In its endeavour to enhance its outreach activities in Indian languages, Vigyan Prasar has chosen Bengali, Tamil, and Marathi in its first phase of the Project Outreach in Indian Languages. The project started with West Bengal. Officials of Vigyan Prasar met with several organisations in West Bengal during the last few months. It was observed that many S&T institutes and NGOs in West Bengal are doing science communication and popularisation activities. It was felt, at times, there is overlapping in terms of resource utilisation and reaching the target audience.
Being a national institute mandated with large-scale science communication, popularisation, and extension, Vigyan Prasar can help in streamlining some of the activities. With this objective in mind, Vigyan Prasar started short-, mid-, and long-term strategies and action plans in this direction. Creation of print and digital popular science content in Bengali, coordination with other S&T organisations to create a pool of resources and content, coordination with NGOs and science clubs for outreach activities to popularise science to the unreached and encouraging schools and community participation are some of the
i) Creation of print and electronic content in Bengali. This content will cater to all Bengali speaking community of West Bengal, Tripura, Assam, and Bangladesh.
ii) Increasing science content in Bengali newspapers and Television channels.
iii) Coordination with S&T organisations in West Bengal for sharing resources and content creation.
iv) Coordination with NGOs and science clubs for outreach activities to popularize science to the unreached.
v) Encouraging schools and community participation with coordinated efforts and support from West Bengal Secondary Education and S&T Council.
The expected output in the first year:
i) Original books on popular science in Bengali.
ii) Dubbing VP science films in Bengali.
iii) Translating selected English/Hindi popular science books (published by VP) in Bengali.
iv) Translating Bengali popular science books (published by Bongiyo Bijnan Parishad and Paschim Bango Vigyan Mancha and other reputed publishers) to English, Hindi and other languages.
v) Creating opportunities and motivating young people in popular science writing and science film making.
vi) Science journalism. Science coverage in Bengali newspapers and periodicals.
vii) Popular science programs in television
viii) Organizing science workshops to train master trainers. Supporting workshops to train students.
ix) Supporting in organizing Science writers’ meet, conferences, seminars.
x) Participation in Book fairs.