CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication & Policy Research (CSIR-NIScPR) organised yet another successful edition of “Vigyanika – Science Literature Festival” at the 8th India International Science Festival (IISF), Bhopal, following on its earlier editions at Chennai, Lucknow, Kolkata, New Delhi and Goa.
Vigyanika event works like a bridge between science and society and this is one of the major goals of IISF. In this way, we can say that IISF is the extended form of Vigyanika. In its Bhopal edition, a spectrum of sessions organized which were focused on science communication in Indian languages, authors of popular science books, Vigyan Kavi Sammelan, paper presentations and so on. Science drama, Puppet show, Mentalism program and drawing competition were the other sources of attraction of Vigyanika event.
In the Vigyanika event of IISF, around 50 experts and about 250 delegates comprising science communicators, academics, researchers, scientists, students, etc. participated.
Inaugural session and audience in the auditorium
Vigyanika event was inaugurated by Director General of CSIR and Secretary, DSIR, Dr. N. Kalaiselvi who appreciated that CSIR-NIScPR had successfully organised 5 earlier editions of Vigyanika as part of IISF. Dr. Kalaiselvi said that science communication connects science with society. This was followed by a Keynote Speech by President, Vijnana Bharati & former Director General, CSIR Dr. Shekhar C. Mande, on the need to pursue disruptive science to find solutions. The Guest of Honour Prof. Sanjay Tiwari, Vice Chancellor, Bhoj Open University, Bhopal apart from his message on the significance of science communication, also appreciated CSIR-NIScPR’s popular science magazines. The Vigyanika Theme Book and a book on collection of science poems (Samakaleen Hindi Vigyan Kavita Sanchayan) were released by the dignitaries. Shubhada Kapil moderated the inaugural session of Vigyanika.
The first session in the Vigyanika event had an engaging discussion on the importance of regional science communication, its status, challenges and scope. Regional science communicators in Tamil, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali, Urdu & Hindi were the panelists. The session was moderated by Dr. T. V. Venkateswaran, Scientist with Vigyan Prasar.
On first day, a parallel session was organised for school children. About 100 students from Bhopal Public School participated, in which a Mentalism show, a Science Puppetry show and a drawing competition on the theme “India@100 – My Country, My Vision” were organized successfully. Students were keen and they whole heartedly engaged in all these sessions.
Various sessions of Vigyanika
There were two scientific sessions in which 17 papers on science communication research & new initiatives were presented. The sessions were chaired by Prof. Sunil Kumar Gupta, Vice Chancellor, Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya, Bhopal and Shri Prabal Roy, Head, Centre for Science Communication, Rabindranath Tagore University, Bhopal. The Co-chairs were Dr. Saket Singh Kaurav, Head, Regional Science Centre, Bhopal, Dr. J. P. Shukla, Senior Principal Scientist, CSIR-AMPRI, Bhopal & Dr. Apoorva Pauranik, Neurosurgeon & science communicator, Indore.
The evening session on the first day featured a Science drama “Galileo”, which played to a packed audience. In this drama, the life and struggle of the Italian astronomer and mathematician Galileo was performed by the theatre group. Scientific awareness is essential for the development of society’ was the clear message of this drama. Shadow Cultural and Social Welfare Society, Bhopal performed this drama. Noted Film actor, TV & Theatre artist and poet, Neelesh Malviya introduced the Galileo drama. Dr. Manish Mohan Gore, Scientist, CSIR-NIScPR and Shweta Shrivastri, PhD scholar, CSIR-NIScPR compered this drama session.
A Science drama “Galileo” became the centre of attraction during Vigyanika event at IISF Bhopal
The second day began with the session “Meet the Authors”, featuring science authors like Dr. Archana Sharma from CERN, Geneva, Dr. P. A. Sabareesh, Pankaj Chaturvedi, Swati Tiwari, Pramod Bhargava, Amit Kumar, Niranjan Dev Bhardwaj and Dr. Meher Wan. The session was moderated by Shri Pallava Bagla, science communicator and science photo journalist. Authors of this session discussed the salient points of making and major take away of their books.
The next session was a Vigyan Kavi Sammelan Chaired by Dr. Santosh Chaubey, Chancellor, Rabindranath Tagore University, Bhopal and Co-chaired by Shri Neelesh Malviya, noted TV actor & poet. The session was held in front of a full audience in the more than 300 capacity auditorium. Dr. Shubhrata Mishra, Sarika Gharu, Shuchi Mishra, Sudhir Saxena, Vishal Muliya, Mohan Sagoriya, Om Prakash Yadav, Dr. Dinesh Chamola and Pankaj Prasoon were the lead poets of this session. Radha Gupta compered this session.
Meet the Author session of Vigyanika
A glimpse of Vigyan Kavi Sammelan
The Valedictory Session was chaired by Dr. Santosh Chaubey, Chancellor, Rabindranath Tagore University, Bhopal with Guests of Honour Prof. K. G. Suresh, Vice Chancellor, Makhanlal Chaturvedi University of Journalism, Bhopal and Dr. C. M. Nautiyal, Program Consultant, Science Communication, Indian National Science Academy (INSA). Shri Hasan Jawaid Khan, Chief Scientist, CSIR-NIScPR welcomed the guests and Dr. Manish Mohan Gore, Scientist, CSIR-NIScPR delivered the key points of the whole program of Vigyanika. Dr. Santosh Chaubey said that there is a need of human sentiments among science communicators and scientific thinking and temperament in writers. Prof. K. G. Suresh pointed out the challenges present before the humanity like cancer & climate change and stressed the adoption of science communication and adoption of rational thinking by the common citizens to resolve these challenges. Prof. B. S. Balaji, Associate Professor, School of Biotechnology, JNU, New Delhi delivered a lecture on ‘Educational Tools for the Divyang – Promise of a New Beginning’.
Dignitaries of the Valedictory session of Vigyanika [From L to R: Dr. Manish Mohan Gore, Dr. Santosh Chaubey, Prof. B.S. Balaji, Dr. C.M. Nautiyal, Hasan Jawaid Khan, Dr. Neel Sarovar Bhavesh & Prof. K.G. Suresh]
All the sessions of Vigyanika recorded appreciable attendance and the event also found coverage in the press and Doordarshan. The CSIR-NIScPR team did an excellent job along with the Vijnana Bharati coordinators and volunteers from Rabindranath Tagore University & CSIR-AMPRI, and help from Madhya Pradesh Council of Science & Technology (MPCST) in successfully executing the event. The venue of Vigyanika event was the Auditorium of the Mechanical Engineering Department, Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT), Bhopal.
Glimpses of CSIR-NIScPR stall at Mega Expo, IISF Bhopal. (From Left to Right) Students at NIScPR stall and DG, CSIR Dr. N. Kalaiselvi along with the Director, CSIR-AMPRI.
CSIR-NIScPR also showcased its popular science magazines, books and journals in the Mega Science Expo pavilion at IISF Bhopal. Thousands of science lovers visited this stall of CSIR-NIScPR.