Thursday, March 01, 2012

Science lessons now on mobile phones

From textbooks to your mobile screens, now science will be at everyone's fingertips! Vigyan Prasar and Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) together have launched a free SMS service for mobile users that delivers content on science and related areas. The application — Science@Mobile — was launched on February 29 as part of the two-day National Science Day celebrations by Amit Roy, Director of the Inter-University Accelerator Centre.

“I believe society without the appreciation and knowledge of science is incomplete. If we do not understand the power and application behind a phenomenon, we would live in darkness and consider it black magic. So the spread of knowledge on science is very important,” he said. “The number of mobile phones in the country have touched almost a billion. The penetration of mobiles has been immense, so the service would be of great help to create the right culture for science,” Roy said.

Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous organisation under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), and the IGNOU jointly introduced this service to tap into the potential of mobile phones to popularise science even into rural areas where mobile phones have made substantial penetration.

‘Science@Mobile' will provide all types of information on science subjects including news, important days and events, facts, humour, quotes, about scientists, health tips and green tips to its subscribers free of cost. In addition, the content has been grouped into three categories with the first one not requiring any science background, second one requiring basic science literacy, while the third is for people with science background.

Users can subscribe to the service by messaging “SCIMBL” to 092230516161 or clicking the link provided at Vigyan Prasar website. “The service currently is available only in English. Efforts to provide SMSs in Hindi is in progress and will be available within a week or little more,” said O P Sharma, Project Coordinator of Science@Mobile service.

National Science Day is celebrated on February 28. This is to celebrate the day in 1928 when Indian scientist Sir C V Raman announced the discovery the Raman Effect in light scattering which won him the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Source: The Hindu, March 1, 2012

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