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Popularization of science utilization of Foldscope in Agriculture

Shillong, February 22, 2019 (MMP): Three-day workshop on “Foldscope” the so called “Paper Microscope” was organized from18th -21st February 2019 by the ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, at the Laboratories of Plant Physiology, Agroforestry and Plant Pathology of ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Umiam to introduce the use of foldscope in Agriculture and develop the curiosity of science among the young minds.  Students of classes VI to XI from KendriyaVidyalaya School, North Eastern Police Academy participated in the workshop. Students were imparted with the various applications and aspects of foldscope, exposing with the work done in laboratories.

         The students were divided into groups of three to visit the labs accordingly. The main perspective was to build curiosity in science among the students, on how they could make use of a so called “Paper Microscope” foldscope in their everyday life but most importantly from academic point of view related to agriculture. Dr. K.P. Mohapatra, Principal Scientist, Agro forestry Section, Division of NRM & Head of Crop Production Division, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Umiam, briefly  introduced on the pivotal role of forest biology, seeds of exotic forest trees,the research work done in the laboratory and its impact  in agriculture. Dr. Rajappa J.J. Scientist, Agroforestry Section, Division of NRM, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Umiam, illuminated the remarkable features of the foldscope and its applications, particularly the use of smartphones in foldscope which has become a customary in today’s modern world.

        To further imbibe the students on how to use the foldscope academically, they were taught in brief on the importance of a flower, floral structure, preparation of slides using stains and viewing pollen grains of Musa under foldscope. In- vitro germination of pollen grains was also briefed. Apart from this, the distillation process for separating volatile oils using Clavenger apparatus was also shown.  The programme witnessed students’ enthusiasm in learning throughout until the successful completion ofthe workshop. Popularizing foldscope can thus serve as a means in uplifting science. MMP

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