Kolkata completes a chaotic congress with science


"I was so upset with the place they provided that I checked into a hotel myself," said Rajnesh Patel, a scientist who had arrived from Bangalore.

Suranjan Das, VC, cited a lack of coordination between the university and the department of science and technology. "We did our best; it is unfortunate... spot registration increased by 4,000 in two days."

Members of the organising committee felt all registrations should have been online. In fact, some delegates did apply online before the sudden spate of spot registrations.

The first day at Salt Lake Stadium found delegates hunting in vain for lunch arrangements and even water. From the second day, the organisers arranged buses to a venue for lunch. "Even then, delegates had to wait for hours to board a bus. Many made their own arrangements," said Swapnesh Kumar Malhotra of DRDO, who arrived from Delhi.

"Every morning, I had to hunt outside for breakfast as the hotel didn't provide any," said Udai P Singha, professor at KIIT University, Bhubaneswar. "At the venues, they could not even give us the day's schedule. It took me a day to figure out the procedure for registration."

Milan Sanyal, director of Saha Institute of Technology, questioned the way Nobel winners' speeches had been scheduled. He said these should have imediately followed the speeches of the prime minister, the President and the chief minster on the opening day at Salt Lake Stadium. Instead, the Nobel winners spoke on different days at venues. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Ei-ichi Negishi spoke at the inaugural function; Yuan T Lee and James Mirrlees arrived later. A speech by Ramakrishnan was held at Bose Institute, where the hall can accommodate around 100.

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