National Awards for
Popularisation of Science
Rashtriya Vigyan Evam
Prodyogiki Sanchar Parishad has instituted national awards in the
field of popularization of science and technology and promoting of
scientific temper among masses. The following awards have been
announced for the year 2001 :
1. National award for
science popularisation (General Category), Rs. 1,00,000/-
2. National award for best
science and technology coverage in the mass media, Rs. 50,000/-
3. National award for
science popularization among children, Rs. 50,000/-
The awards have been
instituted to recognise outstanding efforts aimed at popularizing
science and technology and promoting scientific attitude among
people. Individuals/institutions who have made extraordinary
contributions in the filed of science and technology popularization
over the last five years are considered for these awards.
Dr. C.R. Chandrasekhar of
National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Science, Bangalore is
the recipient of the ‘General Category’ award for ‘Best Effort in
Science Popularisation’. A senior faculty member of the institute,
Dr. Chandrasekhar is a teacher, researcher and an activist science
For the award of ‘Best S&T
Coverage in ‘Mass Media’, Ms. Aparna Vaish has been selected. Ms.
Vaish has been making science programmes of distinction for All
India Radio and Doordarshan. She has a number of science
popularisation activities to her credit.
Dr. Saroj Ghose, a pioneer
in science museum movement in the country gets the award for ‘Best
Effort in Science Popularisation Amongst Children’. He has been a
key motivator in developing interactive science centres and mobile
museums. Coneptualisation of India’s first science city on the
outskirts of Kolkata in 1997, has been his most outstanding
contribution towards popularising science amongst children.
The Indian Science Writers’
Association (ISWA) organized the first ever National Science
Communication Congress (NSCC-2001) in association with the Rashtriya
Vigyan Evam Prodyogiki Sanchar Parishad (National Council for
Science and Technology Communication - NCSTC) during November 28-29,
2001 at Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh).
Mrs. Prabha Dwivedi, Hon’ble
Minister of Technical Education, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh, while
inaugurating the Congress, emphasized on the need of reporting
issues of local importance in the mass media. She was of the opinion
of networking of science communication efforts with rural sector and
described various programmes being undertaken towards taking science
to the masses. Guest of Honour Mr. A. K. Bit, Secretary, Department
of Science and Technology, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh, stressed on the
need of bridging the gap between scientific information and common
An exhibition of Indian
Popular Science Periodicals was also organized on the occasion.
About 200 popular science magazines in various Indian languages were
on display including ‘Vigyan Jagat’, which was brought out in early
sixties by Dr. R.D. Vidyarthi, a famous science writer. The students
of Science Communication from Lucknow University also displayed
newsletters, reports, magazines, etc. brought out by them, as part
of their assignments.
The Congress was divided
into five technical sessions, i.e.
(i) print media and science communication;
(ii) audio-visual media and science communication;
(iii) traditional/ folk media and science communication;
(iv) interactive and digital media and science communication; and
(v) science communication policy.
Atleast 30 papers were presented on various aspects of science
communication through various mass media. The participants to this
congress included members of ISWA, students and teachers of science
communication courses, scientists, journalists and renowned media
On this occasion, ISWA
honorary fellowship awards were conferred upon four famous science
communicators, namely, Prof. M. S. Sodha, former Vice Chancellor,
Lucknow University, Prof. S. S. Katiyar, General President, Indian
Science Congress - 2002, Shri Anuj Sinha, Adviser and Member-
Secretary, National Council for Science & Technology Communication,
and Shri S. K. Grover, Director, All India Radio.
ISWA National Award for the
year 2001for best efforts in science writing was shared by two young
science writers, Shri Binay K. Pattanayaka, Editor, Manvik (a
popular science magazine in Oriya) and Shri Nimish Kapoor, Programme
Incharge, Enadu TV, Hyderabad. The best paper award was given to Dr.
Changanty Krishna Kumari, a science writer from Kothogudem (Andhra
Pradesh). A book titled ‘Vigyan Sanchar’, authored by Dr. Manoj
Patairiya, was released on this occasion.
Science and technology
communication is fast gathering momentum in every sphere of human
activity, as an emerging area of scientific knowledge and expertise.
This area has a great potential for changing our society into a
nation of scientifically aware and scientifically thinking people.
NSCC was an initiative towards harnessing the above potential to
serve mankind better.
NSCC-2001 had major
objectives as under :
1. To have discussion and
interaction on various issues and aspects concerning science and
2. To bring science
communicators, scientists, journalists, academicians and other
interested people together for the common cause of development of
science and technology communication;
3. To offer budding science
communicators a wider exposure and enable them to express their
views and ideas;
4. To address various issues
vital to promotion of science and technology communication;
5. To explore and share
newer tools, ways, and means for better science and technology
communication aimed at various target audiences;
6. To provide a forum for
the researchers and practitioners of science communication to
discuss their views and findings in order to accelerate the pace of
science and technology communication in the country.
The NSCC-2001 was hosted by
the Uttar Pradesh Chapter of ISWA. Next Congress was proposed be
hosted by the ISWA Jharkhand Chapter, in Rahchi.
Dr. B. C. Deb Award for
Ms. Parvinder Chawla, a
scientist working in the National Institute of Science Communication
(NISCOM), CSIR, has been selected for the Dr. B.C. Deb Award for
Popularization of Science for 2001-2002. Instituted in 1994-95 by
the Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA), this award carries a
cash amount of Rs. 5000 and a plaque.
Ms. Chawla has been engaged
in the popularisation of science for more than 11 years. She has
authored three popular science books, of which two namely, Detective
DNA and Amazing Biofactories were published by NISCOM. She also has
to her credit about 100 popular science articles and 150 snippets on
interesting S&T developments, besides editing 14 books on various
topics and contributions in five other NISCOM publications - Golden
Treasury of Science and Technology; What?; How?; Why?; and Food,
Nutrition and Environmental Security : The Road Ahead.
Currently, she is one of
editors of Science Reporter, a popular science monthly brought out