A dedicated science channel and an internet TV are some of the mediums the government is exploring as part of its bid to popularise science among the masses, a senior official said today. Ashutosh Sharma, secretary with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), said that the DST is in talks with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to launch a channel dedicated to science. "The I&B Ministry has been positive in its response and it will still take a few months for the project to materialise," Sharma said. In the past, there were dedicated programmes on science, but there was never a dedicated science channel, a scientist in the ministry said. The scientist, on condition of anonymity, said that the concept of a dedicated TV channel got traction after noted film journalist Shyam Benegal emphasised on the need for it at a science film festival held last year. The DST is also looking at launching an internet TV to cash in on the digital reach in the country, Sharma said. He said students pursuing their doctorate in scientific fields will be asked to write a paper on their area of research during the course. Sharma made the remarks while speaking at the launch of a book 'Bridging the Communication Gap in Science and Technology: Lessons from India', authored by senior science journalist Pallava Bagla. Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan, who was also present at the book launch, said unless science reaches the people it will be futile. He also spoke about the efforts that need to be taken to popularise the subject. Sharma alsosaid that it will be mandatory for doctorate students funded by the DST to write popular science papers.
Their papers can be later published in science magazines and newspapers. "We intend to have 1,000 such papers on popular science written by students. We will also give awards for best science papers," Sharma said.