Order on online seminars withdrawn by government
New Delhi, Feb 25: The Government has withdrawn an order that required scientists and researchers taking part in online international scientific seminars and conferences to get prior clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs.
An office order of the Ministry of External Affairs said, "in view of the easing of restrictions on travel and assembly of people guidelines issued regarding political clearance for international conferences/seminars/training etc due to covid-19 pandemic are no longer applicable. All such events will however continue to be governed by the same rules and regulations applicable to political clearances prior to the covid-19 pandemic."
The scientists said that the restrictions were too broad based and vague. It would have made it impossible for scientists to take part in online conferences. The President of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Partha Majumdar had written a letter to the Education Ministry requesting that the guidelines be withdrawn.
"The Indian Academy of Sciences considers the provisions of the Office Memorandum (OM) to be overly restrictive, lacking in clarity, and detrimental to the progress of science in India, including capacity-building. We strongly urge upon you to withdraw the blanket restrictions and the requirement of permission on the organisation of scientific discussion meetings and scientific training programs in India," Majumdar had said in the letter.