16th International CODATA Conference
November 8 12, 1998
BRIEF REPORT to the Assembly
The Indian National Science Academy has highly appreciated the decision of CODATA General Assembly and Executive Committee for accepting its invitation to host tho 16th International CODATA Conference and 21st General Assembly at New Delhi The organization of the Conference was entrusted to the local Organizing Committee. A National Organizing Committee was constituted by the Academy to play an advisory role on different aspects. Both the committees have worked in close coordination and had overlapping membership.
The present CODATA International Conference is very timely from the
Indian point of view as well as in the global context. The Indian Government
is vry keen to strengthen and proliferate information technology base in
tho country Also, considerable emphasis is being laid and resources provided
to improve data base generation, management and eflficient retrieval of
data. A National Task Force has been constituted by the Prime Minister
of India which addresses issues related to information technology and software
development in the global context. The technology in this field is changing
very rapidly and it is difficult to keep pace with the changing scenario
The Conference started with excellent Inaugural Talk by Professor M.G.K.
Menon, Co-Chairman, Task Force on Information Technology and Software,
and the Inspiring keynote lecture by Prof. J.-E. Dubois, President CODATA.
Remarks of Dr. S.
CODATA'98 had representation from 20 countries. About 70 delelates from abroad and 100 from India have participated.
The Convention Ha11 of the India Habitat Center waas chosen as the venue
of the Conference keeping in view its modern facilities, efficient management
and central location. The experience during the Conference has proved that
the decision was correct.
Dr. Stephen G. Eick, Bell Labs., USA; Dr Nahum Gershon, MlTRE Corpn., USA; Prof. H. Bestougeff, University of Paris, France; Dr. AF . Cutting-Decelle, University of Savoie, France and Dr. Paul Mezey, University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Scientists and engineers from the followingg institutes of Delhi participated in this Workshop: National Physical Laboratory; Jawaharlal Nehru University; Indian NationaJ Science Academy;Solid State Physics Laboratory; Bureau of Indian Standards, University of Delhi; lndia,Agricultural Research lnstitute~; Department of Science and Technology; National Inforrnatics Centre. ln addition, nearly l5 participants from abroad representing Russia, Germany, US etc. also participated in the deliberations of the Workshop. From the quality of presentation and discussion, the Workshop was a good success even though for me it was a very short time of a few weeks t to organize the meeting Thanks are due to CODTA for providing financial Asistance.
Three cultural events were organized to give a glimpse of Indian culture as well as to provide a facility for participants to get together under social environment in a relaxed atmosphere. These were;
1. A visit to Handicrafts Centre followed by dances, drinks and dinner
The spouses' programme was arranged which had four tours to places of historical and cultural interest as well as to shopping areas.
All participants who asked for accommodation were provided within three hotels and four guest houses located in different parts of the city. The room rent budget varied in a wide range with Minimum to maximum ratio of 1:300. Attempt had been made to provide every participant accommodation of his choice Free transportation had been provided between Conference Venue and all tbe hotels/guest houses. Free pick-up at International/National airports and transfer services for return journey had also been provided.
To meet the organizational expenditure, the local Organizing Committee had to depend upon the funding from different Government Agencies and the registration fee.
Tho following Agencies/Departments of Government of India provided financial support to meet different costs: Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, New Delhi; Department of Biotechnology, New Delhi; Defence Research and Development Organization, New Delhi; and Department of Science & Technology, New Delhi. Infrastructure of National Physical Laboratory was used for organizational purposes. The Internet connectivity was provided by National Informatics Centre free of cost. Also, National Informatics Centre Services Limited sponsored the Conference Dinner. The Government funding enabled us to provide financial assistance to Indian participants for travel as well as for subsidy in the cost of registration fee, A large number of people had applied for financial assistance. Most of the deserving requests were met.
Seed money of Yen 500.000 was provided by the KOTANI foundation which
helped in starting the preparations for the Conference.
The Local Organizing Committee depended upon 20 dedicated persons. All of them are from the National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi. In particular, I would like to put on record the contributions of a few individuals by name. Dr. P.C. Kothari worked with great devotion over an extended period to ensure that requirements of all the participants were satisfied and the information flow was efficient and accurate. He had to spend endless hours to meet all kinds of demands and requirements. High quality inputs and hard work provided by Drs. G. Bhagavannarayan, A.K. Agarwal, D.K. Suri, R.K.Garg, RP. Singhal, R.P. Pant, S N.N. Goswami were remarkable. Drs. S.L. Jain and K.K. Maurya, Ashutosh Chaubey, R.R. Ramanan, G K. Sapra, Ashish Agarwal, S.K.Rastogi, N. Balani, S. Gandhi, Raja Ram, J. Prasad, Radhey Shyam, Deepa and S L Yadev made valuable efforts.
We believe, on the whole it was a successful Conference.