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Annual Report 2007-2008

National Council For Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC)

Rashtriya Vigyan Evam Prodyogiki Sanchar Parishad (RVPSP/NCSTC) is mandated to communicate science & technology to masses. The programmes of the Council aim at building capacity for informed decision making in the community. RVPSP encourages research in areas of S & T communication; training of communicators; development of books, manuals, posters, exhibitions, films, radio programmes, and television programmes on different facets of science & technology; and recognizing outstanding efforts through awards and incentives all over the country.

New Initiatives

Science Express – “Vigyan Ke Teen Sopan – Khoj, Shodh Aur Bodh”

The Parishad has developed an exhibition train “Science Express” in collaboration with Max Planck Society, Germany. This state of the art exhibition, akin to their well known ground based “Science Tunnel”, will take visitors to a fascinating expedition into different issues of Modern Science through 12 thematic modules. The presentation is through interactive plasma screens, TV monitors, PCs etc. The special train would travel to about 57 selected destinations for 9 months. Colleges and schools in the districts are being mobilized to visit the Science Express. The exhibition has a number of exciting activities including the famous KIDZ LAB of BASF India, and on the spot competitions.

The train was flagged off on October 30, 2007 from Safdarjung Railway Station, New Delhi by Dr. Man Mohan Singh, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India and Dr. Angela Merkel, Her Excellency, Chancellor of Germany (Figure 8.9).


Figure 8.9 : Dr. Manmohan Singh and Dr. Angela Merkel Flagging off Science Express

Year of Planet Earth – National workshop for Planning Activities

The Parishad has decided to celebrate Year of Planet Earth-2008 during 2007-2009 with ‘Understanding Planet Earth’ as the main theme. A national workshop aimed at drawing a comprehensive plan for the same was organized in association with NCSTC-Network. The workshop has provided the blueprint for the triennial “Understanding Planet Earth” project which will take place in all states/UTs as partners. The programme is aimed at creating a value shift in community practices in Earth Care and critical S&T infusion in public towards a knowledge society.

Regional Meets for Orientation/ Understanding Planet Earth

The Parishad has organized 4 interactive regional meets in order to sensitize the field level organizations to implement the outreach activities of “Planet Earth Campaign”. Around 800 participants attended these meetings. The resource persons interacted with the participants in each of these regional meets and the modules such as Sanitation and Water Literacy; Understanding Weather, Climate Change and Global Warming; Health and Nutrition; Disaster Preparedness; Urbanization and Resource Optimization; Soil Management and Land Productivity; and Coastal and Marine Ecosystems were discussed.

Weather & Climate Change

A major component under the Outreach Campaign of International Year of Planet Earth programme is on understanding of weather patterns and climate change and its effects. The programme aims to create a better.

understanding and awareness about physics and chemistry of the atmosphere, weather, climate change, natural hazards, sustainable living, etc.

Map Learning & Resource Optimization

The Parishad has taken major initiatives to celebrate the International Year of the Planet Earth during 2007-2009. Learning to read and make maps and utilize this as a tool for decision making in resource allocation and utilization will form an important component of the initiative. To conceptualise, design and give shape to the programme a consultation was organised and a draft plan was formulated. The main objectives of the programme are (i) understanding basic parameters like scale, direction, distance etc., as well as meaningful internalisation of different features represented, themes and symbols; (ii) developing skills to retrieve maximum information from maps and to convert these into ground reality (map to ground); (iii) developing ability to convert ground reality into maps (Mapping); and (iv) understanding the basics of projection (3D Earth to 2D Map).

The programme would be targeted to the prospective resource persons — interested science, geography and economics teachers of Higher Secondary, Under-graduate levels; community (urban and rural areas), occupational/activity groups like farmers, housewives, senior citizens, doctors, engineers and local level decision makers – both at the political and administrative levels. The entire activity would be broadly divided into five modules – Foundation Module, Module I, II, III and Advance Module. Resource Material proposed would include Books, Base maps- Survey of India topo-sheets (at least 1:50,000), cadastral maps, satellite images, Visuals for training and sensitization, Kit – for training, GIS software: People’s GIS, GRAM++, and Hand held GPS devices, etc. For development of the resource material, two national level workshops were organised by Socio-Economic Awareness and Environment Protection (SEAEP), Guwahati and Science Communicators Forum (SCF), Kolkata during July 2007 and September 2007 respectively.

Grameen Jagriti

Initiatives for sensitization of common man on S&T related issues that affect his daily life, like safe practices in agriculture, rational use of pesticides and fertilizers, disaster preparedness, water and sanitation, etc. have been launched on a pilot mode.

Sensitization Workshop on Safety measures from Harmful effects of Pesticides/ farming accidents

To create awareness amongst farming community on safety measures in use of pesticides and farm machinery, a training programme was organized at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana for officers of Krishi Vigyan Kendras, village leaders and voluntary activists in the area. The lectures, demonstrations and discussions on topics like usage and application techniques of pesticides; safe use of pesticides and their environmental implications; pesticides residues and their environmental implications; judicious use of herbicides, fungicides; safe storage of grains; accidents during farming operations; pesticides poisoning; snake bite, dog bite and their treatment etc were organized.

Earth, Climate and Farming

Two awareness workshops were implemented for village leaders and voluntary activists of Tamil Nadu. The workshops aimed to create awareness on weather and climate, pest-weather relationship, weather based agro advisories, impact of rising ambient temperature on livestock, fishery and forestry, etc. Visits to meteorological centre, debates on traditional and modern methods of agriculture formed part of the intervention.

‘Vaad Vivaad’ Karyakaram

To initiate a dialogue on local S&T related issues which affect day to day life, a new programme has been initiated. First the issue/problem(s) faced by people were assessed by inviting the views of public and then an awareness workshop will be organized with the help of experts of the particular field and enlightened people will be re evaluated/assessed in order to know the impact of awareness workshop. One pilot project for Kota district of Rajasthan was carried out.

Science Communication Archives

Madhavrao Sapre Smriti Samachar Patra Sangrahalaya Evam Shodh Sansthan (Madhavrao Sapre National Media Repository & Research Centre), Bhopal (M.P.) is offering services of a science communication archives to preserve and retrieve science manuscripts, publications and other such materials to facilitate scholars and researchers in science communication to get authentic information on this subject. The archives has been able to attract a number of rare manuscripts and publications on various aspects of science and technology and has preserved them.

2. Major Programmes

National Children’s Science Congress-2007

The 15th National Children’s Science Congress (NCSC) was organized in all 35 states and UTs of the country. The national event 2007 was held at Vidya Pratisthan, Baramati, Pune, Maharashtra during 27th – 31st December, 2007. The focal theme of year 2007 congress was “Biodiversity – Nurture Nature for our Future”. Around 600 team leaders of 10–17 years of age group screened through districts and state level congresses, made their presentations at the national event. Around 80 projects selected best at state level also participated in 95th annual session of Indian Science Congress held during 3rd – 7th January, 2008 at Andhra University, Visakhapatnam. The Kishore Vaigyanic Sammelan was inaugurated by Hon’ble Former President of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on 5th January, 2008. In addition to the child scientists from National Children’s Science Congress stream, children from Jawahar Lal Nehru National Science Exhibition conducted by NCERT, Lead India 2020 and local children drawn from different district of Andhra Pradesh also participated.

National Teachers’ Science Conference-2007

The 4th National Teachers’ Science Conference (NTSC) was organized during 22nd – 25th September, 2007 at Rajiv Ganhdi Navodaya Vidyalaya, Dehradun. The focal theme of NTSC was “Environmental Education for Better Future”. Around 300 participants from the stream of secondary and senior secondary teachers, educators, university/college teachers working for school level education took part in NTSC. Oral as well as poster presentations were made by selected participants.

Year of Physics: Follow up Activities

(a) State level programmes were organized in 15 states by State S&T Councils/Departments including training programmes for resource persons at state level, activities/competitions for school children, activities for college students and lectures/demonstrations in the respective state. The guidelines in this regard were designed and accordingly programmes were distributed for N-E states, medium, small and large states.

(b) ‘Appreciating Physics in Everyday Life’

The activities undertaken in this area included (i) An exhibition with 14 flex banner (3’ x 5’ print area each) on the theme “Appreciating physics in everyday life”; in-house activities like - “Enjoy the excitements in physics”; Physics learning camps; Physics in Daily Life: A national workshop; Making physics Fun – About 10 orientation programmes on low-cost physics teaching aids; Bhotiki-Kal, Aaj or Kal; “science education beyond classrooms”–A mobile exhibition organized by Science Centre, Gwalior in more than 32 districts of Madhya Pradesh; and ‘Lights and Shades of Science’ – Science Jamboree.

3. Science Communication Research

7th National Science Communication Congress (NSCC-2007)

Indian Science Writers’ Association organized the 7th National Science Communication Congress (NSCC- 2007) at Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi during December 05-09, 2007 on the focal theme “Technology Communication & Development”. The participants included scientists, journalists, science communicators, teachers and students of science communication and mass communication courses. The deliberations were divided into 5 technical sessions. A special workshop for encouraging interaction between young researchers and science communication experts was also held. Over 200 delegates participated in the Congress and presented their papers. An exhibition of science periodicals in Indian languages was also arranged on the occasion.

Scientific Understanding among People: A Survey Study at Ardh Kumbh 2007

A survey study during Ardh Kumbh Mela 2007 at Allahabad on scientific understanding among people was done by Science Communication Unit, National Institute of Science, Technology & Development Studies (NISTADS), New Delhi and Jahangirabad Media Institute (JMI), Barabanki, UP. About 5000 respondents were interviewed using open-ended questionnaire covering various areas of knowledge. The questionnaire contained 35-45 questions categorized in four areas of scientific knowledge - ‘Astronomy’, ‘Geography’, ‘Health and Hygiene’ and ‘Agriculture’. The analysis of the data collected during the survey revealed that factors such as socialization in modern system of education, the nature of occupation, the gender, age and the cultural environment of the respondents were significantly correlated with the response variable.

4. Attracting Youth to Careers in Science

Motivational Programme for Talented School Students

Talented students of senior secondary schools were selected on the basis of their performance in Board Exams for motivational programme with renowned scientists. 30 students visited science departments of Saurashtra University; Indian Institute of Geomagnetism, Mumbai; and Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute, Bhavnagar and many other institutes and interacted with senior scientists.

Another batch of 30 students visited Biotechnology Department, Physics Department, Geology and Pharmacy Departments besides many other laboratories of Barkatullah University, M.P. Scientists discussed career choices and characteristics/ aptitude necessary for becoming a good researcher. Similar programmes were also organised at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana and North East Institute of Science & Technology (NEIST), Jorhat.

Fig. 8.10 : Students visiting Pharmacy Deptt. under Motivational Programme.

Agrasar Lecture-Demonstration Series

Eminent scientists, give popular S&T lectures and demonstrations under this initiative. The main objective of the programme is to encourage scientific curiosity among youth, develop appreciation of beauty of science in daily life and create scientific awareness about current S&T issues. Stella Maris College, Chennai organised a series of 20 such lectures. Topics of interest like Food & Health, Water borne diseases, Safety in Science Laboratories, Disaster Management and Global Warming were highlighted through lectures. These were organised at Tuticorin, Chidambaram, Sriperambudhur districts of Tamil Nadu.

Initiative for Research and Innovation in Science (IRIS)

In order to promote and nurture the invention and innovation among youths and students of this country, the department joined hands with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Intel India and launched this activity. Entries for innovative ideas from the age group of 6 – 35 years have been invited through news paper advertisements and workshops and meetings with various governments, non-government organizations involved in science communication. The entries received were scrutinized by a panel of experts. Selected entries were invited to participate in regional fairs. Potential entries were mentored through a rigorous process with the help of experts. The national fair was held at IUCCA, Pune, Maharashtra during 6th – 8th December, 2007. Selected entries will represent India at the Intel ISEF 2008 at USA.

5. Science Communication through Cultural Events

Science and Health Communication through Folk Media

Heart Care Foundation of India, New Delhi is running a countrywide campaign for science and health communication especially on nutrition under a nationally coordinated project of the Parishad using various folk forms for taking messages of nutrition related issues to the people at large. The campaign includes training and orientation of performing groups in different states, folk performances in various states, and performances at national level in Delhi/ New Delhi. This 10 months’ campaign involves street plays, puppetry and folk songs, etc., as tools for communication. The programme was implemented in association with Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India.

6. S&T for Visually Challenged

(a) An action learning project on problems faced by the blind, the partially blind and low vision children of middle school in learning science, mathematics and associated subjects is being implemented by Concerned Action Now (CAN), Delhi in north and western regions of India. Both conventional and participative research methods are being used in the project.

(b) Audio Programmes for Visually Impaired students on ‘Science in Daily Life’ is being produced by SAMPARK. Scripts for 52 episodes have been developed and vetted. After field testing and modification, final production would be done.

(c) “Braille Audio Package” in Hindi is being developed by STEPS for blind children to introduce them to the subject of Ornithology and the relationship of common bird species with man through a series of short stories in Braille and audio cassettes/CDs. Scripts have been written and after vetting, these will be field tested before final production.

7. Field Programmes

Women & Child–Health & Nutrition Programme

A comprehensive programme for school/college and university students & teachers, women of all age groups (adolescent girls, house wives, pregnant women, lactating mothers, old ladies) and the general public has been conceptualized, formulated and supported including:

(a) ‘Science for Healthy Mother & Child’ by Voluntary Institute for Community Applied Science – VICAS, Allahabad is being organized with the main objective of bringing behavioral changes among the girl child of up to 10 years and women of reproductive age group (16-45 years) for better health and nutrition.

(b) Reproductive & Child Health (RCH) awareness programmes for adolescent girls and women were organized in Mokalur, Chhitauni, Amba, Mustafabad of Varanasi district of U.P. by Centre for Social Research, New Delhi. The activities include rapport building with the community, the panchayat, block and district level health functionaries and teachers of local school, baseline sample surveys, training of motivators, formation of community watch group, awareness generation activities, impact assessment, etc.

Popularization of Astronomy using mobile planetarium

A project was supported to PAHAL–Uttarakhand based voluntary organization for acquiring mobile planetarium to popularise astronomy and its related activities in rural schools of Uttarakhand. Mobile planetarium is being acquired from NCSM, Kolkata. Two resource persons have been identified to undertake training from NCSM, Kolkata to carryout astronomy activities in Uttarakhand. The activity has been started from District Pithoragarh with effect from 2nd October, 2007.

Perfect Health Mela

The Parishad participated in the Perfect Health Mela organized by Heart Care Foundation of India during 27th October – 4th November, 2007 in New Delhi. The Parishad put up its activity corners that attracted thousands of visitors.

Explaining Science behind Miracles

The basic objective of this programme is to make people aware of tricks and so called miracles and save them from cheating and misbeliefs. During the workshop, the participants were trained in demonstrations of so-called miracles followed by their explainations including over 100 tricks, generally shown by self styled god-men. Short duration projects from Punjab, Orissa, Karnataka were supported.

National Science Day

Science Day is celebrated throughout the country with series of programmes from a day to month long duration with different activities like debates, quizzes, exhibitions, lectures, etc., involving college and school children. The research institutions/ laboratories have been organizing ‘Open Day/ Week’ for creating awareness among public. The theme suggested for NSD-2008 is “Understanding Planet Earth”.

Science Exhibitions

The Parishad coordinates science exhibitions in different parts of the country to generate science awareness amongst school children, science teachers and common people in general. During 2007-08, the Parishad participated in various science exhibitions in different places including Jaipur, Delhi, Bhopal, etc.

Science Communication through Digital Media

A number of training programmes were organized for science communicators enabling them to make use of digital media, i.e. web journalism, multimedia, web cast, CD, etc., for science communication. Yadava College, Madurai (T.N.) organized a similar programme at Madurai during December 10-16, 2007 and provided training to some 40 participants from different parts of the state. Swadeshi Science Movement, Kochi in association with Cochin University of Science & Technology, Kochi organized similar programmes in Kerala.

8. Information Dissemination

Web Portal on Planet Earth

A web portal (www.understandingplanetearth.in) to exchange and depict planet earth related outreach activities has been developed. This service will help in providing all the state councils, research institutions, science based voluntary organisations and RVPSP, a convenient access to information related to planet earth activities. The website is being enriched with reports, articles, newsletters on various facets of planet earth. ‘NCSTC Communications’–RVPSP newsletter is also available on this website.

Database & Website on Science Popularisation Sites

Alternative Futures–a Delhi based NGO, is engaged in development of the permanent science popularisation or ‘science tourism’ sites (science museums, science centers/cities/parks, planetarium, aquariums, and visits to scientific institutions, artisan and craft museums and zoological parks) which contribute a great deal towards unfolding the beauty and mystic of science to common man.

9. Publications

NCSTC Communications

RVPSP brings out NCSTC Communications, bilingual (Hindi and English) monthly newsletter which has 12800 subscribers which include academic institutions, research laboratories, members of parliament, science based organizations/ institutions and individual science communicators across the country connecting all of them through various columns of the newsletter and serving as a forum for expressions of thoughts and sharing experiences on various aspect of science and technology communication. The newsletter is a window of Parishad’s activities, forthcoming programmes and readers’ feedback.

Indian Journal of Science Communication

The Parishad has been supporting publication of a half yearly international research journal on science communication titled “Indian Journal of Science Communication”, through Indian Science Communication Society (ISCOS), Lucknow. The objective of the journal is to provide a forum for researchers and practitioners of science communication for exchanging their research findings and views on various aspects of science and technology communication. First of its kind in this sub-continent, the journal is receiving subscription requests from different organizations and individual science communicators across the world. Current and back issues of the journal are now accessible at the website www.iscos.org.

Popular Science Periodicals in Indian Languages

The Parishad continued support for publication of popular science magazines including Nirantar Soch (Punjabi), Vaigyanik Drishtikon (Hindi), Arivukkan (Tamil) and Vigyan Aapke Liye (Hindi). The GRD Trust, Coimbatore was supported for bringing out a popular science monthly in English ‘Wide Spectrum’. The magazine reproduces articles of lasting value from newspapers and also carries a wide range of popular science articles, features and columns. In addition, Virat Surya (Hindi, Marathi and English); Arivial Poonga (Tamil); Bigyan Jeuti (Assamese) and Vigyan Katha (Hindi) were also supported.

Science Activities – Do, Enjoy and Learn

Books in three volumes titled as “Science Activities – Do, Enjoy and Learn” containing 100 low cost or no cost experiments on physical sciences were brought out in collaboration with Association for Research and Training in Basic Science Education, Nagpur.

10. Science on Radio and Television

Science for Women’s Health – through community radio

Exploratory workshop inviting station directors of community radio stations from various parts of the country was organized at IIMC, New Delhi by CEMCA. 13 active stations in various universities were selected for production and broadcast of 15 minutes programmes that focused on women’s health. The programme is supplemented by health camps, doctors’ visits, phone–in, interviews, health cards, nukkad natak, etc. These stations are developing programmes and are being monitored.

Ignited Minds II

A 13 parts TV series based on innovative projects of Children’ Science Congress is under production. The series will be telecast on Doordarshan to enthuse children about brilliant scientific ideas. Another 13 parts episode based on challenges on day-to-day life is also under production.

Science News line

To highlight and showcase country’s S&T achievements, Science Newsline video news capsules have been developed. The stories in Hindi project recent achievements of scientists in leading national laboratories, research institutions and innovators in India. Topics cover new frontiers of S&T like nano technology, surgery, micro-electronics and so on. Each capsule is of 150 second duration. Some of these are being webcasted on the official website <www.dst.gov.in>. These are being shown on DD News as part of the news magazine programme “Aankhon Dekhi”.

11. Environmental Programmes

Module on “Learn and Understand Microorganisms”

A science kit entitled “Microorganisms: Let us Observe and Learn” has been developed jointly by Assam Science, Technology and Environment Council (ASTEC), Guwahati and Botanical Hobby Centre of Cotton College, Guwahati (Assam).

The proper understanding about the microorganisms, their roles and uses in industries, agriculture, health and environment management is crucial to our future development. These microorganisms can be exploited to our benefit through innovative application in the field of biotechnology, genetic engineering, genomics, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and industries. Moreover, children will learn to handle microorganisms without fear. The module comprises a small microscope, some other tools and materials, a few posters and an audio visual CD along with the Activity Manual.

Open-ended Experiments on Life Science using Vermi-composting

Training workshops were organized to train resource teachers so that they can pursue the activity with children as science and eco-club activities. Training workshops were organized at Naogaon (Assam), Patnitop (Jammu), Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya, Kisanganj (Delhi), and Kota (Rajasthan).

Module on Social Insects

A module on Social Insects was developed for introducing the spirit of scientific enquiry among children. Some highly evolved social insects are taken in this module that would create an interest in children about architecture and building of the habitat by these insects, communication among inmates, division of labour, defence mechanism and reproduction, etc.

Brainstorming on Soil Management and Land Productivity

Two days national brainstorming workshop on soil management and land productivity was conducted in collaboration with Karnataka Rajya Vijnan Parishat (KRVP), Bangalore during 11 – 12 August, 2007.

12. Training in S&T Communication

Academic Courses in Science Communication

Long term academic courses/ programmes in S&T Communication/ Journalism at Devi Ahilya Vishwa Vidyalaya, Indore; Lucknow University, Lucknow were continued. Over 50 students completed the course this year. Lucknow University and Purvanchal University have recently started research programme in this faculty leading to Ph.D. in science communication. Anna University, Chennai has initiated a two years’ M.Sc. course in science communication and a one year post graduate diploma in science journalism.

The Indian Science Communication Society (ISCOS), Lucknow continued one-year training course in science journalism through distance education, which has been catalyzed and supported by the Parishad.

VBS Purvanchal University, Jaunpur continued a special paper on science journalism as part of a postgraduate course in mass communication. A Post Graduate Diploma Course in Science Journalism was continued at Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication, Bhopal.

Special Papers on Science Communication/ Science Journalism

The Parishad has introduced special/ optional papers in science communication/ science journalism as part of ongoing graduate/ postgraduate/ diploma courses of journalism, mass communication and media studies at various universities/ institutions in order to develop trained manpower in the area of science communication/ science journalism. Gandhi Gram Rural Institute (Deemed University), Gandhi Gram (Tamil Nadu) and Hyderabad University (Andhra Pradesh) have started semester on science communication as part of their mass communication courses. Cotton College, Guwahati University, Guwahati (Assam) has started a special paper on science communication.

Orientation Course on Media Practice & Science Communication

Indian Science News Association (ISNA), Kolkata organized a medium term orientation course during August-September 2007. The objective of the programme was to provide training and orientation to the teachers, students and media persons for developing media worthy scripts and programmes for enhancing public awareness of science and technology. The programme was organized under the Parishad’s scheme of medium term training programmes in science communication.

Training for Science Journalists/ Scientists/ Writers/ Illustrators

Training workshops for science journalists/ scientists/ writers/ illustrators were organized in regional languages in order to encourage science coverage in print and electronic media in various parts of the country. Some 1000 science writers, journalists, scientists and teachers were trained in 25 workshops. They learnt various techniques of presenting scientific contents in simple and interesting manner to the masses using various mass media and creative genres. The programme was also extended to difficult areas of Jammu & Kashmir and North-Eastern states.

Training Workshop on S&T Communication through Puppetry

Puppetry is one of most ancient forms of entertainment in the world. Besides providing entertainment, this visual art form is also used for conveying meaningful messages to masses. Kainat Foundation, Kako (Bihar); SEARCH, Ghaziabad (U.P.); Students’ Welfare Society, Anantnag (J&K); Manthan Yuva Sangthan, Ranchi (Jharkhand) organized a number of programmes on science communication through puppetry in their respective states to spread scientific messages using puppets on topics such as pollution, waste management, AIDS, environment conservation, eradication of superstitions, water awareness, climate change and detection of food adulteration, etc.

Training Programmes on Disaster Preparedness

The Punjab State Council for S&T, Chandigarh under a project catalysed and supported by RVPSP, DST, New Delhi organized many training programmes on Disaster Preparedness which included sessions ranging from first aid, fire safety, flood and its prevention, safety from riots, stampede, etc. The state level workshop in Chandigarh was followed by five zonal workshops in various zones of Punjab such as Ludhiana, Patiala, Bathinda, Amritsar and Hoshiarpur. Besides lectures, demonstrations on various aspects of citizens’ safety and preparedness were organised at around 20 places in Punjab.

Similar initiatives were also taken all over Assam. The North-East Institute of Science & Technology (formerly Regional Research Laboratory), Jorhat, organized a series of workshops, in three phases, on Hazards-Minimizing Risk and Maximizing Awareness.

13. Incentive Schemes

National Awards for Science and Technology Communication

Science and technology communication is a specialized area having individuals and institutions dedicated to the cause. Outstanding efforts are recognized with national awards, annually. Shri Kapil Sibal, Hon’ble Union Minister for S&T and Earth Sciences honoured the outstanding science communicators on National Science Day in Delhi. Listed below are the winners in various categories:

1. National Award for Outstanding Effort in Science & Technology Communication was presented to Dr. V.A. Elavalagan, Chennai and Swadeshi Science Movement (SSM), Kochi.

2. National Award for Outstanding Effort in Science & Technology Communication through Books and Magazines was presented to Smt. Rekha Aggarwal, New Delhi.

3 National Award for Outstanding Effort in Science & Technology Popularization among Children was presented to Dr. Madhu Pant, New Delhi & Shri Kuldeep Sharma, New Delhi.

4 National Award for Outstanding Effort in Science and Technology Communication in the Print Media was presented to Shri S. Ananthanarayanan, Mumbai and Shri Dinesh C. Sharma, New Delhi.

5 National Award for Outstanding Effort in Science and Technology Communication in Electronic Media was presented to Shri Niret Alva, Gurgaon and Shri H.B. Muralidhara & Seema Muralidhara, Mumbai.

Each award consists of cash, a memento and a citation.

Natural Resources Data Management System (NRDMS)

District Geo-spatial Data Centers

a. Tamil Nadu – Three District GIS Database Centers i.e. Theni, Cudullore and Nagapattnam were developed. Resource profiles for these districts were prepared on 1:50,000 scale and integrated database was also developed to provide information requirement for various line departments at district level.

b. Andhra Pradesh - Two District GIS database Centers i.e. Kadapa and Nellore were developed and resource profiles were prepared. In addition, efforts have been made to develop village information system for 20 villages to showcase the utility of Spatial Data on Natural Resources and other allied sectors in local area development planning.

c. Karnataka - All the districts of Karnataka have been taken up to develop GIS resource profile and also to build up R&D applications as per the need of the line departments at district level. For this purpose, MOU has been signed between DST and Government of Karnataka to operationalise this project in next few years. Also, State Geospatial Portal for data clearing is being developed.

d. Nagaland - Kohima district was established during the year 2004 with the objective to build up technological capacity for developmental planning processes at district level. In this regard, digital spatial resource profiles have been generated at 1:50,000 scale and at village level for 89 villages at 1:10,000 scale through constraint stakeholders interaction (Figure 8.11). At district level, resource profile contains administrative boundary, road network, settlement, contours, physiography, geology, land use/ land cover, slope, aspect, relief and drainage layers. Detail mapping of Government recognized village boundary was done by ground survey using total station, since no cadastral map was available for the same. The attribute data collection human resources and socio-economic status of the village, village resources, Village Development Board grant, and other land resources besides other special features of the village. Users’ required applications for Health, Water Facility and School have been developed and demonstrated to the Village Councils, Village communities, District Planning & Development Board and line Departments.

Figure 8.11: Land use action plan map of Phenshonyo, Khenyo and Romesinyo villages

e. Assam - NRDMS database center has been established in Sonitpur district. Digital resource profiles at District, Block and village level for the district based on the need of the line departments. An integrated database has been developed for the same. Utility of the database in planning has been demonstrated for the Public Health Engineering Department of the district.

Tsunami Studies

A detailed study was initiated after the great Tsunami in December 2004. Tsunami Atlas for Nagapattinam and Kanyakumari coasts have been prepared and shared with the State Government to use as the S&T outputs in local area development. The main objective of the study is to determine soil salinity and land use/ land cover changes including coastal erosion and deposition alongwith beach profiles for the tsunami affected areas.

3D GIS Project Delhi Zone I

In order to demonstrate usefulness of 3D GIS data and modeling in real time applications, a pilot study was conducted at Chandni Chowk, Delhi. It includes establishment of real time monitoring systems using high resolution satellite imagery, vehicle borne and static laser systems. Some of the applications of this project include: Data Visualisation and modelling; Real time monitoring of change detection; Facilitate Land encroachments; Effective Crowd management; Efficient Traffic management; efficiency in property Tax collection; Urban planning; and Disaster Management.

Landslide Hazard Mitigation

i) Ongoing R&D Projects:

  • Detailed geological and geotechnical studies have been undertaken in 10 areas for developing model for calculation of factor of safety and slope stability. These models will help in designing accurate preventive measures.
  • A book on manual for field investigations for landslides has been brought out and circulated among the concerned scientific groups.
  • Ten R&D projects were evolved and supported exclusively for North Eastern States to develop expertise and capability of the Institutions located in this part of the country.
  • In collaboration with Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), a pilot project was undertaken to demonstrate the designs of landslide control in two selected sides among the ghat road. The important aspect of this study enabled joint effort to implement the design on ground with the support of TTD.

ii) Mission Project on “Landslide for Uttaranchal”

The mission project on Landslide for Uttaranchal has commenced. 8 sites have been selected (4 with Border Roads Organization and 4 with PWD Uttaranchal). 6 R&D projects were supported to various participating agencies, which will undertake detailed geological/ topographical mapping and geotechnical investigations to understand the mechanism of slope failure. This will lead to monitoring of the slide zones for making the path clear for designing the preventive measures. A close interaction with Border Roads Organistion and PWD Uttaranchal and the State Government is being maintained to ensure the implementation of the projects more scientifically and effectively.

Geospatial Databases and Interoperability

a. Conceptual Data Model for Topographic Data

A preliminary version of standards-based topographic data model has been developed for building interoperable topographic databases. The intended purpose is to allow topographic information sharing between various stakeholders. The model is built upon the topographic objects and relationships related to information presented on a standard 1:50,000 scale topographic map. The top-level topographic object classes like communication; hypsography; hydrography; habitation (building); land cover; utilities; boundaries; and the map frame & text have been used in building the model. Characteristics of a Digital Landscape Model (DLM) have been kept in view in designing the model so that the data remains separate from the presentation style like colours and symbols as available in the Digital Cartographic Model (DCM) of standard Digital Vector Data (DVD).

b. Geo-web Service Prototype

In order to improve accessibility of geo-spatial data (‘feature data’) of survey agencies or information (‘processed data’ or ‘map products’) on district databases of NRDMS Programme, organisations are now capable of providing spatial data/ information to users through Geo-web. Wide user accessibility to such services is dependent on adoption of Geospatial Interoperability standards by the data/ information providing agencies. A prototype based on Open Geospatial Consortium’s (OGC’s) Web Feature Service (WFS) and Web has been developed.

Web Map Service (WMS) Specifications has been adopted to demonstrate the concept of standardsbased Geo-Web Services. Capable of storing the data sets in a Relational Database, the prototype serves the feature data on the web using Geography Mark-up Language (GML) format of OGC and a map product in JPEG/ GIFF formats displayable in standard browsers (Figure 8.12). Efficiency in delivery of feature data or map products could be significantly improved by providing web-based feature or map service.

Figure 8.12: Mouza and road data layers of Kasipur and Chhatna blocks of the adjacent Purulia and Bankura districts (West Bengal) provided through Web Map Service (WMS) from the Enterprise GIS server over the web

Geo-Spatial Technologies: A Sub-Programme on “Hyper/ Multi Spectral Signature Management”

Spatial information on natural and man made features of the earth’s surface and their condition and change over time is now recognized as critical for sustainable use and to remain in technology driven competitive environment. Images and associated information can be obtained from building and mine sites to natural resources at national and global scales at time scales of hours and days to years and decades. Under NRDMS, this programme is being evolved as new initiative.

Bio-Geo Database & Ecological Modeling

A sub-programme on “Bio-Geo Database & Ecological Modeling for Himalayas” was developed. In order to study and suggest methodologies for conservation of fragile Himalayan eco-system, multi-disciplinary R & D studies have been carried out by identified research teams for the States of Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal (Garhwal & Kumaon study transects) at the micro-watershed level. Few of the salient outcomes are as follows:

a. Location Specific Management Plan with the aid of Large Scale Data

An integrated large scale spatial database has been designed to cater to the data collected by different agencies on various aspects of biological and geophysical data viz. current land use/land cover, surface water bodies, physiography, soil, geology and geomorphology generated through interpretation of high resolution satellite imagery (IKONOS) on 1: 4000 scale for getting details at micro level. Further, attempts were made to identify the problem areas and to generate site specific management plans, which indicate suggestive measures for optimal utilization of present land and water resources for sustainable development (Figures 8.13 & 8.14). For this purpose, various thematic maps i.e. land use/land cover, soil, hydrogeomorphology, slope, surface water bodies / drainage/watershed, transport network and settlement locations have been integrated alongwith socio-economic parameters, field information and collateral data. This integration is based on an action plan decision rule or key which has been developed.

Figure 8.13: Land Resources Management Plan Map of Phakot Watershed, Tehri Garhwal

Figure 8.14: Water Resources Management Plan of Phakot Watershed, Tehri Garhwal

b. Geo-Spatial Technology for Faunal diversity

Information on the status and ecology of the animal communities is essential for sound conservation planning. Though the Uttaranchal Himalayas are well documented with respect to its flora, very few studies have dealt with the spatial representation of its faunal (mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibian) component. With the aim to understand spatio-temporal patterns of elements of biodiversity at micro scale and the relationship between land use/land cover categories, intense sampling for habitat variables and disturbance factors was carried out at the seasonal level for the watershed areas. Distribution maps of key faunal elements for key mammalian species for Pathri Rao Watershed area were generated. The conservation of mammals is an important goal of wildlife management. Present study is an attempt to make use of geo-spatial technology in wildlife to document the faunal diversity and the factors responsible for it.

User-Friendly Web Interface

The web interface was developed to evolve a system of information sharing, access and use of the BioGeo data collected for different watersheds. GIS based query system developed has the user defined query and custom report facilities. The salient features of the web interface include links to general description, locations, Biogeo data model, Downloads and access database. Care has been taken to make it user friendly and at the same time serve the user community with functionalities to retrieve the relevant information.

A GIS based software, RefPlan, has been developed for supporting the Referral System in Health Care Delivery with special reference to arduous terrains for three blocks of Sundarban, South 24 Praganas, West Bengal viz. Kakdwip, Namkhana and Pathar Pratima. A glimpse of the software is presented in Figure 8.15.

Figure 8.15: A GIS based software, RefPlan, developed for supporting Referral System in Health Care Delivery with special reference to arduous terrains for three blocks of Sundarban, South 24 Praganas, West Bengal

Geo-visualization

A program on R&D in geo-visualization for better spatial planning have been developed with a goal to improve spatial planning through developing powerful human-centered methods and visual representational technologies that make it possible for various users to solve developmental problems through computersupported, visually-enabled analysis of the growing wealth of geospatial data. The five research spearheads identified under the program are as follows:

R&D Applications

In, the Bengal Delta Plain (BDP), large-scale natural arsenic contaminated areas occur in pockets, interspersed with non-contaminated areas. In order to delineate the spatial dimension and extent of Terminal Pleistocene-Holocene sequence in BDP in the coastal districts of Nadia, West Bengal, a project was supported to the School of Fundamental Research, Kolkata. The project has achieved some vital breakthrough in respect of information on controlling factors that account for sourcing and mobilisation of Arsenic in the BDP, particularly in respect of Nadia district (Figure 8.16). Besides, it has been able to point out the possible hot spot areas, both in horizontal and vertical extent of the aquifer. With detailed maps at the mouza, block level and geodated data of the contamination zone, the work accomplished is very unique in nature which needs broader dissemination to the decision makers.

State Science And Technology Programme (SSTP)

State Science & Technology Programme (SSTP) is focused on the specific objective of promotion of Science & Technology at State level. The support of the department has played an important catalytic role to encourage and facilitate State Science & Technology Councils to act as nodal organizations for planning, formulating, evaluating and implementing science & technology activities at state level.

The most significant areas promoted by State S&T Councils are Popularization of Science, S&T Entrepreneurship Development, S&T for Weaker Sections and Women, Programmes for Young Scientists, Biotechnology Programmes, Application of Remote Sensing Technology, Environment Programmes, Non- Conventional Energy Programmes and sponsored location specific need based R&D Projects.

In order to catalyse programme-based cooperation, four meetings of the Project Evaluation Group to consider new projects and review ongoing projects and assess the results of completed projects were organized. Identification and demonstration of S&T projects including field trials was promoted through organizing two meetings of Core Group on technology demonstration. This group, in its two meetings considered 22 new projects in diverse areas of socio-economic importance and also monitored 19 ongoing projects. The Group recommended demonstration of specific indigenous technologies in the fields of bio-fuels, hazardous waste disposal and water purification at various locations.

Some of the important achievements during the year are enumerated below:

1. Core Support to State S&T Councils

The core support of the department has enabled State S & T Councils to equip them with requisite S & T manpower and office infrastructure which has enabled them to function effectively. This support was continued to the State S&T Councils of 26 states. The support was oriented to S&T manpower to strengthen S&T capabilities of the councils to undertake programmes in newer and emerging areas.

2. Joint Programmes

The coordinated programme on identification of problems requiring S&T intervention is expected to complete during the year. A number of location specific problems have been identified which would enable state S&T councils to formulate programmes that meet their socio-economic requirements.

3. Demonstration Projects including Replication of Success Models

One 100 litre/batch capacity plant on production and utilization of bio-diesel from non edible oil seeds was installed at University of Petroleum & Energy Studies (UPES) campus in the state of Uttarakhand (Figure 8.17 & 8.18). The plant is using Jatropha oil as raw material with methanol and potassium hydroxide as catalyst and its performance, operation and maintenance data is being scientifically collected.

Figure 8.17 Jatropha based Bio diesel plant at Uttarakhand
Fiogure 8.18: Jatropha Oil Expeller installed at UPES
Uttarakhand
  • The biofuel plants developed at JSS Academy of Technical Education, Bangalore (Figure 8.19) were demonstrated at Chhatisgarh and Karnataka . Figure 8.19: Bio diesel plant developed at JSS Academy of Technical Education, Bangalore
  • A building incorporating solar passive housing techniques perfected by HP State S&T council was demonstrated at Manipur to demonstrate energy efficiency of constructions using these techniques.
  • A sericulture demonstration plant adopting better silk yielding technologies for improving sericulture in J&K has been set up under guidance of scientists from IICT, Hyderabad.
  • The project on design and development of low cost technologies for the treatment of domestic sewage in rural areas was completed. Under the project, four low cost technologies viz (1) Karnal technology in Talwara township, Bhakra Beas Management Board, Distt. Hoshiarpur; (2) Aerated Lagoon at village Ulana (Patiala); (3) Oxidation Ditch at village Alisher (Sangrur); and (4) Stabilization Pond at village Madhopur (Fatehgarh Sahib) have been demonstrated (Figure 8.20)
Figure 8.20: Demonstration of low cost techniques for treatment of domestic sewage


4. S&T Studies and Surveys

Studies were initiated on improvement of economic traits of native silkworm through fortification in Karnataka; technology intervention for developing management system for fresh water pisciculture to enhance local fish production in Arunchal Pradesh; Implementation oriented parcel-wise database creation on S&T needs for development of fisheries and sericulture sectors in Nadia and Murshidabad districts, West Bengal.

Studies were completed on technology society interface in Andhra Pradesh; popularization of orchid floriculture among rural masses by the adoption of mycorrhizal fungal technology in Tamilnadu; community survey on substance related disorder (drug abuse) in Kashmir valley and organic agriculture programme based on S&T inputs in Sikkim.

5. Location Specific R&D and Technology Development

  • New projects were initiated on exploration of knitted natural fibre reinforced composites for low-end applications, technology development for fortification of organic wastes for increasing efficiency of micronutrients for sustainable crop production in degraded soils of coastal ecosystem and screening of some selected medicinal plants for treating Rheumatoid Arthritis in Tamilnadu. Projects were also initiated on community link up for natural dyeing with plants found in Manipur.
  • Project on antioxidants and free radical scavenging effects in extracts of Zingiberaceae species exclusively found in Manipur was completed.

6. Information Exchange

Fourteenth Regional meeting of State S&T Councils and Departments (Eastern Region) was organized at Birla Institute of Technology (MESRA), Ranchi. The meeting was organized to discuss the regional level status of the existing State level S&T structures; recruitment/deployment of S&T Secretariat as well as identification of areas of mutual cooperation between State S&T Councils and Departments in their respective regions.

7. Documentation

A 60 minute video film consisting of 24 success stories from different State Councils depicting their achievements in the field of promotion of S&T in their respective states has been prepared.

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