Govt asks scientists to lecture at schools, colleges

Over 5,000 “highly accomplished” scientists working with various departments under the Science and Technology Ministry will devote time to educate students of various schools and colleges in the country.

Announcing the decision, Union Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh said it would be “mandatory” for the scientists to formally take lecture classes in schools and colleges.

The minister said the decision was inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s interaction with school students on Teachers’ Day, during which he said: “Each one of us will engage ourselves in some kind of teaching”.

“I am glad to announce today (on Monday) that we are going to make it mandatory for the scientists in our departments to actually, formally, take lecture classes in schools and colleges. It is a new concept for a country like India,” said Singh. The minister said this kind of engagement would be “free of any honorarium”, and would be part of the duty the scientists have already committed to do.

“In order to further institutionalise it, we have also devised a method, making it mandatory that every scientist belonging to this department would be expected to devote at least 12 hours (per academic year) of actual teaching classes, lecturing,” he told reporters at a meeting convened to announce the NDA government’s 100-day achievements in the field of science and technology.

Singh said the ministry would collaborate with the HRD Ministry to work out the modalities and see how over 5,000 scientists of the two departments of the ministry—Science and Technology and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research—can devote their time to take part in academic activities.

He said there would be a review and performance evaluation system to ensure successful implementation of the new initiative. “There will be a review every year so that they (the scientists) can improve upon that (their lecturing). And every three years, we will have a performance evaluation on the kind of work done by each individual scientist engaged in teaching,” said Singh.

The minister said various academic institutions across the country would be covered under the programme, but the major focus would be on “public-funded educational institutions”. 

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