“The session on ‘Holistic Approach to Atomic Energy’ deserved more attention as it deliberated on India’s energy requirements and where they can come from. The paper on ‘India’s Future Needs of Electricity’ by S P Sukhatme, professor emeritus at IIT Bombay, projected the country’s energy requirement, 50 years from now, when the population is expected to stabilise,” says Mondal, who presented a paper on ‘Neutrinos and INO’. In his presentation, Sukhatme said India should aim for a per capita power generation of 4,000 kWh/year to meet the requirements of a growing population.
“Professor N R Jagannathan from AIIMS, New Delhi, described the role of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) in cancer. These techniques cover a broad range of applications from fast non-invasive anatomical measurements to the study of tissue physiology and metabolism in in vivo condition,” says Roy. The technique helps determine the concentration and relative levels of metabolites, which, in turn, is useful for characterising normal and cancer tissues and their response to therapy. “Both MRI and MRS being non-invasive can be used for repetitive measurements on same subject. Therefore, proper application of these techniques can be used for early diagnosis of cancer,” says Roy, who presented a paper on the growth factor-mediated signalling events in ovarian cancer.
The paper on ‘Archaeobotany and Old and New World Relations’ by Dr K S Saraswat from Birbal Sahani Institute of Palaeobotany, Lucknow, showed that Indians and other parts of Asia had links with America thousands of years before explorer Christopher Columbus discovered the routes to the Western Hemisphere in the 15th Century. “This was a significant paper in which Saraswat stated that pineapple, maize, sunflower, peanuts, custard apple, tobacco and other such plants and food grains, which are native to America and other European countries, existed in India. In ‘Tools, Techniques and Time: Multiple Approaches to the Study of South Asia’s Pre-Historic Past’, a paper presented by Dr Shanti Pappu, director of Sharma Centre for Heritage Education at Chennai, the researcher spoke about excavations at 200 sites around Attirampakkam, 60 km west of Chennai, found that humanoids inhabited India between 1.07 Ma (megaannus, equivalent to one million years) and 1.7 Ma. The findings revealed this is much earlier than the previously estimated age of humanoids in India, closer to the age of oldest known humanoid sites in Africa,” says Vahia, who presented a paper on ‘Future Labs for Archaeology’.