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JU and DST Collaborate for Webinar on Science Communication, under AWSAR

JAMMU: Department of Science and Technology, GOI under its AWSAR (Augmenting Writing Skills for Articulating Research) programme has started a webinar series on, 'Popular Science writing.'

The maiden webinar was jointly organized by the DST, GOI and Vigyan Prasar in collaboration with University of Jammu, J&K.

AWSAR is an initiative supported by the National Council for Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC) Division, Department of Science and Technology (DST).

The objective of the programme is to disseminate Indian research stories among the common masses in an easy to understand and interesting format. Under this initiative, PhD Scholars and Post-Doctoral Fellows (PDFs) in Science and Technology (S&T) streams are encouraged to write popular science stories about their work and to participate in a national competition.

In the inaugural session, Prof. Manoj Dhar, Vice Chancellor, University of Jammu in his opening remarks appreciated the idea of holding a webinar on Science Communication for the benefit of the Research Scholars. He emphasized on the fact that Science and Technology plays a pivotal role in development of the country and we need to motivate young boys and girls to take up science as a career.

He urged the young researchers to prepare the stories about the research work in simple language so that the readers can feel enthused and updated about the type of research being undertaken in the country.

Prof. Dhar suggested that we need to inculcate the scientific temperament in our youth so that they can come forward with Innovative ideas which can be transformed into technologies. This would be in line with the vision of the Hon'ble Prime Minister about Atma Nirbhar Bharat.

Earlier, Dr. Rashmi Sharma, Senior Scientist DST apprised the attendees about the AWSAR Programme, the guidelines for submitting the science stories and also the incentives attached with the programme. She informed that more than 200 cash awards are awarded every year to the best entries which are evaluated by the experts in the field. Dr. Manoj K. Patairiya, Advisor and Head NCSTC Division, explained the importance of explaining the scientific concepts to masses in simple language.

He encouraged the young scientists to come forward with their stories, so that more and more people get benefitted. Dr. Nakul Parashar, Director Vigyan Prasar, in his remarks encouraged the young researchers to participate in the AWSAR programme and avail the opportunity. He gave extensive data on the participation of Researchers in the earlier programmes conducted by AWSAR.

He further emphasized that we should consider the present situation due to Covid19 as an opportunity to reach out to Scholars throughout the world through these webinars. He further informed that such webinars shall be conducted in future also. Dr. Bharat Bhushan, Scientist, Vigyan Prashar coordinated the programme.

Two technical sessions were conducted. In the first technical session the resource person was Dr. T.V. Venkateswaran, Senior Scientist Vigyan Prasar. He spoke on the topic, ‘ Art of Scicom." He suggested that analogies should be made between technical research and day to day examples to make science simpler to understand.

In the second technical session the resource person was Dr. Jagdish Chander, Former Advisor, DST and presently Adjunct Professor at AcSIR. He spoke on, " Differentiating technical scientific writing and popular science writing." He thoroughly explained the devices available to make popular science articles understandable and interesting. These include stylistic devices, metaphors, thought experiment, narration and fiction, etc.

About 900 researchers from India and abroad registered for the Webinar and attended. This was followed by a question answer session where a lot of fruitful discussion emanated.

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