In a significant achievement, three Kashmiri students have been nominated for the prestigious Japan-Asia Youth Exchange Programme in Science under the SAKURA Exchange Programme in Science.
The students, Danish Javed from UPS, Machipora, Kupwara, Mehvish Reyaz from Class 8, Govt High School Akhran, Kulgam, and Shaida Bano from Boys Middle School, Sheeri Payeen, Baramulla, have been selected for this elite program.
The students' nomination is a result of their remarkable achievement as they emerged among the top 60 candidates nationwide by securing their place through various innovative projects in the prestigious National Level Exhibition and Project Competition (SLEPC).
Following their nomination, the students will embark on an exciting journey to Japan. The Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, will sponsor their expenses up to Delhi, while in Japan, the Japan Science Department (JSD) will take care of all their financial requirements.
The Japan-Asia Youth Exchange Programme in Science, conducted under the SAKURA Exchange Programme in Science, is a collaborative effort between Japan and various Asian countries.
The program promotes international cooperation and cultural exchange in the field of science and technology. It offers young minds from different nations a unique chance to interact, collaborate, and learn from each other's scientific advancements, fostering mutual understanding and building bonds of friendship.
Jubilant over the development, Prof Parikhat Singh Manhas, Director of State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), Jammu and Kashmir, emphasized the significance of increasing nominations for the INSPIRE-Awards MANAK 2023–24, compared to previous years.
"Encouraging a larger participation in the INSPIRE programme will ultimately foster scientific temperament, creativity, and entrepreneurial skills in the next generation," reiterated Prof Manhas.
The scheme, Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE), is one of the flagship programs of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India that aims to motivate students in the age group of 10-15 years and studying in classes 6 to 10.
According to the Inspire website, the program’s goal is to target one million unique discoveries or ideas with scientific roots and societal applications in order to promote a climate of creativity and original thought among schoolchildren.
Under this scheme, schools—both government and private— can nominate 5 best original ideas/innovations of students through the official INSPIRE website.
“The nomination of these Kashmiri students for the Japan-Asia Youth Exchange Programme in Science highlights the immense talent and potential that exists in Jammu and Kashmir,” Nodal Officer of Inspire Manak, Kashmir Province, Dr Sajad Ahmad Mir, said.
The selection of students is jointly coordinated by SCERT and the National Innovation Foundation (NIF), India, with Ms. Sahreen Shakeel serving as the J&K Coordinator of the INSPIRE-NIF.