Special Correspondent

To produce, telecast programmes showcasing achievements in S&T

Ministry to have total control over content Programmes to be aired on DD a year later

NEW DELHI: The Union Ministry of Science and Technology has tied up with National Geographic channel to produce and telecast a range of programmes showcasing the achievements made in different disciplines of science and technology in India.

Under the project, National Geographic will produce one 45-minute film and 15 spots of one minute duration each and telecast these along with factoids on Indian scientists from May this year to February next year.

The channel would telecast short programmes on scientific and technological developments in different parts of the world and organise several on-air and off-air activities such as contests aimed at popularising science and technology.

Announcing the tie-up, Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said the Ministry would pay Rs. 2 crore to National Geographic for the project and would have total ownership of the content. After February next year, the Ministry would telecast it on Doordarshan and other channels in different languages. They would also be subsequently distributed in compact discs and other forms to schools and colleges in urban and rural areas.

The programme would be called `Science Safari' and a special logo depicting a chemical molecule has been created for it. The aim was to make people aware of Indian achievements in science and technology. "Despite the tremendous strides made by Indian science and technology over the past 60 years, the people in the country are not fully aware of the vast repertoire of our achievements," he said.

The Ministry of Science and Technology, he said, had been spending large amounts of money on advertisements in newspapers, but had not been able to generate adequate awareness. "The Ministry had spent Rs. 1.5 crore in 2001-02, Rs. 3.5 crore in 2002-03 and Rs. 2.6 crore in 2003-04 on advertisements. But, they have not had any impact."