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Regional languages are driving force of science communication in India

Connecting science with the masses is essential for the transformative growth and development of the country, and science communication, especially in Indian languages, has an important role to play for fostering the connection. This was the general view that emerged at the inaugural function of the International Science Literature and Film Festival. The festival was organized as a part of the ongoing Indian International Film Festival at Lucknow.

Scientists, researchers, film makers, science enthusiasts and the general public converged at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Scientific Convention Centre for the International Science Literature and Film Festival that is being held during 6-8 October 2018.

The first ever International Science Literature and Film Festival of IISF brought together not only scientists and science communicators, but also the literary experts, artists, cartoonists, folklore practitioners and others on the same platform for the cause of furthering science communication.

Shri. Jayant Sahasrabuddhe, Organising Secretary, Vijnana Bharathi was the Chair of the inaugural session Chief Guest of the function and Prof. Baldeo Bhai Sharma, Chairman, National Book Trust emphasized that science is an important part of human life and it is essential to connect science to the masses. He said that events such as the IISF play an important role in spreading awareness about science to the general public. Other dignitaries present were Dr. M. Rajeevan, Secretary to the Ministry of Earth Science, the Kalinga prize winner and noted science communicator Dr. Narender K Sehgal, officials from NISCAIR, Vigyan Prasar and DBT.

Two short films, CSIR Stands with the People in Distress and Ganga Haritima Abhiyaan: Ek Vyakti-Ek Vriksh were screened as part of the inaugural function. The audience also witnessed an enthralling Mohiniyattam performance on India’s Space Odyssey Chandrayannam.

Following the inaugural function, the International Science Book Fair that has national institutes, publishers, societies and others were inaugurated. More than 400 delegates, participants and invitees attended the function.

On Monday 8th October 2018 Dr Harsh Vardhan Union Cabinet Minister at the Ministry of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Changes concluded the festival by his precious words and giving away the awards to the winners of the Film competition held in different categories.

Union Cabinet Minister at the Ministry of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Changes Dr Harsh Vardhan had said at the closing ceremony of the Science Literature and Film Festival organized under the Indian International Science Festival (IISF 2018) that “poetry based on science films, animation and science is a better medium for connecting people with science. Through movies and social media, we can bring the movies to the common people at a lower cost. We must make more efforts to reach science to all people.”
Screening of more than 53 films at the event took place.

Dr. Harshvardhan said that most of the information currently available in science is in English. It needs to be done in regional language. Former Vice Chancellor of Patna University Prof. Shambhunath Singh said that the event had movies in every language. During the concluding ceremony Dr SS Bhadauria, Scientist Hasan Javed Khan, Dr. Sandeep Sarin, Dr. Jyoti Malik etc. also spoke about their own experience. Fifty-three National and International films were shown during the film festival. About 19 films from countries like Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, the United Kingdom etc. were also performed at the festival.

Awards for best films were also given on the 8th October 2018 by Honáble Dr Harsh Vardhan.
In the Inspire India category, the first award was given to the film directed by Anila and Priya of Aurangabad. They were rewarded of 50 thousand rupees for the first time in the film. The award for second position was given to Ruchi, and the third to V doont star The Fire.

In the college student category, the movie ‘Premchandra 2’ received the first prize. The second award was received by “Fostering Sustainable Green” and third by “Green Soul”. Stepwell Elixir of Water Restoration Heritage Assets received the first award in the innovative category, the second award was bagged by “In Memory of the Master” and the third film was “Pratikriya”. Jury Award was received by Grandmas Home Remazzadies and Film Anandar.

Union Cabinet Minister at the Ministry of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Changes Dr Harsh Vardhan finally said that “to make science reach general masses and public to be interested in it; we need to communicate science to them in regional languages and through regional language films.”