Mumbai scientist to spearhead green cause

Indo Asian News Service

Mumbai, Sep 25 (IANS) With the UN General Assembly declaring 2011 as the International Year of Forests (IYF 2011), a scientist here has launched a programme to create awareness about forests between the Himalayas and the Amazon among school students across India.

Pushkar Vaidya is the head scientist of Indian Astrobiology Research Centre (IARC), a virtual institute that represents a partnership between researchers in India, based in Mumbai.

'IYF 2011 is a UN global initiative... They have also listed IYF 2011 Certification Programme on their official key event calendar,' said Vaidya, who has specialised in astrobiology and evolutionary biology.

'This is a first of its kind programme in India. People, students will be exposed to the best and latest via books, CDs, videos and power-point presentations as part of the course. Successful candidates will get certificates with official UN logos,' he added.

The two certification programmes enable children to know more about forests and the ecology of the world.

'Built specifically for Indian school students, the programmes will be provided free of cost to municipal schools. The UN, along with IARC, has approached 40 schools each from Surat, New Delhi and 50 schools from Bangalore,' Vaidya said.

The programme is designed by scholars and scientists around the world to make students aware of the status quo of ecology of the world. The course is designed for students between the group of 8 and 14 years.

Interested students and parents can visit http://forests.astrobiology.co.in/