13 J&K Kids Make It To National Level Exhibition of Inspire Awards

Children must embrace spirit of experimentation, have fun with science: B K Singh

By Farooq Shah

SRINAGAR- At least 13 students of various government schools from the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir have made it to the national level exhibition of INSPIRE awards for the academic year 2020-21.

The students, who are in the in the age group of 10-15 years, competed in a statewide e-exhibition conducted by the National Innovation Foundation-India (NIF) in collaboration with the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) earlier in January.

The scheme, Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE), is one of the flagship programs of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India that aims to motivate students in the age group of 10-15 years and studying in classes 6 to 10.

The objective of the scheme, the Inspire website says, is to target one million original ideas/innovations rooted in science and societal applications to foster a culture of creativity and innovative thinking among school children.

Under this scheme, schools—both government and private— can nominate 5 best original ideas/innovations of students through the official INSPIRE website.

Giving details of the exhibition, Ms Sahreen Shakeel, who is the J&K Coordinator of the INSPIRE-NIF, said the exhibition—9th in the series—because of the Covid restrictions, could not be conducted in the offline mode.

“For Kashmir Division, the State Level Exhibition and Project Competition (SLEPC) was conducted on 17 January, and for Jammu, 19 January,” Ms Sahreen said. “A total of 116 students—60 from Kashmir and 56 from Jammu—exhibited their original ideas/innovations which were scrutinized by a jury of four experts.”

Professor Electronics and Communication, University of Kashmir, Dr Shabir Ahmad Parra, Prof Mohammad Ashraf Shah, HOD Physics, National Institute of Technology (NIT) Srinagar acted as Judges for Kashmir, while as Ms Poonam Sharma, HOD District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) Jammu (Recently promoted as Principal and posted at Girls Higher Secondary School Mubarak Mandi, Jammu) and Ms Arsh Kour, Lecturer at DIET Jammu, acted as judges for Jammu. Ms Sahreen also sat as a jury member at the both exhibitions.

“Earlier, a total of 1123 students out of 10344 had qualified for the district level exhibition out of which 116 made it to the state level,” Ms Sahreen informed. “Danish Javid, Basit Ali Moti, Mehvish Khaliq, Khushboo Riyaz, Khushboo Jabar, Mubashir Ramzan, Mohammed Adeel Allam are from Kashmir division while as Lata Devi, Mahsoom Fatima, Mahima Kaur Sodhi, Ismat Kousar, Shabina Akhtar and Vansh Kumar belong to the Jammu Division.”

The selected students, she said, would further be mentored by a team of experts from NIT and other institutions to have their ideas/innovations improved upon.

Extremely delighted over their selection to the national level exhibition, Special Secretary to the government, Department of School Education, B K Singh, congratulated the students.

“It’s important that our children learn to embrace the spirit of experimentation and have fun with science,” Singh said. “Our endeavour would be to attract more and more students for future.”

Director SCERT, Prof Veena Pandita, said the important milestone achieved by the students after successfully competing at the District and UT Level, is a proud moment for all of us.

Peerzada Bashir Ahmad (Kashmir Division) and Ms Ashu Magotra (Jammu Division) coordinated the efforts between various DIETs and the NIF team in organizing the exhibition at the District and State levels.

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