Annual Report 1999-2000
Vigyan Prasar (VP) was established in the year
1989 to take up large-scale science popularisation activities.
It has been striving hard to reach out to more and more people
through the mass media, i.e. the printed word, radio and television.
Besides these, among other things, efforts are underway to
put together a network of Science Clubs for spreading scientific
awareness and promoting scientific attitudes and the use of
scientific methodology in our lives.
Vigyan Prasar Information System (VIPRIS)
Vigyan Prasar Homepage www.vigyanprasar.com
launched in September, 1996 offers daily science news, interviews
with scientists, features of current interest, a discussion
forum, an online magazine, ComCom and lot more. The homepage
is being periodically upgraded both in terms of design and
A CD-ROM on eclipses was developed and produced
on the occasion of the last total solar eclipse to be visible
from Indian soil in the 20th century. The contents include
general background, eclipses, transits, occultations, historical
references to eclipses, the associated myths and superstitions;
geometry of eclipses; prediction, scientific studies; and
observation of eclipses. This is the third CD-ROM title produced
by Vigyan Prasar, the other two titles were based on its publications.
The first phase has been completed. Efforts
are on to develop a Search Engine and Data Loading Software
for converting the information compiled into a useable format
generated under the first-phase of a database on "Environment
& Safety Laws, Regulations & Guidance"
Vigyan Prasar brings out a fortnightly newspaper
clipping service called VIPRIS Clipset, on science & technology
and environment, both in English and Hindi. It covers more
than one hundred newspapers and magazines.
Multimedia Touch Terminal Kiosks
Vigyan Prasar has developed multimedia touch
terminal kiosk: two such Kiosks have been supplied to DST
and one to NBPGR, New Delhi.
World of Science
The regular science column, `The World of Science'
in Employment News (Hindi, English and Urdu) is being continued.
Publications brought out so far have covered
diverse areas like Indian Scientific Heritage, Housing, Pesticides,
Natural History, Health and so on. Publications brought out
during the period under the review are :- Alternatives to
Pesticides in Tropical Countries : Food Security with Food
Safety; Uncharted Terrains : Science Popularisation in Pre-independence
India; Delhi's Water & Solid Waste Management : An Emerging
Scenario Square Pegs in Round Holes; Where Gods Come Alive
: A study on the South Indian Bornze Icons; Grahan : Mithak
Aur Yathartha (Hindi); Delhi Lohua Stambh (Hindi); TSE : Answer
to All Your Questions (Assamese, Orriya, Gujarati, English
- modified and reprinted); Sisur Jatno O Lalon Palon (Bengali
book on child-care); Marathi version of Soap Bubbles and the
Forces Which Mould Them;
A. Reprints/updated version of the following NCSTC publications
were brought out :
Seeing is not always Believing; Saach to Kuch Aur Hai; Leaf
Zoo, Toy Joy and Pump form the Dump; Patton Ki Chiriya Ghar;
Khel-Khilonain; Pump hi Pump
B. Projects for compilations of selected popular science writings
in the last hundred years (1850-1950) have been completed
in Hindi & Bengali.
C.A project has been commissioned with Vigyan Parishad Prayag,
Allahabad to bring out scientific & technical dictionary
in Hindi (Paribhasik Sabdakosh).
D.Vigyan Prasar has participated in book fairs/exhibitions
in different parts of the country.
A project was commissioned to Technology Informatics
Design Endeavour (TIDE) to do the market survey and suggest
marketing strategy for Vigyan Prasar software in Karnataka
and adjoining states.
Vigyan Prasar's monthly newsletter "Dream-2047"
which was started in August 1998 is being continued.
Total Solar Eclipse
Vigyan Prasar had initiated a number of activities
on the occasion of the last total solar eclipse to be visible
from Indian Soil in the 20th Century (11.08.1999). Vigyan
Prasar had developed and produced Greeting Cards with inbuilt
solar filter, charts, posters and kits on the occasion of
This material was sold/distributed in different parts of the
country. Video filming of the TSE at 24000 ft. with IAF Crew
on AN-32 on 11 August 1999 was done jointly by Vigyan Prasar
and Indian Air Force. Video sequence of TSE was shown on DD-I
later that night during a repeat of the live telecast done
earlier in the day.
Audio Video Programme
Vigyan Prasar is striving hard to enhance science
coverage on both television and radio.
- A 52-episode radio serial, Chhoo Mantar jointly produced
by Vigyan Prasar and AIR, Delhi was completed. The serial,
which started on October 3, 1998, was based on the NSCTC's
publication `Seeing is not always believing' and dealt with
the science behind so-called miracles.
- A 26-episode radio serial, Bipanna Basudha (the endangered
earth) on science, technology and environment jointly produced
by All India Radio, Guwahati and Vigyan Prasar was broadcast
during the period April-October 1999.
- A video film, Din Mein Taare, produced on the occasion
of 24 October 1995 was updated for the telecast on the occasion
of August 11, 1999.
- Efforts have been initiated to commission video films
on organic forming and spots on specific achievements on
science & technology.
- Plans are being made for creating infrastructural facilities
for animation, editing and audio and limited video production.
- Efforts have been initiated towards setting up a National
Repository of Science Videos.
Vigyan Prasar has initiated a network of Science
Clubs (VIPNET) throughout the country to strengthen the science
club movement, to work with all existing clubs and agencies.
Around 500 of such organisations have already been associate
themselves with Vigyan Prasar in furthering the cause of science
popularisation. A monthly bulletin, VIPNET News mostly based
on the members' contributions is being published. A number
of meetings were organised in many places around the country.
Electronic kits and Models
Vigyan prasar has developed the following kits
and models :-
(a) An Electronic Book based on opto-electronics technology.
(b) A set of four games/puzzles targeted at youngsters has
been developed on the concept of living, space and structure
to elaborate on qualities of living space.
Vigyan Prasar aims to contribute towards the
growth of HAM population as well as to provide technical know-how
to the younger generation and form a countrywide network of
hams. The booklet titled "Be a Ham! Talk to the World"
was reprinted with the addition of further information. Vigyan
Prasar is running the club station VU2NCT that is located
in Technology Bhawan. To facilitate very high frequency (VHF)
radio communication, Vigyan Prasar has put into operation
a VHF ham repeater station (VU2DLR) which became functional
on 9th December, 1998. A ham radio workshop and demonstration
programme was organised by Vigyan Prasar at the Indian Institute
of Technology, Guwahati (IITG) from October 8 to 10, 1999.
A web site on ham radio has been designed and hosted. It is
the homepage of VU2NCT amateur radio club station of Vigyan
Prasar and NCSTC, which can be accessed through the Vigyan
Prasar homepage (www.vigyanprasar.com). The site contains
all the information necessary to help a ham radio enthusiast.
The `Course & Study Material' for conducting training
programmes in the schools are under preparation.