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Goa's first ever INSPIRE program held at CSIR-NIO
A landmark event - The INSPIRE (Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research) program organized by the National
Institute of Oceanography from 19th to 23rd November, has played and important role in popularizing science in the state. The program was intended for Goa's top performers of X standard examination who are presently pursing science stream in XI standard. The program was sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology, Govt of India, New Delhi. The internship camp was inaugurated by Shri Manohar Parrikar, the Honorable Chief Minister of Goa. In the welcome address, Dr. S.W.A. Naqvi, the Director, CSIR-NIO informed that the INSPIRE initiative seeks to address the lack of awareness, uncertainty and insecurity about careers in science. He expressed his confidence that this initiative will go a long way in inspiring the youth of Goa to pursue careers in science so that Goa will produce many more Anil Kakodkars and Ragunath Marshelkars. Shri Parrikar in his motivating inaugural address said "If I was given an opportunity again in my life to select a course probably I would select a PhD in physics". His address focused on the need to change the trend of pursuing professional courses by the bright students. This change in attitude is essential for the national build up. He emphasized the importance of basic science and the need for the nation to create a pool of talent in pure sciences. The key note address on "Exploring the unknown: The solar system and beyond" was delivered by the eminent space scientist Prof. J.N. Goswami, Director of Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad. He very ardently spoke in a student friendly manner on different aspects of planetary science including hot topics like water on mars, detections of new planets and the Chandrayaan mission. The program Co-ordinator, Dr. Judith Gonsalves, senior scientist, CSIR-NIO, proposed the vote of thanks to the dignitaries, invitees and participants.
Students from 22 higher secondary schools of Goa enthusiastically participated in this hectic 5 day camp. Twelve renowned
scientists of different science disciplines from various institutions mentored the interns with inspiring and motivating talks and interactions. The camp integrated lectures and practical sessions which included hands on training on the magic of chemistry. The interns were also exposed to the state of art facilities available at the 3 premiere institutes of Goa, namely Indian Council for Agricultural Research (Old Goa), National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (Vasco-da-Gama) and National Institute of Oceanography (Dona Paula). Besides, these visits a field visit was also organized at ICAR. The creativity of the interns was triggered by a logo art competition where the interns demonstrated their innovative skills. During this program a quiz competition was also organized. The camp concluded on the 23rd November 2012 with the Director of NIO delivering the valedictory address and distributed prizes and certificates to the students. What makes this event extra-special is that it was held for the first time in Goa ever since it inception in 2008 and has been held in various other states.
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