowledge is not one dimension, he said adding he was against different streams like science and humanities.'We need to collect knowledge into one stream and make it into hub of knowledge'.
State Education minister, P K Abdu Rabb, P C Chacko, MP, Prof V N Rajasekharan Pillai, Principal Secretary, Science and Technology, Kerala, were among those who spoke. FISAT Principal Dr K S M Panicker said the science Congress aims to foster a new scientific perspective within the youth and thus mould young scientists for the future.
So far 20 schools have been identified and 50 students each have been selected with whom college students and staff would interact directly at their place. A Science congress would be held on May 2013 with participation of selected students and teachers from their schools, he said. The campus is also developing a science park which gives them an additional input through working models and content presentations.Over a period of time,it would be developed as a full-fledged technical and scientific museum.