Scientists to take lecture classes at schools, colleges: Govt

Over 5,000 "highly accomplished" scientists working with various departments under the Science and Technology Ministry will devote time to impart education to students of various schools and colleges in the country.

PTI| Updated: Sep 09, 2014, 00:26 AM IST

New Delhi: Over 5,000 "highly accomplished" scientists working with various departments under the Science and Technology Ministry will devote time to impart education to students of various schools and colleges in the country.

Announcing the decision, Union Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh said it would be "mandatory" for the scientists "in our departments to actually, formally, take lecture classes" in schools and colleges.

The Minister said it was decided after drawing inspiration from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's interaction with school students on Teachers' Day during which he said, "each one of us engage ourselves in some kind of teaching".

"I am glad to announce today that we are going to make it mandatory for the scientists in our departments to actually, formally, take lecture classes in schools and colleges. It is a new concept for a country like India," Singh said.

The Minister said this kind of engagement would be "free of any honorarium" and it would be part of the duty the scientists have already committed to do.

"In order to further institutionalise it we have also devised a method...Make it mandatory that every scientist belonging to this department would expecting to devote at least 12 hours of actual teaching classes, lecturing," he told reporters at a meeting convened to announce NDA government's 100-day achievements in the field of Science and Technology.

Singh said the Ministry will collaborate with the HRD Ministry to work out the modalities and see how over 5,000 scientists of the two departments of the Ministry--Science and Technology and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-- can devote their time to take part in academic activities.

He said there would be a review and performance evaluation system to ensure successful implementation of new initiative.

"There will be a review every one year. The kind of lecturing...So that they can improve upon that. And every three years we would have a performance evaluation on the kind of work done by each individual scientist who are engaged in the teaching," Singh said.

The Minister said various academic institutions across the country would be covered under the programme but major focus would be on "public-funded educational institutions". 

Singh said the Government was devising a methodology depending upon the scientists' area of interest, area of excellence and specialisation.

The Minister also announced a special promotion scheme-- KIRAN (Knowledge, Involvement, Research, Advancement through Nurturing) for women scientists "to bring about, as far as possible, gender parity in the field of science and technology".

Asked whether it was an "old wine in a new bottle" as there is already schemes for this purpose, Singh said, "this is a new wine in a new bottle," adding that the Government would carry forward the earlier initiatives announced by the previous governments for the welfare of women scientists.

"For many of the women who have a break in the career and then they wish to come back, we would try to evolve certain attractive offers so that the education they expertise, whether it is in the field of basic science, bio-science, engineering..It does not go waste.

"There are a number of women scientists...Who have inevitable break in the continuous career...We are trying to evolve a mechanism (to see) that we don't lose out to them and they don't lose out to us," Singh said.