National Science Day highlights need to connect science with community

National Science Day (NSD- 2019) was celebrated by Department of Science and Technology (DST) at Jawaharlal Nehru University Campus on 28th February, 2019 on NSD theme ‘Science for the People and the People for Science’ emphasizing the necessity of expanding the understanding of science and reaching out to people. National Council for Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC) of DST is nodal agency to support, catalyze and coordinate celebration of the NSD throughout the country, particularly in scientific institutions & research laboratories.

The Chief Guest, Padma Shri Professor K VijayRaghavan, FRS, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India has delivered NSD-2019 lecture on the theme.  Acknowledging the importance of state universities, Professor VijayRaghavan stressed on the requirement of revamping state universities and urged the scientific community to link with them so that last mile gap in quality of teaching and research can improve. Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST mentioned that writing about science is required for inspiration and popularization of science among scientists as well as people. He stressed that Science communication is one of the components of 'people for science'.

On this occasion National Awards instituted in 1987 by DST were conferred on winners of 2018 for their contribution in communication of S&T and promoting scientific temper. Dr. Huidrom Birkumar Singh, Manipur, Shri Munindra Kumar Mazumdar, Assam and Prof. Manasi Goswami, Odisha, have won National Award for Outstanding Efforts in S&T Communication through Print Media including Books and Magazines. Rural Agricultural Development Society, Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Raj Kumar, Uttar Pradesh and Dr. Zakir Ali Rajneesh, Uttar Pradesh, are the National Awardees for Outstanding Efforts in S&T Popularization among Children. Prof. Manish Ratnakar Joshi, Maharastra, has won National Award for Outstanding Efforts in Translation of Popular Science & Technology Literature. Dr. Brij Mohan Sharma, Uttarakhand, and Dr. Sunita Jhala, Rajasthan, has won National Award for Outstanding Efforts in Science & Technology, Communication through Innovation and Traditional methods and Dr. Ankuran Dutta, Assam has won National Awards for Outstanding Efforts in Science and Technology Communication in the Electronic Medium.  Rajendra Prabhu Memorial Shield for Science Reporting 2018 in memory of the renowned science journalist was also presented to Dr. Huidrom Brikumar Singh.

Another prestigious Award, the National Award for Women Development through Application of Science and Technology for the year 2018 was also conferred upon Dr. A. Seema, Scientist, Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology, (C-MET), Thrissur, Kerala.

Sh. Ashish Srivastava (University of Mumbai), Sh. Ajay Kumar (IIT Madras) and Ms. Nabanita Chakraborty (Vidyasagar University) among PhD students and Dr. Paulomi Sanghavi from TIFR in the PDF category won DST’s maiden Augmenting Writing Skills for Articulating Research (AWSAR) National Science Story Writing Competition. Also, 100 PhD students and 20 Post-doc fellows who have written the best stories were awarded with cash prize and letter of appreciation.