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‘13 J&K kids make it to national level exhibition of INSPIRE awards’

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

Srinagar: Around 13 students of various government schools from Jammu and Kashmir have made it to the National level exhibition of Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (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 state wide 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, 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 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, Sahreen Mushtaq, who is the J&K Coordinator of INSPIRE-NIF, said the exhibition which is 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,” Sahreen said. “A total of 116 students including 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, Professor Mohammad Ashraf Shah, HOD Physics, National Institute of Technology (NIT) Srinagar acted as Judges for Kashmir, while as Poonam Sharma, HOD District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) Jammu and Arsh Kour, Lecturer at DIET Jammu, acted as judges for Jammu.

Sahreen also sat as a jury member at 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,” 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 belonged to 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, Principal Secretary, 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.

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.

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