Bhubaneshwar: Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Wednesday appealed to school children participating in the Indian Science Congress (ISC) here to work for making their home free from corruption. Answering questions put up by some students present at the inaugural session, Kalam said: 'Make your home free from corruption.'

Kalam inaugurated Children's Science Congress on the sidelines of the ISC here. He appealed to children to be unique and work in the field of science and technology.

Replying to a question on how he managed to balance science and politics when he was the president of India, Kalam quipped: 'Science needs lots of money and money comes from politicians.'

The former president faced some difficult questions too, like why India spends so much on missiles and other defence programmes while so many people sleep with empty stomach.

'I personally feel science is for people who have the capacity to do that, and you can select science or humanities,' he replied, avoiding any direct answer to the question.

He also replied to questions on science, space and missile technology. 'Earth, Moon and Mars will become economic entities in the next three decades and we will be seeking lot of things from there,' he added.

Children will also get an opportunity to interact with the Nobel laureates participating in the congress.

The 99th edition of the ISC was inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday.

More than 15,000 delegates, including scientists and students, are participating in the event being held between Jan 3-7  at the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT University). The theme of the conference is 'Science and Technology for Inclusive Innovation - Role of Women'.

The five-day event will see technical sessions, plenary sessions, vision talks, panel discussions, public lectures, a 'Pride of India' expo and other programmes.

Besides the emphasis on women and children including other issue in focus at the Congress would be missiles. India's premier military weapons developer, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), will display models of the Agni, Prithvi, Akash, Nag, BrahMos and Astra missiles.