Himachal researcher of Panjab University’s Zoology department bags a best popular story award by DST-AWSAR


Dharamshala : Science research story entitled ‘Rekindling Forgotten Ecological Principles: When an Undammed River Taught a Lesson!’ bags a best popular story award of DST-AWSAR. This award winning research work was conducted by Ms Aashna Sharma of Dharamshala Himachal. This Science work of madam Sharma, is a popular article version of her research paper published in the Journal ‘Current Science’ in the year 2019 entitled ‘When nature decides who stays and who goes: Priority effects extirpating the non-native brown trout Salmo trutta fario L. population from a Himalayan river’.

She got her work among the top 30 stories in PhD Category for the year 2019 as announced by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) government of India on 24th February 2020. She is the only PhD student selected for the prize from Himachal Pradesh in entire 100 prize winners of India and the top one in Punjab University Chandigarh.

Department of Science and Technology (DST) had started AWSAR Awards only two years back. After the series of evaluation process, DST had selected Best Popular Science Stories for the Awards under PhD Category and Outstanding story under Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF) Category .These top 100 works of Indian students were selected for prize of ₹10,000/- along with Certificate of Appreciation.

The Department of Science and Technology (DST), through its National Council of Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC), launched the Augmenting Writing Skills for Articulating Research (AWSAR), a popular science story writing contest in the year 2018. This national competition was initiated to empower and endow researchers across India with the opportunity to present their published research in the form of a popular science story to stir up scientific temperament amongst the common public. Conveying the research outputs to the public in laymen terms, is often a daunting task and a lesser explored potential amongst the Indian researchers which is being enhanced through this initiative of the DST.

The year 2019 best stories were announced on 24th February 2020 wherein Ms. Aashna Sharma’s story gained impetus amongst the articles selected in the Ph.D category.

When asked Ms Aashna said, “ I am being guided by Dr. Yogesh Rawal at Department of Zoology, Panjab University Chandigarh and Dr. J.A. Johnson at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. My article was selected as the 30th best article in the best 100 articles to be awarded in the country in the Ph.D category.”

Currently Ms Aashnsa is also working on project in Wild life instyitute of India at Dehradun in Uttra Khand.

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