Kalinga Prize laureate

2009

India
Yash Pal

For his contribution to science communication in various forms over the decades

Born in India, Yash Pal obtained a degree in Physics at Punjab University in India and his Ph.D. degree in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA). He has done extensive work in the theory and practice of communication for development, and has proposed new ways of using modern technology, including space technology, in appropriate ways to develop countries. He has also written and spoken extensively on issues related to science and society, particularly on the need for science to form an integral part of human existence, not only in terms of providing people with tools and techniques but also as a means of influencing human values, ethics and consciousness.

In the field of science popularization, Yash Pal is very well-known in India as he has frequently appeared on television. He was responsible for conceptualizing the Science is Everywhere series of television programmes for rural children. He also chaired the committee that produced the report Learning without Burden and was Chief Advisor for the television series, Bharat Ki Chaap, Turrum-tu, and Race to Save the Planet. He anchored for the live telecast of Total Solar Eclipse programmes in 1995 and 1999. He has also been responsible for designing, setting up and developing many institutions, including the Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad, the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Pune, and the Centre for Educational Communication. Since 2005, he has also been involved in formal school education as Chairman of the Steering Committee for the National Curriculum Framework.

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