Brief Resume of
Dr Narender K. Sehgal
Dr Sehgal is presently Chairman of the National Organizing Committee of YSA-2004. YSA refers to 2004, the year that has been designated by the Government of India as the “Year of Scientific Awareness ”.
Among others, Dr Sehgal is
also associated with the
Widely known and recognised as the architect of
He conceived, formulated and coordinated implementation of countrywide projects and programmes, which have become major and pioneering milestones in the field of Science Communication: the Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha of 1987; the annual National Children’s Science Congress (held since 1993); the radio serials “VigyanVidhi” and “Manav Ka Vikas” (Human Evolution) -- done in 16 Indian languages and broadcast respectively during 1989-90 and 1991-94 simultaneously from over 90 stations of All India Radio (AIR), with over 100,000 registered listeners in the 10-14 year age group spread all over the country; television serials “Kyon Aur Kaise” (12 parts) and “Kudratnama” (27 parts) to name only a few.
He was instrumental in having the National Science Day (February 28) instituted in the country, and in the formation of the All India People’s Science Network (26 voluntary organisations) in 1988, and the NCSTC Network (over 36 voluntary as well as governmental organisations) in 1990, that have been spearheading the people’s science movement in India.
Dr Sehgal was the founder
editor (as well as printer and
publisher) of the quarterly “Scientific Opinion” during 1972-76 and also an invited contributor during that
period to the international popular science weekly “Nature” (published from
Dr Sehgal was also the chief editor of the bilingual (Hindi and English) monthly newsletters “NCSTC Communications” (1988 till November 2000) and “Dream-2047” (from its inception in 1998 till November 2000) respectively of the National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) and Vigyan Prasar. The monthly editorials in these two journals were very widely acclaimed and elicited a large volume of appreciative mail every month from all over the country.
Dr Sehgal has contributed invited articles to a large number of magazines and newspapers all over the country, both in Hindi and English. For his popular science writings, he was also awarded one of the inaugural Fellowships of the Indian Science Writers’ Association in 1993.
Dr Sehgal has given innumerable talks and has been interviewed on AIR
from its different Kendras all over
Dr Sehgal, over the years, has also delivered many a memorial lecture, inaugural address and convocation address. He has also chaired sessions at national and international seminars, symposia and conferences on science communication.
During the course of his work as Science Communicator and Head of NCSTC and Vigyan Prasar, Dr Sehgal has had to work closely with academic and research institutions, universities, colleges and a large number of voluntary agencies, state governments, non-governmental organisations as well as international agencies such as UNESCO. He has travelled extensively inside and outside the country during the course of his work.
Dr Sehgal was instrumental in the setting up of Vigyan Prasar’s homepage on the internet way back in 1996 and was also the founder editor of India’s first online popular science magazine ComCom on that site -- both still going strong and doing well (http://www.vigyanprasar.com).
Recipient of a number of national honours and awards, Dr Sehgal was also winner of UNESCO’s 1991 Kalinga Prize for Science Popularisation (jointly with a Romanian, Radu Iftimovici) -- the only international award available in this field.
ACADEMIC AND RESEARCH BACKGROUND
Dr Narender K. Sehgal, born on 7 November 1940 in Lahore (now in Pakistan), has had a brilliant academic career capped with a 1969 PhD in particle physics from the University of Wisconsin, at Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
He had won an open
He successfully completed the one-year post-graduate course of the Atomic
Energy Establishment’s (now known as Bhabha Atomic Research Centre’s) Training
School in August 1961 (4th Batch) in physics and was thereafter appointed as
Scientific Officer (Gazetted Class I post) in the Theoretical Reactor
Physics Division of BARC. He worked there for two years before leaving in
September 1963 to do his Master’s and PhD degrees in
Dr Sehgal has done research in theoretical reactor physics and particle physics, before he left it all to bring out the quarterly “Scientific Opinion” from Jalandhar in August 1972. He did that for four years during 1972-76 and brought out 16 issues.
He taught physics at the Somali National University in Magadiscio, Somalia (E. Africa), where he was Professor of physics for two years during 1976-78, before returning to India to join the Space Applications Centre (SAC) of ISRO in Ahmedabad as Visiting Scientist. Dr Sehgal was at SAC during 1978-1981 end.
In February 1982, Dr Sehgal joined the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India to lead NCSTC and later Vigyan Prasar, and where he remained till his retirement in November 2000 .
Most recent talks:
(i) Was a Keynote-Speaker at the Beijing
International Forum on Scientific literacy (2004) held in
interviewed on All India Radio,
(iii) Chaired a Session during a Seminar on “Hindi Mein Bal
Vigyan Lekhan” and spoke on the same subject at
National Bal Bhavan,
Most recent popular writings:
(i) “Iraq Par Akraman aur Sanchar Madhyam” in the 14-21 April 2003 issue of the weekly “Avtaar Kesri”, published from Jalandhar City, Punjab.
(ii) “Itihaas Rachaa ja Rahaa Hai Iraq Mein” in the 23-30 June 2003 issue of the weekly “Avtaar Kesri” published from Jalandhar City, Punjab.
(iii) “Iraq Par Akraman Ka
Auchitya?” in the 21-28 April 2003 issue of the weekly “Avtaar Kesri” published
(iv) “Our System of Evaluation: A Bigger Culprit” , an invited article to be published in the Education Journal to be brought out soon by the “Society for Advancement of Education” which runs a chain of Cambridge Schools in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. (Sent in April 2004).
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