India Science, Nation’s Science and Technology OTT (Over-the-top) channel has completed its second year of existence successfully on January 15th, 2021. Managed by Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous organization of the Department of Science & Technology, this channel was formally launched on January 15, 2019.
With an aim to create scientific awareness & temper amongst the citizens of the country through the latest technology prevalent today like OTT, it was important for Vigyan Prasar to keep pace with it. Science-on-Television, an integral activity of Vigyan Prasar has been there for a long time through various coverages and programs that TV channels have been broadcasting. However, with the advent of OTT Technology, it was important to imbibe this mode of audio-visual outreach. To stay abreast with the rapidly changing technologies, and similarly, with changing choices & needs of the audience like short attention period, etc., OTT has gained immense popularity and acceptance. This trend has emerged fast and bigger especially during the past seven-eight months of the pandemic.
About two years ago, when it was launched, this channel was started simultaneously on the DTH as well as on the OTT platforms. While the OTT gained much more popularity and acceptance than the TV channel, science communication experts and scientists from Vigyan Prasar decided to continue building it on the OTT platform as well. It is easier said than done but maintaining an OTT Channel has its own set of challenges.
To sustain an OTT Channel, it is important to have an adequate quantity of content and finished product ready. Thus, during this period, India Science produced a record number of films for its ever-expanding viewership. This channel of its own kind produced more than 2000 films during this period. These films of various lengths were made in a different genre, on different topics of science & technology that can be understood by anybody who watches it. Incidentally, during this period a number of events happened, and the COVID-19 pandemic was the biggest of them. It was thus, very important for this channel to provide adequate information about the virus in an interesting yet correct & complete manner to the citizens of the country. Vigyan Prasar thus rose to the occasion, and through India Science, it produced various documentaries about how, what, why, where, and when were duly covered. It covered related information through short films almost in a daily manner. These efforts thus enhanced the video-on-demand or the VoD repository of the OTT in a big way in a very short time. An interesting aspect of this channel has been its strength to have brought a number of scientists & technocrats of international repute almost face-to-face with one of the largest populations in the world.
Amongst many firsts that this channel acquired in a very short time include its Engage-with-Science, a unique All-India School Students program – interactivity and engagement layer on top of the OTT channel, which will embrace the massive school student and school teacher ecosystem, who happen to be the single largest consumer of science video content. This channel initiated a number of signatures shows where its production teams traveled to nooks and corners of the country. Amidst the snowy terrain of the famous Atal tunnel to the far reaches of Arunachal Pradesh, India Science team has tried to unravel the mysteries of science & technology for the masses.