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    New Delhi: S&T Minister presents science communication awards on National Science Day

    New Delhi: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; Minister of State PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh urged the need to mentor young talent as it were the best investment for India as it moves towards 2047. Young scientists with 25 active years ahead have a crucial role to play in the roadmap for the next 25 years when India celebrates 100 years of independence, he said. He was speaking at the National Science Day, which also marked the conclusion of a National Science Week. The Government had organised a week-long programme titled  “Vigyan Sarvatra Pujyate” (Universal Reverence for Science), to mark National Science Week. It was a pan-India programme and sought to celebrate the essence and magnificence of India’s scientific achievements.

    The Minister said that the spirit of this one-week commemoration of “Vigyan Sarvatra Pujyate” was to celebrate and worship science. It was an opportunity to introspect. It also aimed to take the science and scientific thinking to the common man, he added. He underlined Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s greeting to the scientists on National Science Day, wherein he said, “Let us reaffirm our commitment towards fulfilling our collective scientific responsibility and leveraging the power of science for human progress”.

    Dr Jitendra Singh noted that “Vigyan Sarvatra Pujyate ', which was observed in 75 locations across the country, had received wide participation and all-around appreciation. The event was part of the “AzadiKa Amrit Mahotsav” celebrating the 75th Year of Indian Independence. Hence it is also an occasion to pay homage and showcase the achievements of the 75 glorious years of India’s Independence. While celebrating the 75th year of Indian independence, along with freedom fighters, there was also a need to recall the contribution of Indian scientists such as Mahendralal Sarkar, JC Bose, and PC Ray, who struggled to lay the foundation of modern science in India. India can today boast of rapid and transformational changes in sectors like space, atomic energy, renewable, nano-technology, agriculture, digital and IT sector, and life sciences under PM Modi, he added.

     He pointed out that India was one of the very few countries that specifically mention science in its constitution. He said, nurturing scientific temper, humanism and a spirit of inquiry and reform is a constitutional duty of every citizen of India.On the occasion,  the Minister presented the National S&T Communication Awards and the AWSAR (Augmenting Writing Skills for Articulating Research) awards. 

    P.N. Panicker Foundation, Thiruvananthapuram won the National Award for Outstanding Efforts in Science and Technology Communication in general. Dr. Ramesh Chandra Parida of Bhubaneswar and Dr. Hirday Kumar Chopra of New Delhi won the National Award for Outstanding Efforts in Science & Technology Communication through Print Media including Books and Magazines.  Dr Mrs. Naresh Yadav of Gurugram and Mr. Vijaykumar Chandrakant Verenkar of Goa were presented the  National Award for Outstanding Efforts in Science & Technology Popularization among Children. Besides, Dr. Vikas Mishra of Kanpur, Dr. Suman Mor of Punjab University and Dr. Santosh Kumar Singh of BHU, and the National Association for Voluntary Initiative & Co-operation (NAVIC), Varanasi, bagged the National Award for Outstanding Efforts in Science & Technology Communication through Innovative and Traditional Methods; and Mr. Jalal Uddin Baba of Kashmir and Prof. Rajinder Kumar Dhamija of New Delhi the National Award for Outstanding Efforts in Science & Technology Communication in the Electronic Medium. 

    The winners of the AWSAR Awards were: Dr Pragyan Parimita Rath, New Delhi (award for Outstanding Story -post-doctoral fellows category); Mr Ajay Chandrakant Lagashetti of Pune (first Prize for the Ph.D. category), Mr. Anoop Singh of New Delhi (second prize for the Ph.D. category), and Ms. Deeksha Pandey of New Delhi (third prize for the Ph.D. category).

    Dr. Jitendra Singh also released three coffee-table books published by Vigyan Prasar. The first one titled `Department of Science & Technology: Past-Present-Future’ gives an account of how DST has grown since its inception in 1971 and has shaped the scientific tradition and guided innovation in India and provides a glimpse into its future scientific goals.

    The second titled `75 under 50: Scientists Shaping Today's India’ explores the lives and professional accomplishments of 75 scientists, providing an in-depth look at the diversity surrounding them, such as their differing backgrounds, reasons for becoming scientists, obstacles they faced, and their work in different disciplines. The third book titled `75 Founders of Modern Science in India’ recalls the contributions of Indian scientists in making India a name to reckon with in the contemporary world.

    He also released a Science cartoon book, entitled `Meet, Greet & Tweet with Plasma Toons’, written by Dr. B. S. Munjal and Dr. Suryakant Gupta of Institute of Plasma Research, Department of Atomic Energy. Principal Scientific Adviser to Government of India, Prof. K.Vijay Raghavan; Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Dr. S.Chandrasekhar, Director General, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Dr. Shekar C.Mande, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Dr. M.Ravichandran, Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research, Dr. Balram Bhargav, Director, Vigyan Prasar, Nakul Parashar, and Head of National Council for Science and Technology Communication, Dr. Praveen Arora, attended the function. 

    Director of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CISR-IGIB), Prof. Anurag Agrawal, delivered a National Science Day special lecture. 

    Initiate News Agency (INA),  New Delhi

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