Cover Story By Nischal Shrestha
For the promotion of science across the country and to provide platform for the aspiring students of science from school level to university level, Research Centre for Applied Science and Technology (RECAST) of Tribhuvan University located in Kathmandu organized the second Young Scientists Summit in Kathmandu which was initiated last year by Nepal Polymer Institute. The summit with the slogan “Our Young Scientists: Our strength: Our hope,” was organized as a two-day program starting from January 28, 2017. Many speakers holding important decision-making positions of the country were invited from diverse areas, who could play significant role for the development of the scientific community in the country.150 Participants who attended the summit came from different parts of the country to the capital. Advisor of science and technology to Prime Minister, Dr. Rabindra Prasad Dhakal, Nepal Planning Commission member, Dr. Sunil Babu Shrestha, Chief Operating Officer of Chaudhary Group, Merina Ranjit and some other distinguished people from different fields gave their views for enhancing science in the country and to develop the environment for collaboration. Secretary of NAST, Dr. Budhi Ratna Khadgi and former minister of Environment, Science, and Technology Er. Ganesh Sah also gave their views regarding the necessity of science for the development of the nation. Summit organized in the premises of Central Department of Physics was also attended by many intellectual personalities involving professors, researchers, among others.
The chairperson of the program, the Executive Director of the RECAST, Prof. Dr. Rameshwar Adhikari addressed the summit by emphasizing on the untiring and dedicated effort with patience for the development of the scientific society. He inspired the young scientists in the crowd to aim to get the Nobel Prize for the country in 2030s. The event attracted young scientists from all over the country. In the opening address, Dr. Monika Raharti from Indonesia, President of Asia Pacific Conference of Young Scientists (APCYS), stressed on the importance of international young scientists conferences. International conference is very important for young scientists. “The network at international conference will be valuable, “she said, “This is very good investment in the long term, that is what I would like to put stress on.”
The summit also witnessed the panel discussions. Some very important issues were discussed during this session. In the country where the collaboration between the academia and industry are rarely found, the experts from the different areas of industries gave their views and interacted with the academicians and the young scientists present in the event. One of the panelists of the discussion session, Ajay B. Pradhananga from Nepalese Young Entrepreneur’s Forum said “GDP of the country has the contribution of industries of 5.5 % in the present date which is miserable, if country has to progress then this percentage has to be uplifted.”
Experts also emphasized on the poor government policies as one of the major factors for the lagging behind of the industrial development. In another session, the expensive science education, was the topic widely discussed. Experts put stress upon the free science education to all the people of the country as they themselves read free of cost. Even the children of the farmers who cannot afford the present science education must have the right to the science education, the experts had the common voice.
In another dialogue session, potential and capital of Nepal was indicated. In the session, it was discussed that in Europe, people live in rent but in Nepal, most of Nepalese live in their own house. Nepalese are very humble and social. In Nepal, huge amount of capital can be generated. In spite of having enough capital, Nepalese don’t know the proper place to invest. We are lagging behind in the context of investing. For the progress, investment is the key, experts in the session stated.
Conclusion was also made regarding Industry Academia Collaboration. The team of the experts expressed their views on the importance of industries to have a research laboratory. In Nepal no such laboratories are run by the industries. For the country to prosper, business and research should go hand in hand. Experts strongly emphasized that Industry Academia Collaboration, is must for Nepal too. If we examine the reason for the progress of the developed countries, there, business and research are closely interlinked with each-other, an expert expressed his views.
One of the experts, Sameer Dixit, stressed good friends, like-minded people, and common goal is necessary. Without definite goal, situation can be very difficult. Merina Ranjit said, “An organization must have a goal that should be made clear by the leader. A leader and a manager are different. Manager makes a ladder to meet the goals while leader have to make people in the organization clear about the goals.”
Experts in the discussion session suggested that for entrepreneurship, a mindful brain is needed. There must be vision, an idea in the brain. Collaboration should be done with people with different set of capabilities and people in the group must be better than you. There is always a risk factor in entrepreneurship but an entrepreneur should be sensible and equally courageous in his decisions. Social Entrepreneurship was also the part of discussion. They said that social entrepreneurship is also vital for contributing to the society. Start-up companies should be innovative and have practical ideas which could benefit society and the nation. A good mentor is necessary for any social entrepreneur. In the condition where it becomes difficult to move forward, to see solutions to the problems, a good mentor’s role becomes much significant, experts in the panel discussion suggested.
Professor Ramlee Mustapha of Sultan Idris Education University, Malaysia gave an inspirational and motivating speech. His lecture was funny as well as fascinating. His short presentation was liked by many of the participants in the hall. A participant of the summit, Prameela Khadka (a biochemistry student) said, “What I liked about the conference was the young students. They were so enthusiastic and have innovative idea.” Dr. Dinesh Raj Bhuju, an academician of Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) was invited as a key note lecturer. He stressed on the moral aspects in doing science. Dr. Bhuju highlighted the importance of science through several examples of countries that have prospered through science. He also pointed that volunteer work can be instrumental to bring change in the society.
Posters from different fields of science were one of the highlights of the program. Posters ranging from the field of cosmology, biochemistry, pharmacy, chemistry, physics and other disciplines of science were presented. The participants of the event was found observation the posters with interest. Poster presentation and demonstration was a huge success according to the organizer. In the end of the program, prize distribution to the winners of the best posters in the different fields of science like Physics, Chemistry, Life Sciences, Engineering and Environmental Science was done. The program was coordinated by a team of young researchers led by Khim Panthi including Kedar Dhakal, Prasamsha Panta, Akash Deo and Sandip Thapa.