The central government would ensure that noise-free and zero-pollution crackers with no side effect to the health of children were produced in India, Union minister Harsh Vardhan said today. “A conclave of scientists will be held (after Diwali) and we will ensure that we produce crackers for the country which will have zero pollution and zero side effect on the health of children,” the science and technology minister said. His statement in Chennai came in the backdrop of a debate on pollution due to bursting of firecrackers and the Supreme Court temporarily banning their sale in Delhi and the National Capital Region earlier this month.
“Our scientists have taken up this challenge,” he said, addressing the valedictory of the India International Science Festival. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu was among those present at the function. Recalling the contribution of Jawaharlal Nehru and Syama Prasad Mukherjee after India’s Independence, he said they laid the foundation for the growth of science in the country. “We have decided that in the next one year we will start fellowships for production of films on science and the environment and related issues,” he said.
He also announced the institution of an award for journalists writing on science. Besides Naidu, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Minister of State Y S Chowdary and Tamil Nadu Ministers D Jayakumar and K P Anbalagan participated in the valedictory.