Dignitaries, participants, dear friends.

It is a pleasure for me to be with you today at the Inaugural Function of the Two Days ‘International Symposium on History of Astronomy of the Mizo People’.

I extend my greetings to all the officials from the Mizoram University and the Directorate of Science & Technology, Government of Mizoram.

I am certain that the experienced Speakers and Panelists will make this Symposium a grand success.

I congratulate the Organizing Committee for making this International Symposium a reality. It is my hope that this program will enable a valuable exchange of knowledge and experience amongst the participants on the exciting field of Basic Astronomy, and the traditional knowledge of Astronomy according to the Mizo people.

Astronomy has always occupied a deep niche in the mind and thinking of man as is evident in the history of past civilizations all over the world.

Astronomy is an important and universal subject which binds humanity together, as all of us share the same sky and the same stars throughout the globe.

Different cultures have observed the stars from the earliest times.

Our calculation of time itself has always been intrinsically related to the positioning of the stars in the sky.

Even our religious practices and beliefs are connected to the sun, the moon and the stars.

We Indians have especially been blessed with world-renowned astronomers throughout history, since the time of Aryabhatta.

I am intrigued to know that the traditional Mizo people also had a deep knowledge of the stars.

I have been told that the traditional Mizo people knew about many constellations, even without the aid of scientific instruments.

I am happy that the Dept. of Physics, MZU and Mizoram Science Centre, Directorate of Science & Technology have arranged this type of program to enlighten the younger generations on traditional knowledge.

I have learnt that the Mizoram Science Centre has served the society in creating awareness and enhancing public understanding in the process of Science and Technology since its inception in 2003.

The Mizoram Science Centre is equipped with state-of-the-art digital planetarium, which is a powerful tool for disseminating knowledge and for teaching concepts related to astronomy and geography.

Audio-visual planetarium documentaries portraying various aspects of the solar system and the surrounding space in the universe are also screened for public viewing at the digital planetarium with an 8 m diameter dome screen.

I encourage the Mizoram Science Centre to keep up the good work.

The youth of today are bombarded with technological innovations and advances from all sides.

It has become extremely important for the elders and teachers at all levels to provide proper guidance, while at the same time giving them the freedom to make their own choices.

I once again applaud the organizers of this Symposium for taking up the responsibility of disseminating Space Science to the general masses and handing down traditional Mizo knowledge to the younger generation.

With these few words, I convey my best wishes for the success of this two-day International Symposium.

Thank you.

Jai Hind.