M S Swaminathan, UNESCO Chair in Eco-technology and former MP, on Saturday stressed the need for continuous interaction between experts and local communities so as to avoid controversies like in the case of Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project.
Delivering the fourth convocation address at JIPMER here, Dr Swaminathan cited Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project as an example and said that there is a need for greater interaction between scientists and local communities. Nuclear power is environmentally benign since it does not add to the green house gas burden.
Such interaction and conversation should begin at the very early stage of conception and construction of nuclear power plant, he said, adding the citizen’s consultative councils will help to promote more enlightened and informed discussions on the issues involved. However, he added that nuclear waste disposal is another area which needs careful consideration.
Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority Bill provides for an autonomous and professionally credible and competent regulatory body and it is obvious that a regulatory body should not be under control of the person to be regulated, which was the case until recently, he added. Ultimately, regulation alone will not be adequate for achieving public acceptance, he said, and added that education and social mobilisation through elected local bodies are equally important. He also stressed on the need for creating a cadre of science communicators possessing proficiency in science and mastery over communication.
Earlier in his welcome address, director of JIPMER Dr T S Ravikumar said that JIPMER would start MD course in nuclear medicine, D M course in endocrinology and the admission capacity for the existing D M course in clinical immunology would be increased. The principle approval has been given for starting MCh course in surgical oncology, one-year post-BSc diploma course in seven specialisaed areas of nursing, MD course in emergency medicine and MHA course in hospital administration, he said.
During the convocation, degrees have been awarded to 289 graduates and post-graduates in various disciplines. Gold medals have been presented to 32 underghraduate students,18 post-graduate students and three paramedical students.