The fourth edition of the Science Film Festival of India (SCI-FFI) held over three days drew to a close on January 19 at Inox, Panaji. Organised by Vidnyan Parishad, Goa, the film festival which was themed around the ‘Future of the Oceans’ saw a variety of activities like the screening of science based feature films, a telescope making workshop, screening of theme based films followed by talks with scientists, a science teacher/lecturer workshop, and an exhibition by national institutes namely National Institute of Oceanography (CSIR-NIO), National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Goa State Innovation Council (GSIC), Vikram Sarabhai Space Exhibition (SAC, ISRO), Nuclear Power Station, Kaiga and ‘Indian Scientist-Gallery’.
The closing event witnessed a lecture by chief guest Rajgopala Chidambaram, a Padma Vibhushan awardee and former principal scientific advisor to Government of India on India’s nuclear programme. National Organising Secretary, Vijnana Bharati Jayantrao Sahasrabuddhe was the guest of honour.
Other dignitaries present were director NIO and Chairman of Organising committee Sunil Kumar Singh, president of Vidnyan Parishad, Goa Suhas Godse and secretary of SCI-FFI 2019 Abhay Bhamaikar.
Speaking about the importance of developing nuclear energy in India, Chidambaram pointed out that the greatest challenges of the 21st century are climate change and energy security. In fact, he further pointed out that according to the 5th Assessment Report of the International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) 2014, from the pre industry period (1880) to the year 2012, the world on an average has warmed by slightly less than 1 degree (0.85 degrees – from 0.65 to 1.60 degrees Celsius). The recommendation was that this needs to be limited to less than 2 degree. A much more recent report in 2018 however, recommended that this be limited to 1.5 degrees so as to prevent sea water levels from rising thereby causing low lying areas to go under water. “For this to happen, emission of carbon dioxide and other gases needs to be cut down. And with the use of nuclear energy from the working reactors, the amount of carbon dioxide that can be cut down is equivalent to cutting down of 400 million cars from the road,” he stated.
Chidambaram listed out the various reactors in India, including those under construction and projects which are being sanctioned in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Haryana.
“Nuclear energy is power, electricity, weapons, but it is so many other things. There is no societal activity in which nuclear energy doesn’t feature,” he said, while illustrating a few ways that nuclear energy is used including food preservation by irraditation, diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other diseases etc.
He further explained India’s 3 stage nuclear programme and ended the lecture on a positive note with a quote from director general IAEA Yukia Amino’s lecture where he mentioned that India is at the forefront of technological development in the nuclear sector not least in the area of fast reactors and related fuel cycles.
The lecture was followed by the valedictory ceremony. This year the pre-fest covered 125 institutions across Goa and 3 in the state of Maharashtra. The main event saw 25,000 students across 210 institutions.
The fifth edition of the festival in 2020 will get bigger with Vigyan Prasar collaborating with Vidnyan Parishad.