Presentation on theme: "Role of Science Academies in Science Promotion and Science Education; Context of Nepal H. N. Bhattarai NAST, Nepal."— Presentation transcript:
Role of Science Academies in Science Promotion and Science Education; Context of Nepal H. N. Bhattarai NAST, Nepal.
Introduction: No need to discuss in this forum the tremendous development of Science and Technology in the last century and its impact on the development of our society. The Nobel Laureate, Prof. Abdus Salam has rightly said " Gap between the developed and developing countries: the differences in the development are due to difference in the capacity of utilization of Science and Technology. Pre-requisites for the development of S&T: - Emphasis on science education from the school level. - Inculcating Scientific temper - Developing scientific thinking and culture in the society. S&T in Nepal: Nepal is rich in traditional technologies. Some of the traditional technologies are even about two thousand years old. Nepal being a developing country where more than 90% of people still live in villages, the impact and the facilities of modern technology has yet to be adopted. Nepal remained almost ignorant of the importance of the development of Science and Technology till the mid of the 20 th century. Until then the country relied almost entirely upon its indigenous technology for its development. Establishment of modern S&T institutions began only after 1951.
Modern scientific institutions in Nepal: Only in the second half of the last century. The country's first modern University, Tribhuvan University, established in 1959. General Science Education Institutions in 1960's and Technical Institutes in 1970's. Several research institutions in University, Government private sectors. First high level policy making body for the development of S&T: National Council for Science & Technology (NCST) in 1976. Establishment of the Then Royal Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (RONAST) in 1982 (now NAST) by a Royal Ordinance, later by the Act of Parliament in 1992. The Ministry of Science and Technology (now including environment) in 1996.
Role of NAST in Promotion of Science, Technology and Education : The Act provides NAST with wide range of mandate for the development of S&T in the country. Since its inception the Academy has been involved in research and promotion. The main functions include: Undertake and promote studies and research in priority areas, Advise Nepal Government on formulation of technology transfer policy and its implementation, Implement S&T programs in collaboration with national and international organizations, Collect and disseminate S&T information through a central S&T information system, Organize seminars and conferences on S&T topics and help facilitate S&T publications, Establish and strengthen linkages with regional and international institutions in order to promote mutual cooperation, Mobilize internal and external resources, both financial and technical, for S&T development as well as to carry out the activities of the Academy, Give recognition to outstanding individual and institutional contribution for development, promotion and application of S&T, Increase public awareness of the importance and usefulness of S&T as well as to create conditions conducive of S&T application, Undertake studies and submit reports on the programs and achievements of S&T related national institutions,
Advise Nepal Government on S&T development programs, Advise Nepal Government on the establishment of new institutions or laboratories for S&T related research and development, Provide financial and technical assistance for the establishment and development of new S&T institutions/laboratories, Set up exhibit centers for S&T related inventions and innovative models, Undertake all necessary measures to achieve the goals and objectives of the Academy, Present activities of the Academy Research activities: Biotechnology Natural Products Environment Alternate Energy High Altitude Science and Technology Science and Technology Policy.
S&T Promotional activities: Science Popularization Programs: - Science Exhibition: Science Exhibitions to create awareness on Science and Technology among the general mass within and outside the valley. - Radio Programs: weekly science radio program over Radio Nepal which has nation wide coverage. The program encompasses topical commentaries, question-answers, project reports and interviews with scientists and technologists. Also FM Radio: Kantipur - Televisions Programs: A weekly TV program on various S&T related topics. Programs telecasted range from documentary on indigenous technologies to various advance technologies. - Quiz Contests: on-the spot quiz contest for high school students in different part of the country. - Meet your Scientists Interaction Program: A forum to discuss the contemporary issues with scientists, media personnel & other concerned people. - School Science Programs: Designed for school level students and includes science quiz, interaction with teachers, local leaders and professionals, science video shows etc. This program is community based and conducted with participatory approach encouraging the local communities and the clubs to conduct them. - Publication of Science Magazines and Journals: Vigyan Lekhmala, (the popular science magazine), books and booklets, Research journal: Nepal Journal of Science and Technology.
Seminars, Workshops, Conferences: Local, national and regional level seminars and workshop from time to time. For example, a seminar on 20 years Perspective Plan for Science and Technology, series of seminars on technology transfer at national and regional level. Seminar on Intellectual Property Right. Regarding conferences the Academy has already conducted four National Conferences, which were participated by National and International Scientists and Technologist. Regularly Consultative Meetings and Talk Programs are organized. Regular Research Grants and Scholarships are provided. Awards conferred: -Nature Conservation Award -Science and Technology Academy Award -Science and Technology Youth Award -NAST Science and Technology Promotion Award -Third World Academy of Science for the Developing World (TWAS) Award -Mohan Dhoj Basnyat Technology Award -Bhuwaneshwor Award -Jeet Bahadur Nakarmi Metal Technology Award. Regular Support to Professional Societies. S&T publication Travel Grants
NAST collaboration with T.U., K.U. and other Universities: NAST has collaborative relation with different Universities and Scientific Institutions. NAST is planning to conduct different collaborative research activities with these Institutions on different areas of S&T. Conclusion: The role of the academy is still limited: more could be done. NAST has not yet involved itself formally in science education, particularly in school level. However, in higher education research grants for master and Ph.D thesis. Significant role in promotional activities as above. State funding very low: dilemma of the developing country (or least developed country like Nepal) in investing for S&T. Lack of economic development: No funding in R&D from the industrial and private sectors. Lack of minimum research facilities: brain drain. NAST trying its best within its limited resources.