Staff Correspondent

DEHRA DUN: The Uttarakhand Minister for Science and Technology, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ has underlined the urgent need for training popular science communicators to reach scientific intervention tools for drudgery reduction and empowerment of the masses to achieve the nation’s millennium development goals.

Speaking at the four day regional workshop for Science Communicators/ Writers and Journalists organised by the Lokhit Foundation with support from the National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) here, Dr Nishank urged journalists to cover small but important innovations done by the villagers so that others could emulate them for improving the quality of life in their areas also.

“The Hindu alone is a newspaper that devotes space to science and technology every week and I appeal to the regional media to join this crusade of national empowerment by carrying science related stories,” the Minister said.

All praise for the Lokhit Foundation for working in the area of spreading science awareness, research and training at all levels in the State, Dr Nishank wanted the organisation to take the science awareness drive to the remotest villages of the higher Himalayan districts.

Dr Manoj Patairiya, Director, NCSTC said that the Department of Science and Technology could facilitate the institution of a science communication course in any university if the State Government sent up a proposal. His participatory approach in teaching the tricks of science writing in an interesting way was appreciated by all.

The participants from Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand were given an insight into the art of science news gathering and their presentation in print and electronic media and dissemination of scientific knowledge through cartoons, folk songs and one act plays by top science communicators. They were also exposed to the livelihood and conservation works at the Forest Research Institute.

The workshop concluded with the participants passing a resolution seeking press accreditation to science writers so that they could easily access scientific institutions as well as avail the free bus travel and medical facilities provided to scribes by the Government.