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Children are best scientists: Kalam

Former President of India, Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam lighting the lamp during his visit at the Delhi Public School, Dimapur, Sunday. (NP)
DIMAPUR, Dec 28 (NPN):
Published on 29 Dec. 2008 12:53 AM IST
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“I believe children are the best scientists because they are curious and they ask questions” said Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former President of India and eminent missile scientist, when asked to advise students of the north east who were lacking curiosity in science and technology during an interaction with students at the Delhi Public School, Sunday morning. Dr Kalam was interacting with student delegates from various states where he spoke on the subject “Ignited Mind: Power of the Nation”, as part of the ongoing 16th National Children’s Science Congress being held in Dimapur. Dr Kalam, who had often spoken of his passion for teaching, conducted the interaction like a class teacher in calling names of the students and posing questions. Dr Kalam also answered questions ranging from terrorism to employment, global warming to stem cell research and missile technology to quality of teachers global warming, science, technology, biodiversity and confidence in education. When a student asked whether he regarded his elevation to Rashtrapati Bhavan or success of Pokhran tests as his success story in life, Dr Kalam quipped neither of them satisfied him. He said his research findings on carbon to make lighter materials to fly missiles gave him highest satisfaction since the same materials were used by a Hyderabad hospital to make calipers for physically handicapped children who earlier found it difficult to walk with heavy calipers. He pointed out that Nagaland with its rich biodiversity could be a role model in exploring immense potential in agriculture, horticulture and floriculture. According to Dr. Kalam, the state’s handlooms and handicrafts should be infused with appropriate technologies so as to enable the Naga youth to take a lead in this aspect Former UGC chairman, Prof Yashpal urged the teachers not to emphasise much on what the pupils answer from their syllabus but to give importance to what their questions. He disclosed that the panel on reforms on higher and technical education, constituted by the Planning Commission and HRD ministry, had almost finalized its ideas on the matter and that the interim report would be submitted soon to the government. Some of the dignitaries who attended the second day of the 16th NCSC included former pro- vice chancellor and president of Nagaland Institute of Health, Environment and Social Welfare (NIHESW), Dr. K.K Sharma; NU vice chancellor Prof, Kannan; secretary, science and technology, K.T Sukhalu; MLA Sungit Jamir; Nongtok Jamir and DPS board of directors. Nagaland is hosting the NCSC,held annually in the month of December, for the first time. The 16th NCSC was formally inaugurated by Dr Kalam at the Livingstone Foundation Higher Secondary School Dimapur, on Saturday and will conclude on December 31. The congress provides opportunity to children in the age group of 10 to 17 to exhibit their creativity in helping to solve a social problem experienced locally by using scientific way.

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