Yunus honored by Prime Miniser Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, presenting a gold medal to Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus for "giving the poorest a life of hope, opportunity and dignity" at the opening ceremony of the 102nd Indian Science Congress in the presence of  12,000 delegates in Mumbai on January 3. Also seen in the photo are Indian Union Minister for Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, presenting a gold medal to Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus for "giving the poorest a life of hope, opportunity and dignity" at the opening ceremony of the 102nd Indian Science Congress in the presence of 12,000 delegates in Mumbai on January 3. Also seen in the photo are Indian Union Minister for Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented a gold medal to honour Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus at the opening ceremony of the 102nd Indian Science Congress in Mumbai on 3 January.

Professor Yunus along with four other Nobel Laureates and five scientists from India received the gold medal during the inaugural session of the Indian Science Congress in the presence of more than 20,000 strong audience including Ministers, Chief Ministers, leading scientists, Vice Chancellors of dozens of Indian Universities and delegates from India and abroad.

In the Indian PM's  inaugural speech, referring to the Nobel Laureates that were honoured he said " We have here with us Nobel Laureates, whose work in science has given new hope against dreaded diseases. We also have one whose own understanding of social science gave the poorest a life of hope, opportunity and dignity." referring to Professor Yunus and his work.

Prime Minister Modi concluded his 45 minute long speech by saying that he would like to make science and technology for development as a top national priority for India.

The inaugural session was also addressed by Indian  Union Minister for Science and Technology Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, President of the Indian Science Congress Association Prof SB Nimse, among others.

After declaring the 102nd Indian Science Congress open, Prime Minister Modi invited the Nobel Laureates to a meeting over tea for an hour long discussion about ways to bring the latest developments in science and technolgy as well as attract talent in scientific field to India in order to take the country forward.

Professor Yunus joined the tea with Prime Minister Modi along with 2001 Nobel Prize winner in Medicine Paul Nurse from London, 2002 Chemistry Nobel Prize winner Kurt Wuthrich from Switzerland, 2009 Chemistry Nobel laureate Ada E Yonath from Israel, 2013 Nobel Prize winner in Medicine, Randy Schekman of University of California, Berkeley.

The Indian Science Congress is the largest science conference in India which has taken place every year since 1914 and has grown to an international event that attracts 20,000 people from all over India, and from around the world.

The Congress is traditionally been opened by the Indian Prime Minister and attracts Nobel Laureates  and leading scientists from different fields  as speakers at the Conference. This year it is taking place at Mumbai University from 3-7 January 2015

The President of the Indian Science Congress Professor S B Nimse, Vice Chancellor of Lucknow University, flew to dhaka almost a year before the event today, to invite Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammmad Yunus personally to address the 102nd Indian Science Congress in Mumbai on the role of Science and Technology for Development.

On the opening day of the congress Professor Yunus addressed the plenary session in the main pandal of the Congress in the presence of 20,000 delegates. He was introduced by eminent Indian nuclear scientist and former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India,  Professor Anil Kakodkar who also chaired the session. Profesor Yunus narrated his experience of starting Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and how it led to the creation of social business as non dividend, problem solving companies to tackle society's problems especially those faced by the poor, both in Bangladesh and around the world. He talked about explosion of technology in the next twenty years will dranatically change the world. He said if we create technology through social business it will unleash energies and creative powers of people towards solving society's problems. He stressed on the role of technology which, if designed properly, could help create a world without poverty and unemployment.

Professor Yunus arrived in Mumbai on 2 January, and is expected to return to Bangladesh on 5 January.  Ms Lamiya Morshed, Executive Director, Yunus Centre accompanied Professor Yunus during the trip.

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