Indian Journal of Science Communication (Volume 1/ Number 1/ January – June 2002)


<< Back  

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 communicator.

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.

National Science Communication Congress

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 man.

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 persons.

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 technology communication;

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 Popularisation of

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 by NISCOM.

<< Back