While the senior scientists do visit key universities to deliver lectures, it was never done at a mass level (Pic credits: IAPT)
Announcing this at a press conference held at "Anusandhan Bhawan" recently, the minister of S&T, Dr Jitendra Singh said that for the first time in the history of independent India, scientists had been asked to formally hold teaching classes for students at undergraduate college level as well as at school level.
Elaborating further on this new idea, Dr Singh said that in order to institutionalize this practice, it will be mandatory for every member of the Science staff to engage in this teaching process and to take at least 12 hours of lecture classes per academic year. This will be in addition to the already assigned responsibilities of the scientists and will not entitle them to any extra remuneration or honorarium, he added. In order to make the initiative result-oriented, the teaching by the scientists program will be reviewed for implementation at the end of one year and evaluated for performance at the end of three years, he said.
The modalities for structuring this scientist-teaching program shall be worked out and structured by each institution, subject to ratification by its governing body, said the minister and added that this will enable the scientific community to get involved with students at all levels whereas in the past, the various National Scientific Research Institutions under his Ministry have had little to do by way of systematic teaching beyond pre-PhD or PhD courses and none at the undergraduate or school level.
Dr Singh said that this initiative will on the one hand bring the scientific community out of the confines of their laboratories to serve the society in a wider capacity and at the same time, this will also help in overcoming the paucity of teaching resources at the level of school or higher education.