M.Tech. in Science Communication

It’s that time of the year again when students find themselves at a crossroads, racking their brains wondering what to do next. I have two things to say to you if you are in such a situation. One: it’s okay if you do not have a clear roadmap of your career ahead, but it wouldn’t be okay if you do not think honestly about what you want to do in the years to come. Dive into yourself and find out what moves you, and then find out if you can make your career there.

Two: if you have found yourself fascinated about conveying science to a lay person, and if doing things innovatively and creatively drives you, then this M.Tech in Science Communication might just be up your alley. It’s a two year course offered by the National Council of Science Museums, Kolkata. The following is the advert inviting applications for the course from today’s The Hindu.

M.Tech. Science Communication

PS. I have a post in preparation for a long time now about Science Writing/Communication in India. Will do my best to post it at the earliest.


When all you want is to teach…

… and make a difference in the process.

I had previously written on the Teach for India Fellowship. Incidentally, the deadline for the Round 3 of the 2017 fellowship is fast approaching. December 13, it is. Apply now!


On the lines of Teach for India Fellowship, Gandhi Fellowship also offers you a chance to go teach at a primary school. The call for 2017-19 applications is now open. Here’s a detailed FAQ on the Fellowship.

If you have ever been disillusioned by the way education is structured in the country, this might be your chance to make a little dent in the rigid edifice. Go forth!

For the kind attention of (not)-passengers: the Science Express will arrive shortly on Platform Number 3.14159

Okay, here’s a simple game. Choose the answers that suit you best from among the following.

a) You are a graduate/postgraduate in science.
b) You are passionate about science communication.
c) You have a deep-seated inexplicable love of trains.
e) You have good people-skills.
f) You can come up with innovative, fun ideas to explain scientific concepts.

If you answered yes to all, I need to know you.

No seriously, if you answered yes to all, the following opportunity might just be for you.

The Science Express is all set to roll out next month. And Vikram A. Sarabhai Community Science Centre is looking for a Science Communicator for this project.

Have a look at the advertisement, and chug along.


The advertisement appeared in The Hindu on 14 September, 2016. Look here for the advertisement in the the pdf format.

Three questions from three people

There’s nary a star to be seen tonight. As I peer out of my balcony, I see the white of the street lamps and the yellow of the sodium vapour lamp in the park nearby. I gaze up, and it’s a dark, dark empyrean holding mysteries unfathomed.

Standing out there in the balcony, my neck craned upward, I was reminded of the commencement speech Paul Hawken gave at the University of Portland in 2009. (Yes, the Earth is hiring.) Hawken asks in his address:

Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course. The world would create new religions overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night and we watch television.


What would you like to do if money were no object? That’s Alan Watts.

I suppose this is a perennially relevant question for everyone, but more so as another batch of students graduates to face the “real world.”  To make a living, as they say.

Yes, making a living is important, but more important is to live. What fun and meaning could there be in doing a job from morning till night, day in and day out when you are merely perpetuating someone else’s dream in return for a paycheck? (Answer: None)

What is it that you want? Ask yourself this question, and maybe then you’ll know what to do with yourself (and the world).


What Can I Be?

What Can I Be? That is the question. (With apologies to Shakespeare)
Photo: Princeton Architectural Press

That is the question Ann Rand and Ingrid Fiksdahl King ask in this absolutely lovely book by the same name. This is a children’s picture book written nearly forty years ago by Ann Rand, and published recently with stunning illustrations by Ingrid Fiksdahl King. It’s a book that, with its simple, evocative words constructs a world of possibilities. It’s a good word – possibility; it engenders hope, where there was previously none.

The book’s blurb from the Press’ site reads: A green triangle asks to become a tent, a kite, a Christmas tree, or the sail of a boat, or why not all of these things? Triangles, squares, circles, lines, and colors spring to life in various and creative formations as they ask, What can I be?

And now this. A sample from the book:

I’m thin or thick
but always straight as a stick

What might I be?

the mast of a ship
a jump rope held tight
the trunk of a very young tree
or the stem of a flower?

There are a hundred things
you could make of me.

Not to sound too hackneyed, there are a hundred things you could make of yourself too.

A couple of PhD notifications

1. There’s a call from the Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research for PhD in Chemical Sciences (along with Physical, Biological, Mathematical and Information Sciences). Last date to apply online: 26 May, 2016.


2. This one is a JRF position at Centre for Fire, Explosive and Environment Safety, DRDO, Delhi.


This advert was published the week of 23-29 April, 2016.

(Had to merge two images to create this picture; sorry about the resolution.)

Also, most major institutes in the country advertise their PhD openings in the national dailies. Keep an an eye out for them.

A new Project Assistant database at CLRI

CSIR-CLRI is in the process of creating a database for engagement of Project Assistants for the year 2016-17 at various levels for time bound consultancy/ sponsored/ in house R&D/ Grant in Aid Projects. Interested candidates are requested to enroll their bio-data through one time registration process by a link provided.

As and when requirement arises, Project Assistants will be shortlisted from among the database from relevant area for Walk-in-Interview.

Interested & eligible candidates may login http://www.clri.org for complete details.

– Posted that verbatim from The Hindu, 20 April, 2016.

A couple of job postings

  1. National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management, Chennai.

This is a centre instituted by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Government of India, and is located in the Anna University, Chennai Campus.

They have several openings at the moment. Posting to highlight a JRF opening for which an M.Sc. in Chemistry would be suitable. Also, this position speaks (in lowercase, ha!) with the wanderlust in you. Go on, give it a shot if Sustainable Development Research floats your boat (in addition to buoyancy, i.e.)!

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And this is the image with the site advertising the opening.

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2. NPTEL, IIT Madras

The National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) is a project initiated and funded by the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India. Through this programme, e-learning in various disciplines like Engineering, Sciences, Management and Humanities is made possible. It is coordinated by seven IITs (IIT Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras and Roorkee) and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (IISc). Here’s it’s Wikipedia page.

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Specific positions called for at NPTEL – IIT Madras:

  1. Web application architecting and development
  2. Management of online teaching/learning portals and examinations
  3. Human resources and administration
  4. Liaison with colleges
  5. Liaison with industry
  6. Graphics Designer
  7. Networks and Server administrator
  8. Media

An M.Sc. qualification is eligible for a Project Associate position. The position would be  a great place to get your feet wet in (Science) Education Research.

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All the best!