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Community Radio Salesian To Collaborate with Government Department


By Father C. M. Paul
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Kolkata, Aug. 8. Radio Salesian, a community radio from Darjeeling hills has been selected to collaborate with the Indian government's department of Science and Technology to draft a nationwide policy.
Radio Salesian is among 25 Community Radio Stations across India involved in the grassroots level consultation under the leadership of New Delhi based CEMCA (Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia).

Presently there are 289 community radio stations in India.

The August-September project is named STIP 2020 (Science Technology Innovation Policy).

''The new policy will be evidence driven, thematic rather than broad based, and will be inclusive, with a bottom-up approach,'' explained director of CEMCA Madhu Parhar at a web meeting with CRS held on August 7 to review the first week of the project.

The project's three components require each CRS to gather data from at least 580 people in these Covid pandemic times.

First component consists of baseline survey with some 20 questions, some of which are closed, while others are open ended questions.

Each of 25 community radio stations is to collect at least 360 samples (45 to 50 samples each week) and upload on Google Sheet.

For the second component each CRS will collect at least 180 (20 to 25 each week) audio data samples from cross section of people with suggestions on where they would like to see science and technology applied to daily life in the sectors of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Third component consists of each CRS conducting at least four focus group discussions (one every two weeks) with at least 10 people in each session totaling 40 people. Points arising out of discussions are to be collated and uploaded in the Google Folder assigned to each CRS.

The process of formulating STIP 2020 is also based on four interlinked tracks, which, according to the government, will cover nearly 15,000 stakeholders.
Track I involves extensive public and expert consultation process through a dedicated platform (Science Policy Forum) for receiving inputs from the larger public and expert pool.

Track II comprises expert-driven thematic consultations to feed informed recommendations into the policy based on scientific evidence.

Track III involves consultations with ministries and states, while track IV constitutes an apex level multi-stakeholder consultation. For track III, there are nodal officers nominated in various states and in ministries, government departments and agencies.

The consultation processes on different tracks have already started and are running in parallel.

This consultation is the first since 2013 that government is formulating the comprehensive Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP) 2020.
None of the previous four policies were made amidst a raging pandemic and economic distress since the establishment of DST in 1971.
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