Ministry of Culture and Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor, Govt of India under its Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav initiative, shall be celebrating the last week February, 2022 (22-28) as the glorious week of Science & Technology with the title Vigyan Sarvatre Pujyate (Science & Technology is Revered All Over), Festival of SCoPE for All, under Science & Technology Communication, Popularization & its Extension (SCoPE). The week will commence with the Grand Gala Inaugural event on 22 February and conclude with the Grand Finale event on 28 February in New Delhi. Over these seven days the festival would be celebrated in major Indian languages (including Urdu and Kashmiri) at 75 different locations across the country. In the events to be organised on 23 February the focus shall be on the various crucial aspects of the history of Science and Technology in India. The programmes to be organised on 24 February shall be devoted to the assessment and celebration of the major landmarks of modern Indian Science and Technology. On the following day, inventions & innovations of Swadeshi Science and Technology shall be commemorated. Different programmes on films, theatre & literature from 75 locations shall be organized on 26 February. On 27 Feb, the delegates shall seek to delineate the future of Indian Science and Technology initiatives over the next twenty five years.
As part of the celebrations Central University of Kashmir and University of Kashmir, in collaboration with Vigyan Prasar, shall be organising a week-long National Science Festival at Gandhi Bhawan, University of Kashmir. The grand gala inaugural event shall begin at 5 pm on 22 February at New Delhi, while the local inaugural function shall be held on the same day in the afternoon at Gandhi Bawan, University of Kashmir. Prof. Shakil Ahmad Romshoo, Hon’ble, Vice Chancellor, Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) shall deliver the keynote address while Prof. Talat Ahmad, Hon’ble, Vice Chancellor University of Kashmir, Prof. Farooq Ahmad Shah Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, Central University of Kashmir, Prof. M. Afzal Zargar, Registrar, Central University of Kashmir, Dr. Nisar Ahmad Mir, Registrar, University of Kashmir and Prof. Shahid Rasool Dean, School of Media Studies and Project Coordinator, SCoPE are also expected to speak on the occasion.
In line with the theme of the day, the delegates on Day 2 (Feb 26) shall endeavor to delve into the annals of Science and Technology and seek to look at contributions which enabled India to engineer a robust science and technology sector over the last 75 years. Prof Mohammad Yousuf from the Department of Zoology, Central University of Kashmir and Professor Zafer Reshi Department of Botany, University of Kashmir, shall shed light on the History of Zoological Studies and the History of Botanical Studies in India, respectively. Dr. Maroof Qadri, Director, Computer Sciences, University of Kashmir shall speak on the history of Information Technology in India while Prof. Wali Mohammad Shah, Dean, School of Physical and Chemical Sciences Central University of Kashmir, shall endeavor to explicate and contextualize the contribution of Mathematics as the mother of all Sciences. The session shall be presided over by Prof. Nazir Mushtaq, former Professor Government Medical College, Srinagar. Later in the day some films corresponding to the theme shall be screened and a visit to Kashmir University’s Botanical Garden shall also be arranged. Poster and Book exhibitions and visits to various Museums would be part of the activities throughout the week.
On day three (Feb 24) focus will shift to the key discoveries and innovations which contributed significantly to the development of science globally or became part of India’s own progression with regard to science and technology. The proceedings will start with a discourse on the ‘Contribution and Development of Biological Sciences’ by Professor Mohammad Afzal Zargar, Department of Biotechnology, Central University of Kashmir. Prof. Sarfaraz A Wani and Prof Zahoor A Dar from the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST)shall assess the role played by the institution in agricultural progress in valley. Dr Feroz Ahmad Bhat, Head Department of Fisheries, SKUAST shall endeavor to highlight the achievements of the Department of Fisheries in Kashmir. This will be followed by a lecture on biomedical research by Prof. Bashir A Ganai from the Centre of Research for Development (CORD) University of Kashmir. The Session would be chaired by Prof. Farooq Ahmad Masoodi, Dean Academic Affairs, University of Kashmir. Post-lunch activities would include screening of a theme-specific science film and a visit to the Central Asian Museum, Allama Iqbal Library, University of Kashmir.
Day four (Feb 25) will be themed around the inventions and innovations (drawing on the repositories of traditional knowledge systems) in science and technology which offered India a pedestal to stand on while pursuing its dream of self-reliance. Prof. Pawan K Dhar from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) shall deliver an online lecture on Innovations and Entrepreneurship in India. A lecture on ‘The Age of Nanotechnology’ by Prof. M. Ashraf Shah from National Institute of Technology (NIT), Srinagar shall follow. Prof. G. Jeelani, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Kashmir shall talk about the relevance of Earth Sciences while Dr. Abid Hamid Dar, Department of Biotechnology, Central University of Kashmir will make a presentation on ‘Innovation in Biotechnology’. The session will be presided over by Prof. Irshad A Nawchoo, Dean Research, University of Kashmir. Afternoon activities shall include screening of films based on the theme of innovation and a visit to the Zoology Museum, Department of Zoology, University of Kashmir.
Day five (Feb 26) will allow a coalescence of science and literature offering a platform to local poets, writers and theatre artists to exhibit their artistic prowess. The day will start with local Folk Drama (BaandePaether) performance on the theme ‘Blessings of Science’ by artists from Wathora, Kashmir. This will be followed by rendition of some science songs by Bilal Shahjahan and accompanists, a science skit and a puppet show to be performed by students from the Department of Convergent Journalism, Central University of Kashmir. The session will be chaired by Prof Aejaz Mohammad Sheikh Head, Department of Urdu, University of Kashmir. In the post-lunch session a Science Mushaira (poetic symposium) shall be organized in which Urdu and Kashmiri Poets shall participate. It will be followed by online webcasting. The session shall be jointly chaired by Prof. M. Gayasudin, Dean School of Languages, Central University of Kashmir and Prof. Mehfooza Jan Head, Department of Kashmiri, University of Kashmir.
India has set a host of ambitious Science and Technology projects (like Gaganyan Samudrayan) in motion. Day five (Feb 27) shall offer the delegates a platform to assess and evaluate the future of such initiatives particularly over the next 25 years. Prof. Manzoor Ahmad Shah from Department of Botany, University of Kashmir shall deliver a lecture on the ‘Conservation of Biodiversity - A Roadmap.’ Prof. M. Ashraf Ganai from Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura shall discourse on ‘Future Challenges of Endocrinology’. Dr Zahoor Ahmad Geelani from Department of Education, Central University of Kashmir shall speak on the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and Science Education. This session, to be chaired by Prof Gowhar Bashir Vakil from Department of Physics, University of Kashmir, shall conclude with a potentially intriguing discourse on the topic ‘Imagining the world of Science in 2050’ by Ajaz-ul-Haque from Educational Multimedia Research Centre, University of Kashmir. In the afternoon session some films related to the theme shall be screened and a visit to the Earth Science Labs/Glaciology Lab, University of Kashmir shall also be organized.
On the final day (Feb 28) a local valedictory function shall be organized. Prof. Nazir Ahmad Ganai, Hon’ble, Vice Chancellor, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKAUST) Kashmir, shall deliver the valedictory speech. Prof. Talat Ahmad, Hon’ble, Vice Chancellor, University of Kashmir, Prof. Farooq Ahmad Shah Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, Central University of Kashmir, Prof Mehraj Uddin Mir, former Vice Chancellor, Central University of Kashmir, Prof. M. Afzal Zargar, Registrar, Central University of Kashmir, Dr. Nisar Ahmad Mir, Registrar, University of Kashmir and Prof. Shahid Rasool Dean, School of Media Studies and Project Coordinator, SCoPE are expected to grace the occasion with their presence. The National Valedictory Function shall commence at 5:00 PM from New Delhi.
The festival promises to be a great platform for all the participants to share their knowledge and experience. We all look forward to its success.
Dr. Ihsan Malik, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Central University of Kashmir
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.