DU’s Ram Lal Anand College to offer new course on Science & Environment Communication

The course will be launched by the college’s journalism department in collaboration with Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous organisation of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

Delhi University’s Ram Lal Anand (RLA) College will soon launch a certificate course titled ‘Essential Skills in Science and Environment Communication’ for DU students. The course will be interdisciplinary, and open to all students irrespective of the stream with “no registration or course fee”.

“There is a need for trained science journalists and communicators in the country, who can connect the facts and issues related to science and the environment with the public in common language through various media platforms. Efforts are being made to communicate science and environment in all the laboratories of the country, but due to lack of trained media personnel, the issues of development in the field of science and environment do not reach the general public. Covid era has explained well the need for trained science media persons in the country’s media houses,” said Assistant Professor Shweta Arya from RLA, one of the co-ordinators for the course.

The course will be launched by the college’s journalism department in collaboration with Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous organisation of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

“This forty hours’ course will be taught over weekends online, due to the ongoing pandemic situation. The course will familiarize the students with different aspects of science and environment, the concomitant issues, and skills required to communicate about them effectively in common parlance. The course will be covering thematic areas of science and environment like science, environment, and communication, art and techniques of storytelling, tools and techniques of media production, with practical analysis based on project and presentation,” said Arya.

“The objective of the course is to orient students in science and environment communication skills required to communicate about scientific initiatives, scientific breakthroughs, natural disasters, weather forecasting, climate change, pollution, health and environment, that need regular media attention in contemporary times. Science and Environment communication course curriculum is being designed and developed with a goal to produce professionals in the area of science and environment communication, science-environment journalism (reporting and writing), filmmaking, public relations, and related communication fields to bridge the gap between science and society to instil scientific temper,” she said.

Nakul Parashar, Director, Vigyan Prasar said science and environment journalism was the need of the hour.

“Be it is scientific research and development work being done in laboratories, or ISRO’s space missions, water, pollution, natural disasters, energy, agriculture, weather, new technology, machine learning, artificial intelligence etc., science and environment journalism is required everywhere. To take science to the grassroots level, the youngsters need to be trained. It is also included in the national agenda of science communication. After completing this course, students will be able to get acquainted with the nuances of science and environmental communication and will be able to connect the development in science and environment with the people of the country in a common language,” he said.

Principal RLA Rakesh Kumar Gupta said it was a “holistic” course that fulfills one of the objectives of the National Education Policy in higher education by making it an interdisciplinary course.

The course curriculum has been designed by eminent industry experts and professionals that include Prof. Govind Singh, Professor at IIMC, New Delhi; Prof. D. J. Pati, Director & Dean, India Today Media Institute, Noida, Dr. Sameer Sahasarbudhe, Director, Educational Multimedia Research Centre, Pune Shri Hasan Jawed Khan, Editor, Science Reporter and Chief Scientist, CSIR-NIScPR; Shri Santosh Pandey, Managing Editor, India Science Wire, Vigyan Prasar; Dr. Upendra Pandey, Sr. Science Journalist; Dr. Dhananjay Chopra, Course Coordinator, Centre of Media studies, University of Allahabad; Ms. Rishu Nigam, Environment Communicator; Dr. Navneet Anand, Sr. Science Journalist, along with other prominent names in the field.

The course will be coordinated by a team of science communicators and media faculty which includes Shri Nimish Kapoor, Scientist and Head of Publications Division, Vigyan Prasar and Prof. Rakesh Kumar and Assistant Professor Shweta Arya of Ram Lal Anand College.

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