Indian languages should drive science communication in the country

Connecting science with the masses is essential for the transformative growth and development of the country, and science communication, especially in Indian languages, has an important role to play for fostering the connection. This was the general view that emerged at the inaugural function of the International Science Literature and Film Festival. The festival is organized during 6-8 October 2018 as a part of the ongoing Indian International Science Festival at Lucknow.

Welcoming the invitees and delegates, Prof. Manoj Kumar Patairiya, Director, CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR) said that the first ever International Science Literature and Film Festival of IISF brings together not only scientists and science communicators, but also literary experts, artists, cartoonists, folklore practitioners and many others on the same platform for the cause of furthering science communication.

Dr. M. Rajeevan, Secretary to the Ministry of Earth Sciences in his address mentioned that the the country is doing very good science but the same is not being communicated effectively to the masses. The recent initiatives of the Ministry of Earth Sciences and the Department of Science and Technology to promote science communication is expected to connect the science with the masses, he said.

Speaking at the inaugural function, Kalinga prize winner and noted science communicator Dr. Narender K Sehgal said that there is an urgent need for embarking on large scale translations of Indian scientific content from one Indian language to another. He said that Indian languages should also be the languages of science in the country.

Chief Guest of the function, Prof. Baldeo Bhai Sharma, Chairman, National Book Trust emphasized that science is an important part of human life and it is essential to connect science to the masses. He said that events such as the IISF play an important role in spreading awareness about science to the general public.

Prof. Shambhu Nath Singh, Director, School of Journalism and New Media Studies, IGNOU said that simple applications of science should be imbibed in our daily lives. He said that IISF has emerged as a platform for close interaction among the many scientific community stakeholders and the general public.

Shri. Jayant Sahasrabuddhe, Organising Secretary, Vijnana Bharathi and Chair of the inaugural session said that the India International Science Festival has grown from strength to strength ever since its first edition was held in Delhi. He said that the current fourth edition of IISF has many new initiatives and the International Science Literature and Film Festival that is being held for the first time has evinced wide interest and has drawn a very good response.

Two short films, CSIR Stands with the People in Distress and Ganga Haritima Abhiyaan: Ek Vyakti-Ek Vriksh were screened as part of the inaugural function. The audience also witnessed an enthralling Mohiniyattam performance on India’s Space Odyssey - Chandrayannam.

Dr. T.V. Venkateshwaran, Director, Vigyan Prasar proposed the vote of thanks.

Following the inaugural function, the International Science Book Fair that has national institutes, publishers, societies and others was inaugurated. More than 400 delegates, participants and invitees including scientists, researchers, film makers, science enthusiasts and the general public converged at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Scientific Convention Centre for the International Science Literature and Film Festival.

Panel discussions, workshops, seminar, science cartoon competition, screening of more than 40 Indian and foreign science films, chaupal and round table meet marked the International Science Literature and Film Festival.