British Council announces the winner of West India finals at IIT Powai Tech Fest

Prof. Iain Stewart at the British Council Fame Lab West India final at IIT Powai Techfest 2016
Prof. Iain Stewart at the British Council Fame Lab West India final at IIT Powai Techfest 2016
Prof. Iain Stewart at the British Council Fame Lab West India final at IIT Powai Techfest 2016
  • Varun Suresh, Student from NIRRH wins the first place
  • The participants communicated their science ideas to a judging panel in three succinct minutes
  • Winners will compete at India Nationals with the India Finals representing India at FameLab International Grand Finale at the Cheltenham Science Festival in the UK in June 2017 

Mumbai: FameLab, the world’s largest science communications programme brought to India by British Council, has received an overwhelming response from West India. With entries from top educational institutions from Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Aurangabad and Nagpur, 28 participants were shortlisted to compete at the West India Finals scheduled on 16 December 2016.

Varun Suresh, a student from NIRRH won the first place; Ravina More, student of COEP, Pune bagged the second place and Mayur Bonkile was awarded the third place.

The regional winners will compete at the India finals later, to be held at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune in January 2017. The India winners will represent the country at the FameLab International Grand Finale at the Cheltenham Science Festival in the UK in June 2017.

FameLab aims at presenting scientific concepts in an interesting and innovative manner to the general public. The West India finals had representation from institutions such as IIT Bombay, IUCAA Pune, IISER Pune, TIFR, University of Mumbai, Pune University, NIRRH, ICT, Symbiosis School of Medical Biosciences, NCCS, NCL, Ruia College, Jai Hind College. The 28 participants participated in an exclusive masterclass, where they received training in science communication from eminent science communicator Prof Iain Stewart from Plymouth University.

Commenting on the encouraging response from West India, Sharon Memis, Director, British Council West India, said, “FameLab is such a fantastic programme that nurtures the discipline of communicating science. There is so much talent and ambition, we know that this will help sharpen the expression of fabulous ideas. With the global experience that FameLab presents, we’re delighted to have the opportunity to nurture India’s future.”

FameLab encourages scientists and STEM workers to inspire and excite new audiences with science. The training and competition format provide a platform to show the public the exciting side of science; enhance their communication and presentation skills; engage with like-minded individuals; and join a unique, international alumni network.


FameLab works towards encouraging scientists to inspire and excite the public’s imagination with a vision of science in the 21st century. The competition will provide a platform for researchers to put forth their ideas to the public in an interesting manner; enhance their communication and presentation skills; and engage with like-minded individuals and alumni network besides. Shortlisted applicants from each region will get an opportunity to attend a fully funded science communication workshop jointly delivered by UK and Indian trainers in each region. The FameLab finalists will also get an opportunity to attend a science communication masterclass lead by the best UK trainers. .

Cheltenham Festivals began FameLab in the UK in 2005 but, with British Council involvement since 2007, the programme is now truly international, taking place in 27 countries in 2016. National FameLab programmes currently run in Australia, Brazil, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Korea, Lithuania, Malaysia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, UK, USA and Vietnam.

There is growing, unprecedented global FameLab network of 5000 multi-disciplinary, multi-national, early-career researchers, connected with research, industry and education networks, that are helping to address the issues of diversity and mobility (including social mobility) to support the future growth of the STEM pipeline and the wider social economic benefit this delivers. More than 200 local partners including ministries of education, ministries of science, universities, science foundations and academies already support FameLab, underlining its importance to science communication across the world.

The UK is the world leader in the area of science communication – there are academic programmes in the field and a number of annual, exciting science festivals. Science Communication is a recognised profession and the UK’s experience in science communication has changed the way the media report on scientific topics.


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