Breeding scientific awareness

Breeding scientific awareness

If Thane city wears a cap, it is undoubtedly is full of feathers, and a good assortment of them. Time after time the city and its inhabitants have achieved distinctions and made a name in the various spheres of life – culture, education, social service, sports and spirituality to name a few. A new feather got appended to our city’s cap on Monday when city-based NGO Jidnyasa was nominated as the State Organising Agency (SOA) by National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC).

As an SOA, Jidnyasa will play an important role creating and promoting scientific awareness in Maharashtra – this will be part of the year long programme announced by the President of India, Dr. APJ Abul Kalam on January 05, 2004 in Chandigarh during the Indian Science Congress. The mission of the programme is "Scientific awareness for sustainable development" and its main objectives are to create a scientific outlook in society and to develop a scientific temper and the spirit of enquiry among children, youth, and women a well as and policy- and opinion-makers.

For those who are unaware, the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India has declared the year 2004 as the "Year of Scientific Awareness."

Jidnyasa has always been on the forefront in promoting science education and awareness, among other things. Now, with this new role as SOA, Jidnyasa is working to form a State Organizing Committee which will plan, implement and monitor the year-long programme. The members of the committee will be distinguished scientists, academicians and other eminent personalities in the field science and technology.

Jidnyasa’s first initiative in creating scientific awareness is ready to launch. On January 15, 2004 Jidnyasa is unveiling the Thane chapter of "Exploratory," an initiative to promote learning of science in a real world setting. Every Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, children will be able to learn science in the right way – they will invent and discover, innovate and invent, design and fabricate. The Thane Municipal Corporation has provided Jidnyasa with a classroom for this purpose.

The first official lecture of Exploratory will be given by Dr VG Gambhir, Chief Research Officer at The Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, which is run by the TATA Institute of Fundamental Research. Jidnyasa is also looking for scientists and academicians from Thane area who can volunteer to guide students on weekends at the Exploratory.

Students, scientists and academicians interested in Exploratory can contact Jidnyasa at 25403857. For the rest, keep reading this column as we will keep you updated with the progress, initiatives and achievements of the year-long programme of scientific awareness.

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