Developing Scientific Temper Among Students Of The Country With New Initiatives

KAMP has been initiated to identify and promote gifted and talented students in the field of Science, Technology and Humanities across India.

Today is the age of science and technological development. Science has radically changed man’s material and non-material development. It has become an integral part of human life without which no individual can live comfortably. Scientifically literate individual makes informed decisions within the science and technological context by drawing their rich knowledge, such as understanding of concepts and principles, theories and processes of science. Science and technology, therefore has fostered a new intellectual temper known as scientific temper.

In 1976, India became the first country to include in its constitution “Scientific Temper with Humanism” as a fundamental duty of all citizens of the country (Article 51-A (H))

Article 51 A of our constitution which deals with fundamental duties makes it a duty of every citizen to develop Scientific Temper; (as per clause [h]). It is the Scientific Temper that helps in developing Secularism, Humanism & Spirit of enquiry and reform.

Our education system teaches us that science is a collection of facts that have been proclaimed by scientists. In reality, it is a systematised method of investigating the material world through observation, experimentation, hypothesis and verification. Science assumes that all phenomena are natural rather than supernatural, that these operate by rules that humans have the ability to uncover. More and more areas of knowledge, traditionally deemed not knowable, have yielded their secrets to the method of science. Scientific temper is about applying similar methods of questioning, and of rational enquiry in our everyday lives.

The Science and Technology Ministry continues to support scientific temper innovations amongst the people of the country with new initiatives.

In the last five years, funding to the S&T ministry has gone up by 133%. more than two lakh high-school students are participating in programmes to foster a culture of scientific innovation, and 5,000 Atal Tinkering Labs are imparting practical exposure to students in 3D printing and robotics.

Also consider the encouragement to the scientific community to engage in problem-solving for areas like affordable diagnostics, agri-tech, Swachh Bharat, clean energy and digitising India.

For young researchers, 2,500 postdoctoral fellowships for fresh PhDs and 1,300 awards for early career research funding have bridged a major gap and retained the talent within the country. For young innovators, more incubators were set up by this government in last five years than previous 40 years combined.

Then there are big-ticket items. India is a major partner in the Thirty-Meter Telescope and in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (Ligo) project; the latter’s Indian site is coming up in Maharashtra.

All of these initiatives started early in the prime minister’s term —when he met 25 leading scientists in 2015. In a frank discussion, he heard their views, leading to periodic review meetings.

On 10th July 2015, DR A. P.J Abdul Kalam Azad, former President of India launched ‘Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan (RAA)’ for developing scientific temper among school students. The main aim of this mission, which is under Ministry of Human Resource Development, is to develop curiosity, rationality, creativity and love for science and mathematics among school children.

In 2018, the PM set up the Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PMSTIAC). On the recommendation of PM-STIAC, the PM approved nine new science missions ranging from quantum science to solid waste management.

This year, KNOWLEDGE AND AWARENESS MAPPING PLATFORM, KAMP as one of the major initiative has been taken up by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research - National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (CSIR-NISTADS) to identify and capture Scientific and Technological temperament in students.

CSIR-NISTDS is one of the premier institution and a constituent laboratory of CSIR, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, to provide inputs to policymakers for formulating the policy of Science, Technology, Innovation (STI) and entrepreneurship.

KAMP has been initiated to identify and promote gifted and talented students in the field of Science, Technology and Humanities across India. Based on the algorithm and design development by CSIR-NISTADS, KAMP would support in identifying the talent at a primitive stage and nurturing them in their areas of strength.  

KAMP has to be implemented in all schools across India, targeting students of age group 10-18, It will assess current levels of scientific temper in students, will provide an Advisory to students, parents, teachers and schools on how they can improve on it, and also help schools to create an environment to nurture scientific temper in students through Junior Scientist clubs across India.   

Through KAMP, students will also be able to participate in India International Science Festival ‘IISF’ 

India International Science Festival will be a pioneering event in terms of both its scale and significance. It will reach out not just to the scientific community but the common man. There will be a great deal for school and college students to learn and explore at IISF

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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