Science & Technology

New science communication platforms launched

Union minister for science and technology Dr Harsh Vardhan launched DD Science and India Science on January 15, 2019

By Sunderarajan Padmanabhan
Published: Tuesday 15 January 2019
Photo credit: India Science Wire

Two new science communication platforms—DD Science and India Science—were launched by Union minister for science and technology Dr Harsh Vardhan on January 15, 2019.

DD Science is a joint initiative of Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous organisation under the department of science and technology (DST) and public broadcaster Doordarshan. It has a one-hour slot on Doordarshan national channel, which will be telecast from Monday to Saturday between 5 pm and 6 pm. India Science is an online channel available on all internet-enabled devices. It offers live, scheduled play and video-on-demand science programming.

The two channels will have science-based documentaries, studio-based discussions, virtual walkthroughs of scientific institutions, interviews and short films and will be free to access. The new initiatives are expected to be first step in creating a national science channel for India.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “Developing scientific temperament is a critical necessity in a country of 1.3 billion and these two science channels will drive that national objective, both through DTH as well as the internet. It would help people understand the benefits of science and integrate it in their daily lives.”

Recalling the run up to the launch, he noted that they had been in the making for the past two years, and said the main focus would be to offer quality content for all sections of the society in general and the youth and children in particular. “India has a large population of youngsters and the programmes would help tap the demographic dividend they represent for the social and economic progress of the country,” adds Dr Vardhan.

He expressed confidence that the two new initiatives would turn out to be the first step towards a 24x7 science channel. “We are starting with a one-hour programme. I am sure that gradually it would be increased two hours followed by four hours, six hours, 12 hours and finally it will be a 24x7 channel with the top TRP rating,” he said.  

DST secretary Dr Ashutosh Sharma said the two new channels of science communication were designed to help take science to the common man. “Lot of quality science is happening in scientific institutions across the country. The fruits of these work need to reach the lay person. The DD Science programme and India Science online channel would help in the task,” he said.

Director General of Doordarshan, Ms Supriya Sahu, said DD Science service would be in Hindi in the beginning and efforts would be made to gradually expand its scope to telecast the programme in other Indian languages as well.

Secretary, ministry of information and broadcasting, Amit Khare, and Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati, welcomed the coming together of Doordarshan and Vigyan Prasar to help promote scientific temper in the country. Vigyan Prasar director Dr Nakul Parashar proposed a vote of thanks. (India Science Wire)

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