National Conference - Science & Spiritual Quest

All India Students’ Conference on Science and Spiritual Quest

AISSQ conference is organized by Bhaktivedanta Institute, Kolkata every year in various parts of the country inspiring the young minds towards the synthesis of science and spirituality. Dr. Singh had lots of concern for the student community with regard to their holistic development. He felt that our younger generation was exposed to the latest scientific and technological developments in various disciplines at numerous colleges and universities around the world, but they lacked spiritual foundation and hence were unable to make proper use of such scientific developments. Therefore, he felt the need to organize a students’ conference on the interface of Science and Spirituality for the holistic growth of their personality. With this vision, Dr. Singh conceptualized the series of “All India Students’ Conference on Science and Spiritual Quest” (AISSQ). He personally organized the first conference in this series in December 2005 in Vrindavan, UP. However, by the will of Providence, Dr. Singh left for the spiritual abode on 2 October 2006.

Dr. T. D. Singh addressing the students at 1st AISSQ, 2005

Dr. T. D. Singh addressing the students at 1st AISSQ, 2005 (Left)

1. First All India Students’ Conference on Science and Spiritual Quest, Vrindavan, UP, December, 2005

The first AISSQ conference was organized at Vrindavan, India. For the advancement of a balanced growth of scientific temper and spiritual wisdom in the life of students, it was proposed that ‘science and spirituality’ clubs be promoted in colleges especially in IITs and IIMs to prepare students to cope up with their academic load, and prevent depressive and pessimistic attitude, discourage students to involve in wrong habits and for the development of moral and ethical values and their own personality.

2.Second All India Students’ Conference on Science and Spiritual Quest, Puri, Orissa, December, 2006

The conference brought together the best intellectual minds on a common platform to deliberate on the perennial questions of life, existence and the Ultimate Reality. About 350 delegates from science, technology and management institutes of India and abroad like IITs, IIMs, AIIMS, IISc., NITs, Delhi College of Engineering, National University of Singapore, Univ. of Illinios, Univ. of Puerto Rico, etc., participated in the conference. The conference was graced by about 25 distinguished speakers from various academic and research organizations who addressed various finer aspects of science-spirituality interface.

3. Third All India Students’ Conference on Science and Spiritual Quest, December 2007, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India

The keynote speaker of the conference was Nobel Laureate, Professor Roger Kornberg who delivered a remarkable lecture on “The Knowable Nature of Scientific Truth.” The conference was a unique mix of biologists, physicists, chemists, mathematicians, engineers, academicians, students and spiritualists sitting together for a voyage towards the Ultimate Reality, for unfolding the deeper questions of life and the universe. Over 1400 leading scientific and spiritual thinkers, including 750 undergraduate and postgraduate students, from more than 100 leading academic institutions like Indian Institute of Technology (IITs), NITs, IISc, AIIMS, IIMs, ISB, Central and State Universities, etc., and most influential R&D institutions of India such as Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC), ISRO, DRDO, IICT, DRDL, etc., and a few top universities like Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, UIUC, National University of Singapore, etc., from abroad participated in this soul-enriching event.

4. Fourth All India Students’ Conference on Science and Spiritual Quest, December 2008, NIT Tiruchirapalli, Tamilnadu, India

Dr. N. Mahalingam, the Chairman of Sakthi group of companies, an eminent philanthropist and a prominent and influential person of the state of Tamil Nadu, who was awarded Padma Bhushan from the President of India in 2007, was the Chief Guest in the inauguration of the conference. The conference was graced by many eminent speakers from India and abroad. Prof. Amit Goswami, an eminent quantum physicist known for advancing the paradigm of science within consciousness from University of Oregon, USA and Prof. Jagadish Srivastava, eminent mathematician from Colorado State University, USA delivered their keynote lectures.

5. Fifth All India Students’ Conference on Science and Spiritual Quest, January, 2010, MNNIT Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

With a broad theme of bringing awareness on science-spirituality in the academic community keeping young students in mind, the 5th AISSQ conference was successfully organized at Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (MNNIT) Allahabad during 15 – 17 January 2010. The AISSQ2010 was jointly organized by the Bhaktivedanta Institute, Kolkata and the MNNIT Allahabad. The chief guest for the occasion was Prof. K. L. Chopra, former Director of IIT Kharagpur and President of the Society for Scientific Values, New Delhi. The Guests of Honour were Prof. P. B. Sharma, Vice Chancellor, Delhi Technological University and Prof. Kripa Shanker, Vice Chancellor, U.P. Technical University.

6. Sixth All India Students’ Conference on Science and Spiritual Quest, March, 2011, DTU, New Delhi, India

H. E. Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, President of India, inaugurated the 6th All India Students’ Conference on ‘Science and Spiritual Quest’ (AISSQ-2011) today at Vigyan Bhawan. The three-day conference is being organized by, Bhaktivedanta Institute, Kolkata in association with Delhi Technological University (DTU) from March 12-14, 2011. Other dignitaries present at the inauguration function included Smt. Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister, Delhi, Dr. Narendra Jadhav, Member Planning Commission, GOI, Nobel Laureate Dr. Werner Arber, HH. Gopal Krishna Swamiji from ISCKON, Prof. P. B. Sharma, Vice Chancellor, DTU, and Prof. S.C. Mishra from IIT Guwahati & Chairman, AISSQ, among others. The theme of this year’s conference is “Integrating Capabilities with Values”.

7. Seventh All India Students’ Conference on Science and Spiritual Quest, September 2012, IISC Bangalore

As a humble tribute to the science-spirituality Visionary and Legend Dr. T. D. Singh (His Holiness Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Swami), Bhaktivedanta Institute organized the 7th All India Students’ Conference on Science and Spiritual Quest at J. N. Tata Auditorium in the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore campus from 1 – 2 September 2012. Apart from eminent speakers in the diverse fields of science and spirituality, the conference witnessed the participation of about 750 students, engineers, professionals, leaders and administrators from about 40 academic and professional institutions.

The conference was inaugurated by His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Sri Sri Dr. Balagangadharanatha Mahaswamiji (Padmabhushan), Pontiff, Sri Adichunchanagiri Mahasamsthana Math. Other eminent personalities who graced the conference were Prof. V. S. Ramamurthy (Padma Bhushan), Director, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore; Dr. V. K. Saraswat (Padma Shri), Director General, DRDO and Advisor to Raksha Mantri; Prof. Sreekanth, NIAS Bangalore; Sri R Sri Kumar, IPS, Central Vigilance Commission, New Delhi; Dr. R. P. Singh, Executive Vice-Chairman of Jindal Power Limited, Gurgaon, Haryana; Padma Shree B. M. Hedge, Former VC, Manipal Institute of Higher Education; Prof. A.K. Mukhopadhyay, AIIMS, New Delhi; Prof. P. B. Sharma, Vice-Chancellor, Delhi Technological University, Delhi; Prof. N. Balakrishnan, Associate Director, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; Honorable Ex-Railway Minister Shri C. K. Jaffer Sharief.

The conference hosted seven plenary sessions, students’ poster session, essay winner presentations, a panel discussion and cultural functions. A unique confluence of individuals from several disciplines and practices, the conference, provided a common ground for healthy dialogue to foster a strong connection between science and spirituality, and also perhaps, left a memorable impression in the minds of its participants.

8. Eighth All India Students’ Conference on Science and Spiritual Quest, February 2014 IIT (BHU) Varanasi, UP, India

More than one thousand delegates and dignitaries including renowned scientists, scholars, religious leaders, students and researchers participated in this unique conference. The chief guest of the conference was His Holiness Nirmalanandanatha Swami of Sri Adichunchanagiri Math, Karnataka. The theme of the conference this year was “Serving the Self and Society”. More than fifty academic institutions including IITs, NITs, AIIMS and IISC participated in the conference. The two day conference hosted seven plenary sessions, five parallel sessions, two interactive sessions, three workshops along with Poster Presentations on various topics like Quest for ultimate reality, integrating spirituality in education, humility in science and spirituality, administration and spirituality, mathematics and spirituality, Consciousness of life, Mystery of origin of life and many others. There was a very high level of participation by the students and all the delegates were highly inspired and encouraged by the sessions held during the conference.