On May 3, 2020, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science & Technology, Health & Family Welfare and Earth Sciences, launched “COVID KATHA- A Multimedia Guide for Mass Awareness”, a multimedia guide on COVID-19 on the occasion of the 50th DST (Department of Science and Technology) Foundation Day. The Golden Jubilee Celebrations were also launched, initiating myriad activities in different parts of the country throughout the year.Key Points:
i.50th DST Foundation Day: Dr Harsh Vardhan interacted with Heads of all Autonomous Institutions (AIs) and Subordinate offices of Department of Science & Technology (DST) via Video Conferencing on the occasion of the 50th foundation day about their S&T initiatives, particularly in relation to their endeavours for combating the COVID-19 outbreak.
ii.COVID KATHA: It provides consolidated and authentic information on the global crisis to the masses in an interesting and interactive mode, the National Council for Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India in association with Dr Anamika Ray Memorial Trust (ARMT), an educational and research organization, has brought out multimedia guides carrying important information on A-to-Z of COVID 19.
iii.Position of DST: DST’s efforts have helped India attain the third position globally after China and the US in terms of the number of publications in science citation index journals.
iv.Schemes & initiatives of DST: Dr Harsha Vardhan also highlighted some significant initiatives of the DST and schemes such as Augmenting Writing Skills through Articulating Research (AWSAR) launched to encourage young scientists to write popular science articles on their research pursuits.
v.National Initiative for Developing & Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) programme to boost innovation and start-up activity, Million Minds Augmenting National Aspirations and Knowledge (MANAK) to encourage young students to think innovatively.
vi.National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems, new international S&T collaborations to connect with the best global science projects abroad such as participation in Thirty Meter Telescope Project and India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund of USD (United States Dollar) 40 million have uplifted India’s science and technology efforts.
vii.NM-QTA: The National Mission on Quantum Technology and Application (NM-QTA) announced by the Finance Minister during the budget 2020 at a cost of Rs. 8,000 Crores, will promote and boost R&D in Quantum Technologies and related areas like quantum computing, quantum cryptography, quantum communication, quantum metrology and sensing, quantum enhanced imaging etc.
About DST (Department of Science and Technology):
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) is a department within the Ministry of Science and Technology in India.
Founded– May 1971.
Headquarters– New Delhi.