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CSIR-NIScPR’s Student-Science Connect Programme Explores Millets and Traditional Knowledge

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CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication and Policy Research (NIScPR) hosted a “Student-Science Connect Programme” in New Delhi on September 13, 2023, as part of its One Week One Lab initiative. The event witnessed the participation of over 150 students from Kendriya Vidyalaya Vikaspuri, Kendriya Vidyalaya Dwarka, and MM Public School. The program aimed to foster a deeper understanding of science and traditional knowledge.

Opening Remarks and Overview:

Shri C. B. Singh, Head of Jigyasa Training and HR Division at CSIR-NIScPR, provided an overview of the program. Professor Ranjana Aggarwal, Director of CSIR-NIScPR, extended a warm welcome to the participants and emphasized the relevance of the two thematic areas chosen for the event—millets and scientifically validated Indian traditional knowledge. The occasion also included the unveiling of the NIScPR Jigyasa’s annual report for the period 2022-2023.

Distinguished Guests:

The program was graced by Dr. Shekhar C. Mande, former Director General of CSIR, and Dr. Sanjay Kumar, Chairman of ASRB, New Delhi. Dr. Mande highlighted CSIR-NIScPR’s efforts in preserving and revitalizing dwindling Indian Traditional Knowledge, underscoring the importance of the publication “Wealth of India.” Dr. Sanjay Kumar stressed the value of learning through fun and teamwork, as well as the need to establish meaningful connections with the extended family.

Keynote Address:

Professor Sharmistha Banerjee from the University of Hyderabad delivered the keynote address, discussing India’s contributions to the fields of Science and Technology. She highlighted remarkable achievements such as Chandrayaan-3, the development of COVID-19 vaccines, and 3D organ printing technology.

Educational Sessions:

During the event, Dr. Suman Ray, Principal Scientist at CSIR-NIScPR, educated students about the nutritional importance of millet, covering their nutritional profiles and traditional recipes. Dr. Charu Lata, Principal Scientist & PI-SVASTIK at CSIR-NIScPR, focused on “Communicating Scientifically Validated Traditional Knowledge to the Society (SVASTIK),” emphasizing the importance of protecting and perpetuating Indian traditional knowledge. Dr. Lata also highlighted CSIR-NIScPR’s work under the national initiative SVASTIK in documenting and communicating scientifically validated traditional knowledge.

Interactive Activities:

The program featured an entertaining quiz competition on traditional knowledge, led by Dr. Paramananda Barman, Scientist at CSIR-NIScPR. This was followed by a puppet show centered around the theme of science communication.

Exploration and Conclusion:

The event concluded with a visit to the Raw Materials Herbarium & Museum and AyurVatika at CSIR-NIScPR, offering students a hands-on experience in the world of science and traditional knowledge.

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