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The Laser Science & Technology Centre (LASTEC), Delhi, organised the Dr VK Aatre inaugurating the seminar on laser materials and devicesInternational Conference on Laser Materials and Devices (ICLMD-99) during 8-10 December 1999. The Conference was aimed at discussing, exchanging and exploring every possible cooperation among the laser technologists, scientists and academia worldover.

Dr VK Aatre, the then CC R&D(A) and DS, DRDO HQrs, New Delhi (now SA to RM), inaugurated the Conference and advocated the application of lasers in military and civil sectors. Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the then SA to RM (now Principal Scientific Adviser to Government of India), joined the proceedings a little later and in his address to the august gathering advised them to look into purposeful application of lasers in the destruction of nuclear weapons. Prof CKN Patel, Vice Chancellor, UCLA, California, delivered the keynote address and spoke on the applications of CO2 lasers in his current research activity in health diagnosis. On this occasion, Dr Aatre released the volume of proceedings on Laser Materials and Devices.

Earlier, Shri Amitav Mallik, Director, LASTEC and Conference Chairman, welcomed the participants and briefed them on the work carried out by the Centre in the field of laser science and technology. The Conference spread over 14 technical sessions comprised plenary sessions and invited talks by the participants, presentation of papers and research findings in the field. The Conference mainly focussed on laser materials, non-linear and special opto-electronic materials, laser and electro-optic devices, laser instrumentation and system, and special techniques relevant to processing of laser materials/components. Besides, an exhibition on laser materials and instruments developed by LASTEC and leading manufacturers was also organised. Dr RR Dayal, Sci F, Convener, offered the vote of thanks.

• The Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment, Manali, organised the Prof SK Joshi inaugurating the national snow science workshopNational Snow Science Workshop (NSSW-99) during 29-30 October 1999. The Workshop was aimed at identifying support technologies that can be used for avalanche mitigation. Shri VP Sandlas, CC R&D, DRDO HQrs, New Delhi; Brig (Retd) NB Grant; Maj Gen BS Thakur, ADG MO (B); and Prof SK Joshi, Chairman, RAC, Delhi, were among the distinguished guests at the Workshop. Maj Gen SS Sharma KC, VSM, Director, SASE, gave the welcome address. Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the then SA to RM and Dr RK Midha, Adviser DST, also graced the occasion. The Workshop was attended by foreign and Indian scientists in the field of snow and avalanche.

The Workshop was held in seven sessions covering the areas of snow physics and mechanics, snow cover modelling and avalanche dynamics, remote sensing application, avalanche forecasting, mountain meteorology, and frontier research areas in snow science. During the Workshop, an exhibition was organised to highlight the achievements of SASE during the last 30 years. The exhibition was inaugurated by Prof K Joshi, Chairman, RAC, the Chief Guest on the occasion.

SASE, in association with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and the Indian Army, has launched a Mountain Meteorology Programme. Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the then SA to RM, launched the programme on 30 October l999. The project is aimed at improving weather and avalanche forecasting over strategic areas of Army operations and also to cater to the need of the local people.

SASE organised an Avalanche Awareness Workshop for the officers of Northern Command during 12-13 November 1999 at Chinar Officer's Institute, Srinagar. The Workshop was inaugurated by Maj Gen JR Mukherji, AVSM, VSM, Chief of Staff, HQrs 15 Corps. Maj Gen SS Sharma KC, VSM, Director, SASE, also addressed the participants.

The Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS), Delhi, organised the Fourth Annual Symposium of the Society of Nuclear Medicine (Northern Chapter) on 31 October 1999. The theme of the Symposium was: 'nuclear medicine in next millennium.' Maj Gen N Lakshamipathi, former Director, INMAS, inaugurated the Symposium. Prof A Malhotra, Head, Dept of Nuclear Medicine, AIIMS, Delhi, delivered the welcome address. Dr T Lazar Mathew, Director, INMAS, highlighted the objectives of the Symposium. Prof BK Dass of SGPGI, Lucknow, delivered the keynote address. About 90 delegates attended the Symposium. Scientific papers were presented in three sessions, viz., nuclear medicine, targeted imaging and therapy, and future directions in radiopharmaceuticals. The Symposium concluded with a panel discussion on 'priorities for the next millennium.'