New Delhi : The Department of Science and Technology and public broadcaster Doordarshan Tuesday launched two science channels-- DD Science and India Science, officials said.
Speaking at the launch of the free-to-air channels, Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said developing a scientific temperament was a "critical necessity" and the ultimate aim was to launch a 24/7 channel dedicated to science.
While DD Science is a one-hour slot on Doordarshan national channel, India Science is an Internet-based channel.
The Union minister stressed that there was no dearth of ideas, talent, and potential in the country.
Inaugurating the two key initiatives, Harsh Vardhan said that today is a watershed moment not only in science and technology communication but in developing the scientific temper of our society.
Recalling the role played by Doordarshan, India's public service broadcaster, in the Pulse Polio campaign back in the 1990s, Vardhan said that the channel which reaches out to more than 92 per cent of India's population would be a very impactful medium for popularisation of science.
The minister expressed hope that in near future the country will see a 24*7 DD Science Channel.
"By 2030, we have to be in the top three countries in science and technology and such initiatives are building blocks towards that," Vardhan said.
An agreement between Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous organisation under the Department of Science and Technology, and Doordarshan was signed on the occasion.
While DD Science will be telecast Monday to Saturday from 5 pm to 6 pm, India Science will be available on any internet-enabled device and will offer live, scheduled play and video-on-demand services.
The channels will have science-based documentaries, studio-based discussions, virtual walkthroughs of scientific institutions, interviews and short films and will be completely free to access, said Doordarshan Director General Supriya Sahu.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Secretary Amit Khare said Doordarshan reaches over three crore houses in the country and would be an impactful medium for the popularisation of science.
Khare also said that Doordarshan would be an ideal platform to send the scientific findings across.
Addressing the gathering, CEO Prasar Bharati Shashi Shekhar Vempati said the channels were dedicated to science and will "enhance the spirit of enquiry in children".
The two science communication platforms are national-level initiatives to elevate science into a celebration and bring it close to everyday life.
The channels have been conceived and supported by the Department of Science and Technology and are being implemented and managed by Vigyan Prasar.
The two science channels which are milestones in the history of science communication in India are the first step in creating a national science channel for the country. While India Science (www.indiascience.in) is already a 24x7 presence, DD Science may also be scaled up to a full-fledged channel in the future.