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Basic Science and Research Key for Development of the Nation: Indian Scientists

All India Coordinators of DST Inspire Assembled at USTM

9th Mile, Techno City, 25 June 2018: The functions of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) through the unique INSPIRE programme has been able to bring major transformation in the Indian science sector, including creation of scientific awareness among students from an early stage, attracting talents, fostering creativity, motivating and promoting research career. This was agreed upon by various top scientists from across India who have gathered at the University of Science & Technology Meghalaya here today in the inaugural of a two-day long National Science Workshop. About 100 nationally and internationally acclaimed scientists from all over India were present here today to participate in the Group Monitoring Workshop for Inspire Internship Science Coordinators which has been organized by USTM for DST.

Addressing the inaugural of the Workshop, Dr Umesh Kumar Sharma, Scientist E-DST, Government of India said, “This workshop serves as an interaction to see the best practices all over India, learn from them, and overcome the shortcomings. This is a platform where we discuss thoroughly from the planning stage to implementation. Our North East component was not that effective like the ones in Tamil Nadu or Kerala. Therefore, we have taken it seriously for the north-eastern region to inspire more students towards science.” He said that motivation is the basic strength for a person to pursue a career in science and technology and DST will work tirelessly towards strengthening the hands on experiment technique. The Workshop is being held in the north-eastern region for the first time by DST under the Ministry of Science and Technology. In a bid to attract and encourage school students to develop scientific temperament under its nationally acclaimed flagship programme “INSPIRE Internship Science Camp”, the DST has been holding camps in institutions across India since 2008.

Speaking on the occasion, Mahbubul Hoque, Chancellor of USTM, expressed his gratefulness to DST for choosing the north-eastern region for the first time to hold this national congregation and specially thanked for selecting USTM considering its performance and contribution in the field of science and technology. “USTM will do its best and toil to contribute in the nation building process”, he said. Scientists from different states of the country including Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Odisha, Assam, Meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh are participating in the Science Workshop.

Addressing the gathering, Dr Pratibha Jolly, senior scientist and Programme Coordinator, Miranda House, University of Delhi said that the DST Internship Science Camp has been very much effective in motivating young minds towards scientific study and research. “We are getting very positive response from the student community. The North East of India is an important part and I hope for more young talents from this region to cultivate science as their career”, she added.

Dr Amitabha Roy, Scientist-F from DST was also present on the occasion and he said, “This is a major event of the Ministry of Science and Technology. Already we are getting fruit of it. In spite of all the challenges, we are trying to encourage young talents, stop brain drain and even bring back talents from abroad”, he said.

Prof. Dr. Papiya S. Nandy, formerly with Jadavpur University and Director, Jagadish Bose National Science Talent Search stated, “Participation in Science camps caused higher enrolment of students in basic science streams from nearly 17 lakhs in 2010-11 to 40 lakhs in 2014-15”. With her vast experience as a Convenor/fecilitator/mentor in more than 40 Science camps, she has noticed that over the years the INSPIRE programme has made science and its application a movement in the society, more students have opted for scientific research for their career and parents have become aware and encouraging their children to pursue a career in science.

Dr Sudha Kappalli from Central University of Kerala is a senior scientist who is of the opinion that “INSPIRE has been much useful to attract students towards basic science which can be termed as a very good impact of the programme”. On the other hand, Dr Amita Sharma from Himachal Pradesh said that many students have been so far inspired to take up basic science and research as career.

Launched in December 2008, the basic objective of INSPIRE is to communicate to the youth population of the country the excitements of creative pursuit of science and attract talent to the study of science at an early stage and build the required critical human resource pool for strengthening and expanding the Science & Technology system and Research & Development base.

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