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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Indian mass media and S&T communication

R. D. Sharma   Chief Editor, Science Popularization Unit, Krishi Anusandhan Bhawan, New Delhi, India

The Science and Technology Communication in India was started from the very birth of Indian Press in the years 1818. The first issue of 'Digdarshan' (in English and Bengali languages) carried popular science feature on 'Vogage on Baloon' and the second issue carried an article on 'Trees which grow in India and not in England' and on 'Steamboat'. Popular science magazines were published in different languages in the early decades of this century.

Science communication through Radio and TV is fairly new in India. The Radio infact is much more mature in this field which has a network of science-cells headed by science officers with scientific training. The TV centres have a very little scientific input in their programmes as no planned effort was ever made in this regard. Only very recently a 'National Council of Science and Technology Communication' has been set up, which acts mainly as a funding agency to promote popularisation of science. It has declared 28th February of every year as ‘'National Science Day' (NSD) and the theme for 1991 NSD was 'Learning and Doing Science can be full of Fun and Joy'. Most of the Science and Technology Communication to the masses is being done through voluntary organizations. Some of them are trying folk-media to create awareness at grass-root level about drinking water, health and hygiene; cleanliness and sanitation, ecology and environment. Through street theatre attempts have been made to explain so called 'Miracles' of self-styled 'Godmen'.

Still, much remains to be done. The S & T communication must be on top in Mass Media. In addition to daily coverage there should be regular columns on S & T, with science reporters and science correspondents in all the news papers and science cells at all the Radio stations and TV centers. Even our planners and policy makers needs training in technical literary to be able to apreciate global issues like 'Green House Effect', 'Global Warming', 'Ozone Depletion', 'Nuclear Energy' and 'Big Dams'.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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