The Indian Science Congress—the largest annual meeting of India’s scientists—has been postponed to March and relocated to Manipur University. It was set to begin next week at Osmania University (OU).
The move follows the death on Dec. 3 of OU student Eramaina Murali, 21, allegedly by suicide. Murali’s death set off protests, with demonstrators claiming that the Indian government has not sufficiently addressed diversity and unemployment concerns.
Looking ahead to the scientific meeting, originally scheduled for Jan. 3 to 7, 2018, security officials feared further protests as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened the conference.
Accordingly, the ISCA decided at an emergency executive committee meeting on Dec. 27 to postpone and relocate the meeting.
The prime minister traditionally opens the congress, which attracts scientists worldwide. The theme of this year’s meeting is “Reaching the Unreached through Science & Technology.” Planned symposia topics include recent developments in chemical sciences, drug discovery, natural products, materials for energy harvesting, and food safety. ISCA was founded by British chemists J. L. Simonsen and P. S. MacMahon in 1914.