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Free lectures in schools, colleges mandatory for scientists

Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, addressing the media in New Delhi on Monday.  

The Centre has decided to make it mandatory for scientists and researchers of the Departments of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research to undertake 12 hours of lecture classes in schools and colleges in an academic year.

“Scientists who are mostly confined to their labs will share their talent and experience for free as part of their duties, to inculcate in young students a scientific temper and to bring S and T into a larger domain,’’ Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology, Earth Sciences Jitendra Singh said in New Delhi on Monday.

“The experiment will also help catch young talent,’’ he added.

The CSIR system and the DST have between them about 6,000 scientists and researchers on their rolls.

Dr. Singh, who is also a Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office, said the performance of the scientists and researchers shall be evaluated every three years. “It will be mandatory for them to deliver 12 hours of lecture every year to Class IX and under-graduate college students. The scientist will devise a methodology in his or her area of expertise to make the subject interesting for students,’’ he said at a press conference.

For this, the departments and particularly the public funded national institutes, will enter into an agreement with schools and colleges. The Ministry of Human Research Development will collaborate with concerned departments in this endeavour.

“The programme shall be reviewed annually and we shall present to the nation a report card,’’ said the Minister, who was flanked by the Secretaries of the Department of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences and the Director-General of CSIR at the press conference.

At the same time, a special promotion scheme for women scientists, KIRAN (Knowledge and Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing), will allow public sector institutions to make alternate offers to women who have had a break in their career or have had a change of residence.

“This is for gender parity and to bring forward women in leadership positions,’’ Dr. Singh said. “We will try to have a mobility mechanism for women scientists who have had a change of residence to enable them to continue in their positions. The government does not want to lose trained women scientists for such reasons.’’

To a comment that the scheme looked like “old wine in a new bottle’’, he quipped, “this is new wine in a new bottle.’’

“Having earlier schemes does not mean we cannot have any programme of our own. This government is as much entitled to worry about women as anyone else.’’

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 1:31:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/scientists-to-give-free-lectures-in-schools-colleges/article6391271.ece

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