Science SETU: Students participate in a quiz held at NII, Delhi on March 26, 2015
The lack of enthusiasm towards science has been a major reason why the students at undergraduate level don't opt for science as a career. The gap between enough faculty and those who could be potential scientists and innovators is because of either lack of right teachers or mentors. However, so far nothing had been done to address the issue.
Now as a first step towards the right direction, Delhi-based premier research organization, National Institute of Immunology (NII) has come up with Science SETU, a program aimed at bridging the gap between the lower education and top research institutes. Aimed at encouraging youngsters to take up science as a career, the programme is a first of its kind initiative by NII supported by the Department of Biotechnology, ministry of science and technology. The initiative launched on March, 26, as a follow up on the Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi's teacher's day speech wherein he had called upon Indian scientists to actively involve themselves in teaching in schools and colleges. The institute's governing body had earlier approved the proposal on November, 12.
Through this initiative, the institute has tied up with 10 colleges in Delhi. The MoU has been signed with ten prominent colleges in Delhi including Daulat Ram Collge, Dayal Singh College, Gargi College, Hans Raj College, Hindu College, Miranda House, Ramjas College, SGTB Khalsa College, Sri Venkateshwara College and Zakir Hussain College. On the occasion a quiz competition anchored by Dr Uma Chandra Mouli Natchu, scientist, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) was also held to check the basic science knowledge of students, who performed above the expectations.
The primary objectives of the program are to address the changing needs of teaching, learning and research in biological sciences. It will also link NII in the spirit of success through access to undergraduate teaching in biological sciences and to engage a talent pool of potential biology students in the delivery of innovation, research and continuous development. The initiative through all the above, is being seen as a catalyst of change.
As per Dr Chandrima Saha, director, NII, "Technology dissemination has to be ensured through proper means of communication and through this programme, we hope to reach out to young minds that deserve to be in science."NII intends to commence this commence it from July 2015 or earlier as per needs of individual partners. Under this program, every permanent faculty member of NII is expected to spend at least 12 hours per year in an undergraduate college. More colleges are likely to be recruited. The program has generated a great deal of goodwill and excitement among the academic community and will benefit both partners.