Theory:

     The conference lasted one week and went on under total cover of secrecy. First the experts checked and rechecked James Forsyth’s calculation with the latest observations of Comet Dutta. He was right: there was no escape from the direct hit predicted by him. There was a small chance that the comet may just graze the atmosphere of the Earth and not collide. In that case the loss of life and property would not be total. But this slight respite was hardly reassuring enough for taking no action.
 
     Having decided that some action was needed, what form should it take? The experts dismissed defensive measures like living in underground bunkers. It was simply not a practical proposition. So the only course was to take offensive action. Comet Dutta could be marginally deflected from its path by giving it a push.
Explanation:
 
John organised a week-long international conference that took place in total secrecy. The meeting was held in response to James' prediction that Comet Dutta would collide with the Earth in \(10\) months, destroying it. As a result, scientists initially focused on double-checking James Forsyth's calculation with the most recent Comet Dutta observations.
 
International Conference.jpg
International conference
 
People at the meeting verified James' prediction with extensive research and meticulous calculation. Comet Dutta was almost certain to collide with Earth, as James anticipated, and there were few possibilities that the projected collision would not take place and the comet would only graze the earth's atmosphere. There would very likely be some loss of devastation and damage on the Earth, but not the whole planet, in such an occurrence. However, there was no longer any use in taking chances with such unlikely possibilities because there were more chances for a collision to occur. As James' prediction was true, experts and scientists at the conference focused on methods to avoid Comet Dutta colliding with Earth.
 
Despite the fact that the conference decided to take action against Comet Dutta, they were unsure of the best strategy. Before the crash, several people recommended building subterranean bunkers to live in. After much discourse, experts at the meeting decided that defensive strategies such as living in subterranean bunkers were not a viable choice. Then, some scientists suggested employing an offensive strategy against Comet Dutta, claiming that by doing so, the comet might be attacked and diverted off course.
 
Meaning of difficult words:
 
S.No
Words 
Meaning 
 1.
BunkerA strongly built underground shelter that gives protection during war
 2.
PredictTo say something will happen in future
3.
Graze To touch something lightly while passing it
4.
RespiteA short break from something unpleasant
5.
Defensive Protecting somebody or something from harm
6.
PropositionAn idea, plan, or a suggestion
7.
Offensive Used for the purpose of attack rather than defense
8.
DeflectTo change direction or making something change the direction after hitting something
Reference:
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2008). The Comet - II — JAYANT NARLIKAR (pp. 81-87). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.