A high level delegation of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) comprising its President, Prof. Qiuming Cheng; Prof. S C Finney, Secretary General; and Prof. H Kitazato, Treasurer visited India during 20-24 November 2017 to discuss the preparatory aspects of the 36th International Geological Congress (IGC) to be held in Delhi, India in the year 2020.
Described as the Olympics of Geosciences, the IGCs are held quadrennially under the aegis of the IUGS through a process of global bidding. India won the bid in 2012 at Brisbane, Australia to host the Congress in 2020. The win is a remarkable achievement as the event makes a come back to the Indian soil after nearly 6 decades much to the excitement of the entire geoscientific community.
The event is being jointly funded by the Ministry of Mines and Ministry of Earth Sciences with the active support of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), and the Science Academies of the other neighbouring co-host countries, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The delegation, during its visit, inspected the India Expo Mart Limited, the venue for the event and expressed its satisfaction over the facilities available and its convenient location. The team described the state-of-the-art Centre as impressive, and equipped in all respects to host the mega Congress which has conventionally an attendance to the tune of 6000 delegates.
The IUGS dignitaries interacted with Shri Arun Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Mines; Dr. M Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, senior officers of the two Ministries, and key functionaries of the Organizing Committee. The Organizing Committee is headed by Dr. V P Dimri as its President, Dr. P R Golani as its Secretary General, Prof. Talat Ahmad, VC, Jamia Millia Islamia as the Chair, Scientific Program Committee, Prof. Somnath Dasgupta, former VC, Assam University as Chair, Field Trip Committee and other eminent geoscientists as Chairs of various other subcommittees. The IUGS was given detailed accounts of the progress made on technical, administrative and other fronts by the Organizing Committee. The Scientific Program, Field Excursions and the Legacy & Publication Programs and an overview of the preparations were presented to the visitors.
The IUGS team expressed its satisfaction over the entire spectrum of preparatory activities and described the quantum of work done as focussed and effective. It was of the view that the necessary pro-rata ground work has been done as part of the homework. They stated that going by the momentum of the preparatory activities, India is firmly getting ready for a very successful IGC.
The key functionaries, during their visit, also delivered lectures to a select audience comprising eminent geoscientists, academia, students and researchers.