Biodiversity Photography Contest

All you shutterbugs out there, this one is for you!

Here’s a chance to celebrate India’s biodiversity by means of your pictures on the occasion of the International Day for Biological Diversity. The day falls on May 22, 2017.

The contest, organised by the Centre for Biodiversity Policy and Law (National Biodiversity Authority), is open until May 12, 2017. The three categories under which you can submit your pictures (a total of up to 9) are:
Changing Landscapes,
Urban Biodiversity, and
Creative Renditions.

Details on:

Aim: Awareness on Biodiversity in India!

The site states the last date to register for participation to be 7 May, 2017.


National Science Day celebrations at the college

We celebrated the National Science Day this year with much enthusiasm. The theme for this year’s National Science Day, as is well known, is Science and Technology for the Specially Abled.

To commemorate the day, we had three competitions for all PG students at the college. The first was – Essay writing in English, the second – Essay writing in Tamil, and the third was what we called ‘Teach a Specially Abled Child’.

The English contest was on the topic: What is the role of science and technology in the lives of the specially abled? The Tamil contest also had the same topic.

For the last contest, we had students come up with innovative ways to teach a concept from science/mathematics from VI to XII grades. The instruction was to ‘teach’ it to a specially abled child. States of matter, the atomic model, Doppler Effect, conductivity, fractions, shapes of geometrical figures — the students took up these and many other topics. And I must say, I honestly was delighted to see them put in the effort to prepare for it in the run up to the day. There was camaraderie, and a sense of contribution to a greater good. I was a happy person at the end of the day.

We had Dr. John Bosco Lourdusamy from the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT-M and Ms. Surbhi Sethia, Learning Facilitator and Founder Roots – The Foundation, join us on the day. John gave a talk which delved into the real nature of disability, making us all sit up and take note. Late last week and early this week, he gave generously of his time in judging the English essays.

Surbhi talked about the Science of Learning. Being a special educator, she gave us specific helpful comments on the students’ presentations. Late in the afternoon, she engaged the students and the faculty in an interesting and lively presentation, egging us to think of our individual learning styles. Both Surbhi and John served as our judges for the ‘Teach a Special Child’ event. Both of them very graciously also gave away the certificates.

All in all, it was a a great day. It was fun, and it offered loads to learn.

The following is the programme schedule we made for the day.


Will put up a few pictures from the celebrations soon.

21st All India Children’s Audio Video Festival

21st All India Children’s Audio Video Festival – 2017

Last date for submission of entries: 10 February, 2017.

Know a school going kid? Pass on the info!

An Essay Contest and a Science Writing Workshop

ERIS VU Journal for Humanities has an open call for the ERIS Essay Prize. The topic for the essay is: What is a university education and why would I have one?

An important question to ponder on.

The contest is open to undergraduate, graduate and PhD students. Entry deadline: 1 May, 2017. Impressive prize money. Details here.


I have a post in preparation on Science Writing Workshops/ Programmes in India. Will be putting that up shortly, but in the meantime here’s an announcement for a Science Writing Workshop for Indian researchers studying forests, trees etc. The Workshop is organised by the Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding, Coimbatore. Details here.

A couple of science competitions

1. The world needs ideas. Innovative ideas change the world for the better. Do you have one? And does it show the way ahead for our energy, water and food issues? If yes, hop on here and take part in the Shell Ideas 360 Global Competition. But hurry, the last date is 15 December, 2016.

UG/PG students above 18 years of age are eligible to apply.

The prize: A trophy, trip to London, and a Nat Geo adventure trip.

2. While on that date, here’s a competition within our shores. The 7th National Science Film Festival & Competition 2017.

science film festival.jpg

The event will be held from 14 to 18 February, 2017 in Kolakata. There is a category for films made using mobile phones. One of the main thrusts of the competition is to foster scientific temper. Details here.

A joust to fire your neurons

Some competitions.

1. Centa Teaching Professionals’ Olympiad
The Olympiad will be held on 3 December, 2016 in 22 centres across India. 11 subject tracks are in the offing to choose from. Primarily intended for teaching professionals at the school level, the Olympiad is open to those who haven’t taught before/aren’t teaching at the moment. You however need to have completed a graduation in any field. Read the FAQs.


2. Diwali Math Challenge
Mangahigh is all set to come out with their Diwali Math Challenge. Intended for primary and secondary school students across India, this will be an online Math challenge. The gamified version of doing Math in this challenge will automatically provide students with questions to solve based on their age and performance in the previous questions.

Check out details here. Registration is also possible at the same site.


3. ICT Quiz
The IEEE Computer Society Madras Chapter is organising an ICT (Information and Communication Technology) Quiz as part of the IEEE Society’s 70th anniversary. The online prelims will be held in September 2016. Regional orals in October, 2016, and the finals will be held in Chennai, also in October 2016.

Last date to register for the quiz is 22 September, 2016. The quiz is open to students (10th grade and above) as well as working professionals. The team for the quiz is to be comprised of two members. Details here. The quiz will centre around ICT history and trends.

Things in the pipeline. And it’s a very exciting pipeline.

The Science Express – Climate Action Special is coming to a city near mine. Yours too, if you are in Chennai or thereabouts. Wanna come along, and go see it?


Rameshwaram’s on my mind. What’s on yours? Give me a chance to change your mind. Ha! Who am I kidding, yes?


The Biochemical Society has called for entries to their Science Communication Competition. Winning entries will get cash prizes, and mentoring sessions with their impressive panel of mentors. Head on here for the details. Last date to send in your entry: 8 April, 2016.


Education to Build a Better Future for All“.

That’s the theme of the 2016 International Essay Contest for Young PeopleĀ  organised by Goi Peace Foundation.


Are you less than 25 years of age?

And does the essay theme mean something to you?

Then, get writing. Here are the details of the contest. Deadline: 15 June, 2016.