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Singing a different tune? Kerala science meet to end on now aborted Cow Hug Day

By Rosamma Thomas 

The 35th Kerala Science Congress has begun in Idukki district, where the Mar Baselios Christian College of Engineering is the venue for this year. Co-hosts are the Kerala State Council for Science Technology and Environment and the Kerala Forest Research Institute. 
The event began on February 10 and concludes on February 14, which the Government had declared Cow Hug Day -- only to withdraw it late on Friday following all-round ridicule.
The schedule of the event runs into 40 pages and lists a whole range of papers that will be presented – among them ‘Recent landslides in Kerala –an ecological perspective’, ‘Investigations on the solar flare induced effects on Mars’ ionosphere using Maven observations’ and ‘Mathematical ideas behind Covid modeling and human welfare’.
The state government has already put out a compendium for the event, which includes abstracts of all papers that will be presented – that compendium is nearly 400 pages long. Agriculture, biotechnology, chemical sciences, earth and planetary sciences, engineering and technology, mathematics, nanotechnology, and environmental and health sciences are all represented with several papers in each of these areas. This reporter has not yet browsed the compendium with care, and intends to attend at least one day of the events to get a taste of what is being served at the Science Congress.
It seems, though, too crowded an event, with too broad a range of subjects covered – the ordinary generalist, a student of literature, music or philosophy, may be quite lost at an event of this nature, one guesses. The state government conducts an annual press conference in September to announce this event each year, but little else occurs to publicize the event.
It is a relief, though, that while the Union government encourages Indians to hug cows, at least one state government had decided to sing a different tune.

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