Kalinga Prize laureate

1991

India
Narender K. Sehgal

For his contribution to the promotion of the integrity and accessibility of scientific knowledge, and propagating the scientific and technological culture to the broadest possible base

Narender Sehgal is a Nuclear Physicist, who obtained his master’s degree in Particle Physics from the University of Hawaii in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin (USA), in 1969. In the course of his academic career, he has pursued research in theoretical particle physics in institutions and universities in India and the USA, taught physics at the Somali National University’s College of Education in Mogadishu (Somalia), and was a visiting scientist at the Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabab (India). In 1982, Professor Sehgal joined the Indian Department of Science heading the Secretariat of the National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) and the Government of India’s science communication and popularization programme where he remained as an Advisor until his retirement.

Since, 1972, Sehgal has been engaged in propagating scientific and technological culture on the broadest possible basis in India. For this purpose, he founded a quarterly journal Scientific Opinion to promote serious discussion of issues relating to science, technology, education, society and development. At the international level, Sehgal’s articles on developments in Indian science, technology and education appeared regularly in the journal Nature between 1979 and 1986. Professor Sehgal has conceived, formulated and coordinated the implementation of countrywide projects and programmes which have become major milestones in the field of science communication including: The Bharat Jana Vigyan Jatha (a collection of articles on popular science), the Annual National Children’s Science Congress, the radio series Vigyan Vidhi (Method of Science) and Mana Ka Vikas (Human Evolution) which has been translated into 16 Indian languages. Another achievement has been his role in facilitating the linking of agencies throughout India into a voluntary association called the NCTC-Network, designed to coordinate national science popularization programmes. Sehgal was also instrumental in instituting India’s National Science Day (28 February) and in the formation of the All India’s People’s Science Network, the National Council for Science and Technology Communication Network and spearheaded the People’s Science Movement.

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