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Annual Report 2001 - 2002

Societal Programmes

National Council for Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC)

The National Council for Science & Technology Communication (Rashtriya Vigyan Evam Prodyogiki Sanchar Parishad), ever since its constitution in 1982, has been engaged in science and technology popularization and inculcation of scientific temper among the people. The emphasis has been on research development, adaptation, promotion and use of different communication methodologies. Various media, traditional and modern being utilized for the purpose, include print, audio/radio, video/TV, folk-forms, etc. The past year has witnessed spectacular achievements and these are reported here.

Research Programmes

  • The project "Preparation of Annotated Bibliography on Popular S&T Books in Major Indian Languages" was initiated in 1996 covering 14 Indian languages. Each bibliography consists of computerized records of books on popular science with a brief annotation in English. 13 bibliographies have been completed, latest being Urdu which reported 1670 books. Total books reported in 13 languages bring the number of popular science books to about 24,640. The reports are being analyzed to identify the gap areas so that further action like developing new manuscripts encouraging translation, etc., can be initiated.
  • The National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS), New Delhi carried out a scientific survey during Kumbh Mela -2001, at Allahabad under a research study entitled - Scientific Understanding among People within Cultural Complex of Thought at Allahabad. The objective of the survey was to analyze the difference of understanding of science among masses and study the trend over a period of 12 years. NISTADS during Kumbh Mela in 1989 and Ardh Kumbh in 1995 carried out similar studies. About 3500 respondents were interviewed using open-ended questionnaire (30 questions) covering four related but different areas of scientific research in addition to the data on personal information of the respondents. The data collected is being computerized for analysis and a detailed report is expected shortly. Several research papers are expected from this pioneering work.

Software Development

  • S&T in Media/TV/Radio: A 26-part TV serial titled "Manavodayam" (based on the 144 part Radio serial "Manav-ka-Vikas") is under production at the Centre for Development of Imaging Technology (C-DIT), Thiruvananthapuram, in 4 languages, viz., Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi and English. Shooting of 15 episodes has already been completed. The remaining episodes are at various stages of production.
  • Creating Awareness about Information Technology - Well-researched exhibition material has been developed on Applications of Information Technology in Health Care, Communication and Networking, Disaster Management, Education, Entertainment and Rural Development sectors. A theme pavilion projecting S&T inputs in the area of Information Technology has also been developed. It is proposed to have exhibitions simultaneously at six different places with duration of 15 to 20 days each having one of the sub-areas listed above along with a theme pavilion at all places.

Training of Science Communicators

Enhancing Science Coverage in Mass Media

  • About 18 workshops were organized with the objective of "Enhancement of Science Coverage in Mass Media". Over 720 budding science writers/ journalists/ illustrators were trained and exposed to frontline science journalism. The programme was also extended to rural, remote and northeastern region.
  • Special training programmes were undertaken to develop specialized science writers for various mass media/formats/target audiences/scientific disciplines. A workshop on science writing for folk media was organized at Vigyan Parishad, Allahabad.
  • An advanced level workshop of the participants of earlier workshops on science writing/journalism/illustrations, who have shown outstanding performance, by way of contributing in mass media, was organized by Yuva Vigyan Parishad, Gwalior at Datia (MP), in June 2001.

Science Communication Courses

  • Masters' Programmes in S&T Communication are going on at Lucknow University and Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Indore. With the efforts put in, two research scholars have received Ph.D. in science communication and some others are working for the same.
  • A review meeting of the course coordinators, students and representatives of various media organizations was convened at Devi Ahilya University, Indore, for exploring and enlarging employment prospects for graduating students programme in S&T Communication.
  • Indian Science Communication Society (ISCOS), Lucknow, an S&T based organization have started a one-year training course in science journalism through distance education. Some 40 students from across the country, as well as from neighboring countries, have enrolled for this course.
  • A paper on `Science & Environment Communication' has been supported as part of a PG diploma course in `Journalism & Mass Communication' at Vishwa Bharti, Shantiniketan, West.Bengal
  • A medium term training course in science journalism is being conducted during September-December 2001 at Vigyan Parishad, Allahabad. About 50 budding science writers are participated the training course.
  • Science Association of Bengal, Kolkata is conducting a part time course in science journalism during September 2001- January 2002 at Kolkata.
  • First National Science Communication Congress (NSCC) was organized by the Indian Science Writers' Association at Lucknow during 28-29 November 2001 to discuss various research and development aspects of science communication.
  • A 7-day workshop Puppet for Science Communication was held on street theatre as a medium for science communication, during March 3-8,2001 at Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur. During the workshop more than 10 plays were developed on various social themes with an attempt to removing myths and superstitions. The specific themes chosen were child marriages, intoxication, AIDS, population explosion, pollution, urbanization, illiteracy, etc. More than 40 participants from various organisations and groups participated in the programme.
  • Rural Community Science Centre Trust, Shimoga (Karnataka) and Karnataka Rajya Vigyan Parishad, Bangalore, organized jointly a workshop on "Puppetry for S&T Communication" at Chitra Kala School, Udipi. Over 40 science activists, teachers and representatives of S&T based organisations working in the area of science popularization attended the workshop. The main objective of this workshop was to provide an additional tool of communication to science communicators. During the workshop more than 200 puppets were made and about 15 new scripts were developed on various scientific themes. During the last day of the workshop each group gave a performance on a specific theme with the help of puppets made during the workshop.
  • In about 200 villages of Jhunjunu district of Rajasthan, during a period of one month, a series of science popularization/communication programme were organized. The issues taken up were evil of child marriage, conservation of water, health and hygiene and overcoming superstitions. Glove puppets were used as a medium of communication in creating awareness, which was followed by discussions between the communicators and the audience.
  • Aerodynamics: Voluntary Institute for Community Applied Sciences (VICAS), Allahabad, a S&T based voluntary organization organized two training workshops on "Aerodynamics - the Science of Flight" at Gurukul Kangdi University, Haridwar and at the City Montessori School, Lucknow. Around 30 teachers and students of senior secondary level participated in each workshop, where they learnt the principles of flight and dynamics of controls while making low cost gliders and flying them. Each school team received a self-contained kit to be able to organize this activity in their schools after the training.
  • Origami: Training workshops on teaching mathematics through Origami for middle school teachers of mathematics was organized by Saurashtra Education Foundation, Mumbai at Bhavnagar, (Gujarat); Science Centre, Midnapore (W.B.) at Darjeeling; and Karnataka Rajya Vijnana Parishat, Bangalore in three districts of Karnataka. The main objective of this programme is to make mathematics teaching and learning simple and interesting for both students as well as teachers. In each workshop 30-40 teachers/communicators from within the district participated. The course module includes concepts of surface area, volume, fractions, theorems of Geometry, concepts of Algebra, etc.
    • Learning of Science through hands-on-activities - A workshop for training resource persons in low cost learning of science through hand-on-activities was organized by Science for Society, an S&T based voluntary organization in Patna. Similar workshops were organized in Uttranchal at Haldwani, Almora and Pithoragarh. Around 120 middle school science teachers have been trained in these workshops.
  • Activity Menu for Science Clubs - A workshop on `Development of course materials for Science Club Activities in the Country' was organized by Science Centre (Gwalior) at Bhopal. Subject matter specialists drawn from various parts of the country attended the workshop. New areas were identified for development of material, including nature & environmental activities, motor activities and community health activities. The activity menu developed through this workshop is being brought out as an attractive publication.

Coordination Activities

  • Council Meeting- The 9th Meeting of the National Council for S&T Communication was held on 27th November 2000 under the Chairmanship of Shri Bachchi Singh Rawat, Hon'ble Minister of State for Science & Technology. The Council discussed various ongoing activities of science & technology popularization. While applauding the accomplishments various measures to improve scientific temper among people were suggested. The follow-up actions on the recommendations have been initiated.
  • Executive Committee of the Council - The 20th meeting of the Executive Committee of the Council was held on 28th June 2001. Existing programmes and policies were reviewed and new initiatives were chalked out. A nation wide field programme involving awareness generation on information and communication technologies was recommended for implementation.
  • Coordination Meeting with S&T Councils/ Departments of States and UTs- The 8th Coordination Meeting with S&T Councils/ Departments of States and UTs was held in May 2001 at Delhi. The meeting was convened to discuss S&T popularization activities and proposals for the 10th five-year plan period. Major central agencies like National Council for Educational Research and Training, National Institute of Science Communication, Vigyan Prasar, Centre of Environmental Education, etc. also participated and provided details of their programmes which could be harnessed by the states for popularizing science and technology. The meeting adopted major policy initiatives on methodologies and programmes, for the coming years. Optimal utilization of scientists raising resources of up to 30% of their budget over the next three years, proper techno-economic assessment of science city and planetarium projects were recommended. Stronger links with industries, universities, research institutes within the state for financial and technical support for programmes of S&T communication and a closer approach with inputs from other wings of government for holistic development of a group of villages or a full block was recommended. Other programmes adopted include preparation of youth for emergencies-natural and man made, consumer empowerment by detection of adulteration in farm and food inputs, soochana jathas to reduce the digital divide and development of low cost radio networks for education and emergency situations. Secretary, DST felicitated the councils on their achievements and exhorted them to develop need-based initiatives to empower the people, which is the objective of scientific temper.
  • Review and Assessment of S&T Popularization: A Review Group for S&T communication programmes has been set up under the Chairmanship of Dr. S.K. Joshi, former D.G., CSIR to assess the S&T popularization activities and to suggest mid-course corrections. First meeting of the group was held on 1st October 2001. The report is likely to be finalized by the end of this year.
    Field Programmes

National Children's Science Congress-2001 (NCSC-2001)

  • Germany Visit of NCSC Delegates: 18 child scientists selected from the delegates of the 8th National Children's Science Congress held at Howrah, visited important science institutions in Germany from 20th - 29th April 2001. They were on an exchange visit as part of the Festival of Germany in India. A delegation of 21 young researchers from Germany had visited India in December 2000 as part of this programme and participated in the 8th National Children Science Congress.
  • The theme of CSC-2001 was "Indigenous Scientific Knowledge for a Better Tomorrow". The activity areas were Agriculture and Food; Health and Hygiene; and Energy and Materials. District level guide teachers training programmes have organized and thousands of children have developed study & research projects. The finding is presented at district and state level conventions. The 9th National Children's Science Congress was held at Pune during December 27-31, 2001.
  • To strengthen teachers a pilot training programme using the latest and interactive technology available has been developed. The package for one-day (5 hours) training programme containing material for sessions on objectives of CSC, methodology and content of children's project, documentation and presentation of the project and evaluation criteria has been prepared in a workshop held at Bhopal during August 18-21, 2001. The pilot programme is planned for Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand, using ISRO unlink facility and classrooms of District Primary Education Programme (DPEP).
  • CSC State Coordinators Meeting: A meeting of the State Coordinators of Children's Science Congress was held in DST in July 2001. Issues relating to i) increasing the reach and depth, utilizing all possible publicity media; (ii) improving the quality of projects; (iii) improving the standards of evaluation and (iv) accountability at various levels were discussed and action points decided.
  • Child Scientists at the 89th Session of Indian Science Congress: A delegation of Children scientists and guide teachers from NCSC participated in the 89th Session of Indian Science Congress held in Lucknow from 3-8, January 2002. Popular lecture-demonstrations by eminent scientists were arranged for them every day. An exhibition of their posters was also organized during the Congress.

National Science Day 2001

  • The National Science Day was celebrated in Technology Bhavan, New Delhi, on February 28, 2001. Prof. M.M.Joshi, Hon'ble Union Minister for Science & Technology, HRD and Ocean Development was the Chief Guest and Shri B.S. Rawat, Hon'ble Union Minister of State for S&T presided over the function. On this occasion the NCSTC National Awards for Science Popularization, DBT Bio-sciences Career awards, DBT scholarships and Swaran Jyanti Fellowships were announced.
  • National Science Day Lecture: Eminent management specialist Dr Dhruv Nath, Senior Vice-President, National Institute of Information Technology, New Delhi gave the National Science Day lecture on "Information Technology for Science Education". The speaker forcefully argued that concepts can be initiated, experimentation encouraged and learning can be interactive using well-designed computer software. Shri B.S. Rawat, Hon'ble Minister for State for Science &Technology presented a memento to the speaker and made significant observations on the current scenario of Indian scientific research.
  • National Awards on S&T Popularization: The national awards for science popularization for the year 2000 were conferred on Prof. Yash Pal, an eminent scientist (General category), jointly to Shri Devendra Mewari, Science Writer, Panchkula & Dr. Amit Chakraborty, Radio Communicator, Kolkata (S&T coverage in mass media) and Shri Arun Bhargava, voluntary activist, Bhopal (science popularization among children). Prof. Murli Manohar Joshi, Hon'ble Minister for S&T, HRD & OD felicitated the winners and presented them each awards, schools & members at the National Science Day function.
  • A poster exhibition on "Aerodynamics Science of Flight" prepared by the Shastravahini, Pune was inaugurated at the Technology Bhawan by Prof. M.M.Joshi, Hon'ble Union Minister during the science day celebrations.
  • National Technology Day (NTD) 2001 was celebrated on May 11, 2001 all over the country to focus attention of the nation-students, teachers, engineers, researchers, entrepreneurs and others on issues of technology. The theme selected this year was "Developing spirit of innovation". During the year S&T Councils of Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Kerala catalyzed a number of programmes

Voluntary Blood Donation Project

  • A pilot programme to train blood donor motivators and medical social workers of Haryana was organized at Rohtak. Resource persons from Association of Voluntary Blood Donors, West Bengal and National Institute of Health & Family Welfare, New Delhi conducted this workshop.
  • To generate awareness on voluntary blood donation a statewide programme has been catalyzed in all the 18 districts of West Bengal by West Bengal Voluntary Blood Donors Association senior students from about 200 high schools about 10 from each district would be participating in an innovative quiz programme.
  • Scientific awareness about blood donation among parents, teachers and students is being promoted by Safe Blood Organization, New Delhi in selected schools using slide sets, posters & video films during 2001. So far programmes have been completed in 8 schools. Quiz programmes, audio-visual shows, answering queries about blood donation are some of the elements of the programmes.

Science Exhibition/Mela/Street Play etc

  • Vigyan Jatha on Education, Health and Safety- A month long Jatha, "Navonmeshan", was organized during January - February 2001 by Yuva Vigyan Parishad, Gwalior (M.P). The Jatha covered a distance of about 2000-km touching about 20 tehsils in 6 districts and directly interacted with the people of more than 100 villages and towns. A lot of information on local traditions, natural resources, folk tales, toys and games has been collected from this programme. These will be properly compiled as part of follow-up programme. The valedictory function of the Jatha was organized at Gwalior on National Science Day, 28 February 2001.
  • A Vigyan Mela, "Indradhanush" was organized by SEARCH, Ghaziabad an S&T based voluntary organization during August 9 - 11, 2001 in association with Cambridge School, NOIDA (U.P.). Main objectives of this programme was to expose children to a wide variety of activities including lectures, demonstrations, face-to-face with scientists, film shows, display of science and technology used by artisans, etc., besides providing them an opportunity to take part in various competitions like making scien-toons (science+cartoon), science quiz, essay writing, etc. Special attraction of this three-day fair was a competition of projects, concepts, ideas and models on the theme "My search, My discovery" aimed at promoting imagination and creativity among children. About 2000 students of 15 schools of the district and more than 3000 residents visited the fair. During the programme Prof Yash Pal, eminent scientist and others also interacted with the children.
  • Emergence of Modern Science (EMS)- A variety of programmes for students, teachers and general public through active participation of government/voluntary organisations/ Science Clubs were organized. State level activities/competitions for school children including model/exhibit making, quizzes, painting, etc. on relevant topics was organized. Winners were invited to a national meet where they were exposed to developments in S&T in various fields through lectures/ demonstrations and visits to leading R&D labs and establishments and interaction with leading scientists of the country. Scholarships @ Rs 300/- p.m. for first five winners at the state level (two for secondary and three for higher secondary) for a period of one year were also announced.
  • Awareness programme on weather, environment and climate: Karnataka Rajya Vijnana Parishat, Bangalore and Indian Meteorological Society (IMS), Bangalore Chapter organized a two-day awareness programme in July 2001 on weather, environment and climate at Bangalore. Nearly 2500 students and 500 teachers drawn from 200 local schools and general public attended the programme which consisted of lectures-demonstrations by experts, exhibition of posters developed by IMS, elocution competition, students' project presentation. An activity comer and displays by scientific organisations like Indian Space Research Organization, Disaster Management Cell of Indian Meteorological Department were also set up.
  • Model Rocketry: Belgaum Association for Science Education, Belgaum organized two workshops for training resource persons in `Model Rocketry' in Karnataka. Participants were trained in various aspects of single stage and multi stage rockets. In the process they learnt various scientific principles like thrust, drag, laws of motion, etc. Low cost material and kits were provided to the participants for this activity.

Stimulating Interest in Science among School Students

  • Contact Programme for Talented School Students: To attract, encourage and create interest among bright students about careers in S&T, science students of class XI closely interact with an eminent scientist of a national laboratory or a leading university. This programme was initiated during1999. During this period over 20 professor in a such programmes have been organized at Kumaun University, Almora Campus; BSIP, Lucknow; Garhwal and Sikkim Units of G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development; Govt. P.G. College, Pithoragarh, Uttaranchal; Tezpur University, Assam; CAZRI, Jodhpur; Punjab University, Chandigarh; Burdwan Raj College, Burdwan; RRL, Jorhat; JSS College for Pharmacy, Ooty; Patna University, Patna; Dhaward University; and IISc, Bangalore. Average 25-30 students participate in each of these programmes.
  • Sensitization of Students to Application of S&T in Industry: Concepts and principles of science find various applications in industry. These serve to trigger curiosity amongst brilliant students. During the year over 15 programmes have been organized in Tamil Nadu, Assam, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. About 250-300 students and teachers participated in each of these programmes. A cross section of students from different schools make a technical visit to an industrial unit and follow it up with report preparation and presentation.
  • Lecture-cum-Demonstration Programme: Eminent scientists including fellows of national academies have responded to a new programme (started in 2000) for giving lectures and demonstration on new dimensions of science. These are arranged in schools, colleges and universities. During the year seven organizations were supported and over 125 lecture - demonstrations arranged at Dharward, Chandigarh, Birbhum (W.B.), Lucknow, Guwahati, Chennai and Almora.

Nature Activity Camps

  • Awareness programme on Vermitech: The Institute of Research in Soil Biology and Biotechnology, the New College, Chennai conducted an awareness programme on vermi-composting by associating students of class VII, VIII and IX from 50 schools in Chennai having science, nature or eco-clubs. The programme included lectures and demonstrations along with practical training on setting up of a vermi-culture unit at each centre. Every school was provided with material giving detailed description on how a vermitech unit can be set up. Importance of using local varieties of earthworms and their advantages were emphasized. Some of the children took this technology home to educate their parents about domestic was being disposal.
  • A national workshop on creating awareness among school children about proper domestic garbage disposal and its recycling was organized by Dharamitra at the Sewagram (Wardha) in April 2001. Around 25 participants from different parts of the country were trained during the workshop.
  • Root & Shoot Programme: This programme has been developed specifically as an activity of school or local science clubs. Under this action oriented programme, trees are planted and maintained for a minimum period of three years under the banner of the respective clubs who maintain the life history of their trees in record books. The hands-on activities, experiments and observations give the children opportunities to understand various components of environment and their relationships with each other.

S&T for the Visually Challenged

A new programme involving development of software - science kits/books on selected topics in S&T with tactile diagrams, talking books (audio cassettes), a science magazine (talking magazine) has been launched. Sri Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya College of Education, Coimbatore, National Institute for Visually Handicapped (NIVH), Hyderabad, and National Association for the Blind (NAB), New Delhi have developed a few prototypes of kits on mechanics, magnetism, time & distance etc., which are being improved under this initiative.

Publications

  • "SROTE", the science & technology news and features service started in 1988 with a view to enhancing the quantity and quality of S&T coverage in Hindi newspapers and periodicals is being continued. 'SROTE' was at the same time aimed at making available reference materials for teachers, students and others engaged in S&T communication. A workshop to train science writers for "SROTE" was organized during March 30-April 1, 2001 by Eklavya at Bhopal. 35 students of journalism from the Makhan Lal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism, Bhopal and Satya Sai College, Bhopal participated.
  • Support was given for continued publication of six popular science magazines, i.e. Prayukti (Bengali), Nirantar Soch (Punjabi), Swadeshi Science (Malayalam), Bigyan Tarang (Oriya), and Kalaikathir (Tamil).
  • A book on "Science Communication through Folk Media", was brought out by Vigyan Parishad, Allahabad, as an offshoot of a workshop on science writing for folk media.
  • `NCSTC Communications', a bilingual (Hindi and English) monthly newsletter is coming out regularly. Till December 2001, 155 issues have been published. This is being circulated to more than 7000 addresses across the country, which included various policy makers, individuals and organizations interested in science communication.
Natural Resources Data Management System (NRDMS)

Natural Resources Data Management System (NRDMS) is a multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary S&T Programme of DST to develop methodology and techniques for operationalising the concept of local level planning. Based on the principles of Geographic Information System (GIS), the Programme aims at setting up district level resource databases, demonstrating their utility in local level planning, developing Spatial Decision Support Systems, promoting R&D in spatial data technologies and training of potential end-users. Under the Programme, pilot scale district GIS Centers have been set up in selected districts of the country to construct GIS-based resource databases and demonstrate their applicability. To support building up of the resource databases, a GIS software package (GRAM++) has been developed on WINDOWS 95/98/NT platforms with features to facilitate spatial data retrieval, analysis and modeling. Spatial Decision Support Systems (SDSS) have been developed in selected sectors like water management, land use planning, energy budgeting, and infrastructure development to help drawing up of integrated development strategies and aid decision making.

During the year 2001-02, a simpler and more user-friendly GRAM++ based VEC VIEWER has been developed for promoting the use of GIS technologies at districts, blocks and panchayats. Application studies have been carried out to calibrate hydrological models, simulate the aquifer behaviour, and evaluate alternative strategies for soil conservation. Studies have been conducted under the sub-programmes 'Hydrology of Small Watersheds', 'Ecological Modelling of Himalayas', 'Coastal Zone Management', and 'Landslides' in order to upgrade the NRDMS tools and methods. GIS Centres have been set-up in selected districts for testing of the tools and methods and their demonstration to the local level planners. District Resource Profile for Bankura (West Bengal) and the GRAM++ Package were released in a National level Workshop held in New Delhi on 9-11 October 2001.

District GIS Centers

On the request and active collaboration of the concerned State Governments, district level GIS Centres have been set up for demonstration of the use of NRDMS tools and methods in the following districts during 2001-02:

i) Tamil Nadu (Vellore, Podukottai)
ii) Uttar Pradesh (Allahabad, Pratapgarh)
iii) Karnataka (Madikeri, Bellary, Mandya)

Efforts are being made to set up such Centres in Assam and Nagaland states. Selected GIS Centers in Karnataka have been taken over by the State Government for updation of the databases and their use by the local Zilla Panchayats.

Software Development

GRAM++ package

A more user-friendly software module - VEC VIEWER - has been developed for displaying and retrieving maps and attribute data pertaining to a district / region. Capable of supporting viewing of various geo-referenced data layers in vector mode and extracting the collateral attribute information, VEC VIEWER provides facilities for simple / advanced querying and generating thematic maps as per the exact need of the end-user. Functions for linking the maps with the attribute information have been further simplified.

Additional functionalities have been added to GRAM++ to generate Digital Terrain / Elevation Models (DTM / DEMs) using the popular Triangular Irregular Networks (TIN) technique. Several other functions of GRAM++ e.g. those in the MAPEDIT and VECTOR ANALYSIS modules have been further tested and bugs fixed on the basis of the feedbacks received from different user groups.

GRAM++ tools have been used to develop customized applications. A prototype application - GRAM Drishti - has been developed and tested using GRAM++ controls for utilization by the Government of Madhya Pradesh in district /block level planning of various service facilities in the State.

RasVec Module

A software module has been developed to facilitate conversion of printed maps to digital format using the technique of on-screen digitization. The module is capable of separating the text from graphics and different colours in a scanned image to speed up automatic tracing. Manual tracing facility has also been provided in the module.

Language Converter

A language converter has been developed to transliterate a English word/ phrase to Hindi or Bengali to facilitate spread and use of GIS technologies at the local level. The Converter has been tested in conjuction with the ECOLAND Module developed for allocating land units for different uses in a watershed. It has been demonstrated using the data sets for Arkasa watershed in Bankura district (West Bengal) for display of maps in Bengali language.

Application studies

Calibration and validation of SWAT model

The SWAT hydrological model has been calibrated and validated using the GIS database developed for the Gandheswari sub-basin (Bankura, West Bengal) that was earlier instrumented for collecting hydro-meteorological data. Based on the local land use /cover, soil type, terrain characteristics, and the hydro-meteorology, the model was run for a period of one year for a nominal calibration. Investigation of the results revealed that the proportion of run-off generated by the area has been too low and erratic when compared against the values of rainfall. This is explained by the fact that the number of observations taken during the day to record the run-off has been relatively less and most of the high flow events skipped the time of observation. In such small watersheds with a short response time for run-off, it is desirable to have frequent observations of the run-off, possibly with the help of automatic level recorders. The observed values compare well with the simulated results in the recession portion of the hydrograph curve indicating that a frequency of three observations per day is adequate during the low flow period.

Ground water modelling

Studies have been carried out using GIS techniques to model the behaviour of the aquifer (water table) system of Lapasiya watershed, Siwane sub-basin, Hazaribagh (Bihar). The outcomes are expected to be useful in preparing a budget for the local groundwater resource, demarcating areas for sinking of borewells, optimising pumping rate, and identifying locations/ areas for long-duration pumping without any adverse effect on the aquifer system. Sensitivity of the model to various input parameters e.g. recharge, evapo-transpiration, and hydraulic conductivity has been determined. Various other inputs to the model include constant head boundary, distribution of pumping and observation wells in the watershed, and upper and lower boundaries of the aquifer. The model has been simulated with a constant pumping rate starting from 200 m3/day for each deep bore well to estimate draw down for different periods. Lower rates have been tried to generate alternative scenarios and suggest the optimum pumping rate. Simulation indicated that the aquifer could be pumped with a slow rate (most appropriately at a rate of 100 m3/day) due to high draw down with pumping for shorter durations.

DSS for Soil Conservation

A Decision Support System (DSS) has been developed to assess the impact of alternative soil conservation strategies on the local sediment yield and help draw up a site-specific and cost effective conservation strategy for minimizing soil loss. A linear programming tool built into the DSS supports in the optimization of the input cost. The DSS has been tested in Nagwan watershed of Hazaribagh district (Jharkhand). The GIS database used for testing of the DSS comprises of thematic maps like contour, soil, landuse and the associated attribute data. The SWAT hydrological model has been used to delineate the Hydrological Response Units (HRU) in the watershed. Sediment yield estimates and various input details on crop production, cost of cultivation, resource limitation and social preference for crops have been used for suggesting an optimum soil conservation strategy for the watershed. Scenarios for three different conservation strategies have been evaluated. Conservation works implemented in the HRUs having areas more than 500 Ha and soil loss of 40 tons per Ha are expected to yield the minimum sediment from the test watershed.

Hydrology of Small Watersheds

Launched in 1996-97, the Coordinated Programme on "Hydrology of Small Watersheds" primarily aims at validating and calibrating hydrological models for small watersheds for drawing up water budgets, estimate sediment yield, assess biomass production in the watersheds. Under the Programme, a pair of treated and untreated small watersheds (about 10 sq. km.) have been selected and instrumented in four different agro-ecological regions of the country to collect hydro-meteorological data on daily / weekly /monthly / seasonal basis. A GIS database for each watershed containing maps on watershed boundary, drainage, land use, soil, contour, geology, geomorphology, and lineament and the hydro-meteorological data sets collected over the last few years has been developed. The databases are being used to model the local hydrology, devise methods/ techniques for hydrological monitoring of watersheds. Biophysical indicators for watershed monitoring and tools for regionalizing the watershed-specific outcomes to other small watersheds located in identical agro-ecological regions are also being developed. Based on these outcomes, local land and water management strategies are proposed to be drawn up.

A two-week long training programme on 'Hydrology of Small Watersheds' was organized in April, 2001 at the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM), Kozikode to expose officials from selected Line Departments of different State Governments and Water & Land Management Institutes to the advanced techniques of managing the watersheds.

Landslide Studies

A Geo-technical Laboratory has been set up at Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehra Dun to facilitate testing and calibration of soil and rock samples and measure the geo-technical properties of landslide mass useful in mass movement modeling and risk assessment.

Detailed geological and geotechnical studies have been conducted at Chandmari Landslide, Gangtok (Sikkim) to develop a database to investigate various factors affecting the probability of landslides. Surveys have been carried out to collect data on land use pattern, elevation, vegetation, drainage and profile of the hill slopes at selected sections of the landslide. Total Station has been used in the survey. In-situ standard penetration test carried out and undisturbed soil and rock samples have been collected in six boreholes of 20 metre depth located in the slide area. These data sets have been used to carry out the stability analysis of the landslide.

Field trials on the technique of soil nailing on a landslide along Rishikesh - Badrinath Road (NH-58) near Rishikesh have been conducted. Slope has been analysed in both unsaturated and saturated conditions. Based on the outcomes of the analysis and study of the soil samples collected from the site, soil nails and their deployment pattern at the slide area were designed and the nails installed. Subsequent analysis indicates an improvement in the safety factor of the slope to the extent of 12.6%.

Linkages have been built with the potential end-users like the Konkan Railway Corporation and the District Administration, Uttarkashi (Uttaranchal) to help evolve site specific R&D projects to address their information needs relating to control and prevention of landslides.

Bio-geo database and ecological modeling for Himalayas

The Task Force set-up on "Bio-geo database and ecological modelling for Himalayas" has submitted its report. Based on the recommendations, a three pronged strategy has been adopted to facilitate drawing up of plans for sustainable development. The strategy includes : building up of comprehensive databases on bio and geo resources and socio-economy for local level planning, integration of data sets for evolving application strategies for the conservation and management of the Himalayan eco-system; capacity building and dissemination of information products to the user communities for plan formulation. Three representative watesheds in each of the three altitudinal transects of Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal covering lower, middle and higher Himalayan ranges have been identified in consultation with the concerned State Governments. Development of a decision support system for integrated land use planning for the sub-Himalayan region and a soil database for watershed development in lesser Himalayas of Himachal Pradesh have been taken-up during the year.

Microwave Remote Sensing and SAR Interferometry

In order to introduce and promote the application of microwave remote sensing technology amongst the earth and agricultural scientists, a two day Brainstorming Session was organized by Haryana Remote Sensing Application Centre at Gurgaon on 26-27 February 2001. Experts from different premier institutions working in the field of remote sensing participated in the Brainstorming. It was recommended that the technology should be further developed through adequate training of manpower and promotion of research & development in areas like soil moisture studies, crop-growth modeling, flood zonation, glacier monitoring, and snow melt run-off.

In collaboration with SNR - IRECC Italy, a workshop-cum-training programme on SAR Interferometry was organized at IIT, Bombay during March 28 - April 6, 2001. A select group of scientists drawn from different research and academic institutions from both the countries participated in the programme. A collaborative research programme for development of a SAR Simulator has been evolved with the involvement of concerned institutions.

Coastal Resource Management and Conservation

The sub-programme on 'Coastal Resource Management and Conservation' seeks to understand the processes that maintain the health and productivity of the coastal eco-system, identify the resource flow pathways, and forecast the type and extent of future conflicts in resource use in the context of changing social, economic and political circumstances. During the year, studies have been launched for modelling the impact of development on the coastal eco-system.

Information Technology for Sustainable Agriculture in Punjab

There have been significant changes in the natural resource base of Punjab due to intensive agriculture in the state. Some of the problems, in this context, include fall in ground water table, water logging, degradation of soil health and severe soil erosion. There has thus been a need to explore alternative and more sustainable routes to agricultural development. It is required to demonstrate the potential of information technology to decision makers and the local level communities in this task. Realising this requirement, a project has been launched in March 2001 with an assistance of US $ 1.25 million from UNDP over a period of two years. Five districts - Hoshiarpur, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Patiala and Muktsar - are being covered under the Project. The Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) has been identified to mplement the project.

During the year, studies have been launched to develop district level spatial resource profiles, establish local information hubs, model crop-weather dynamics, soil moisture profile and forewarn the pest & disease problems. In addition to rice and wheat, possibilities of introducing other cropping systems like maize-wheat, soyabean-winter maize and cotton-wheat are proposed to be studied. In response to the farming community's enthusiasm to adopt alternative cropping systems, a limited field experiment involving 20 farmers has been launched in Patiala district. Each of the farmers has agreed to cultivate chickpeas instead of wheat in one acre of land during the present Rabi cropping season. Similar field experiments in other districts are being planned for the Kharif. Spatial and temporal variation of micronutrient status and soil biology have been initiated.


UNDP-NRDMS Workshop

A National Workshop on "GIS Technologies for Sustainable Development at Local Level" was organized in New Delhi on October 9-11,2001 to showcase various products /modules developed under the UNDP-NRDMS Project. GRAM++ Package and the Bankura Resource Profile were released during the Workshop. Scientists, Academicians, Administrators, end-users, and leading experts from USA, UK, and Australia attended the workshop to exchange experiences and deliberate on strategies to upgrade and apply GIS in exploring alternative strategies to sustainable development. Operationalising a multi-tier spatial data infrastructure, developing models /tools for managing the land & water systems; research and development in areas like visualization, 3D GIS, high resolution data generation; promotion of use and dissemination of GIS-based tools / products, building a network of institutions for the training of the end-users; introduction of GIS in school curriculum were some of the major recommendations of the Workshop.
Assistance For Development Of State Councils For Science & Technology

Department of Science & Technology, Government. of India is providing core and project support to State S&T Councils in various States and Union Territories to enable them to effectively function in policy formulation, planning, coordination and promotion of S&T activities. As a result of DST's efforts, State S&T structures have been set up in all the states including the three newly formed states. During the year, DST continued its core support to State S&T councils and initiated a number of location specific demonstration projects and state relevant S&T studies. During the year, DST organized a regional meeting of North-Eastern State S&T Councils and Departments at Aizawl. A regional meeting of Southern States is also planned to be held some time in February 2002. During the year, two meetings of Project Evaluation Group have been held in which 34 proposals were considered. Out of these projects 17 Projects were approved. The third meeting of Project Evaluation Group is to be held on 7 - 8 February, 2002 in which 24 proposals will be considered. All the approved projects are expected to be sanctioned during the current year. DST also organised three Group Monitoring Meetings to monitor various on-going projects as well as to assess the performance of completed projects. In these monitoring meetings 31 projects were monitored. The main activities during the year 2001-2002 are enumerated below :

Demonstration Projects

DST launched a special initiative to demonstrate the technology developed by Facilitation Centre for Industrial Plasma Technologies, Institute of Plasma Research, Gandhi Nagar to demonstrate the effectiveness of the technology and present the various aspects related to the pyrolysis process. As a result of DST's efforts, proposals have been mobilized from the States of Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. These demonstration projects are likely to be initiated during the current year itself. A video presentation was held on the progress of the on-going Micro-Hydel Project at Thuvopisu, Nagaland at Delhi. It is expected that the project will be commissioned by the end of current year. The Micro-Hydel Project at Dailong, Manipur has also taken off and the work is in progress. The Micro-Hydel Project at Thangu, Sikkim is for implementation. The projects on setting up Reverse Osmosis Plant for treatment of hard/brackish water in Rajasthan and Gujarat are under implementation. These plants are likely to be commissioned by the end of current year. The project on upliftment of Small and Marginal Farmers through a novel concept based on application of hydrams, has been completed successfully in Himachal Pradesh. 10 nos. of Hydrams have been installed in the State of Himachal Pradesh at the projected cost of 17.5 lakhs.

Replication of Success Models

A Pollution Control Unit (PCU) has been installed in Patna, Bihar in Cupola Furnace based on the technology developed by Punjab State Council on Science & Technology. The Technical Back-up Unit (TBU) for Solar Passive Housing Technology popularisation set up in HP State S&T Council is making efforts to popularize; disseminate and replicate this technology amongst other hill states. DST has also made efforts to replicate the technology developed by Punjab State Council in the area of brick-kilns. Towards this endeavour, department supported a conference of Brick-kiln Industries held at Chandigarh.

Studies/Surveys of Interest to States

During the year, the studies on S&T intervention for assessing ecological degradation in Southern Tamilnadu Agro-climatic Zone, documentation of medicinal plants in Thar Desert of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are on-going.

Location specific R&D Technology Development :

The project on Development of Prototypes of Efficient Fishing Crafts and Gears for the wetlands of Manipur is to be initiated during the current year. The project on developing energy-efficient cardamom drier for Sikkim had found acceptance amongst farming community of Sikkim. The project on Poultry Diseases at Namakkal has resulted in significant findings regarding the causes of these diseases and final report is expected to suggest measures to control these diseases.

State Councils Exhibitions

During the year, DST mobilised participation of State Councils in the exhibition, "Shimla Knowledge.Com" ( Shimla) , "Perfect Health Mela" ( Delhi) and " Swadeshi Vigyan Mela " ( Kochi )

State Council Meetings

During the year, DST participated in the General Body/Executive Committee meetings of State S&T Councils of Bihar; Chattisgarh; Kerala; West Bengal; Tamilnadu; Tripura; Haryana; UP ; Punjab etc.

Support to S&T Secretariat

During the year, support has been continued to all the State S&T Councils receiving support from DST during the previous years. In addition, support will be initiated for Chhatisgarh State S&T Council. DST is also making efforts to catalyze setting up on S&T Secretariats in the other two newly formed states of Uttranchal and Jharkhand.

Experience Sharing

During the year, a regional meeting of State S&T Councils/Departments of North-eastern Region was organised during October 4-5, 2001 at Aizawl to share the experiences of various State S&T Councils. The meeting resulted in certain specific action points related to rain water harvesting, malaria, solar passive heating etc.to accelerate S&T activities in North-Eastern Region.

Information Exchange

The website of State S&T Councils has been hosted on the web and steps are being taken to continuously improve its content and presentation style. A brochure on the activities under the State S&T Councils programme of DST is also being brought out. The website of Technology Business Information System (TBIS) developed under a DST-CSIR joint project by Manipur State S&T Council has been launched.

Jai Vigyan Science & Technology Mission for Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Under the Mission, DST has initiated a project on Preparing Inventory of Medicinal Plants in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. This project has been monitored and is progressing well. Efforts have been made to initiate the project relating to plastic waste disposal, instrument repair, training in vermiculture and aquaculture etc.

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