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Kyun aur Kesay Show

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By Muhammad Umar Muzaffar

Muhammad Umar Muzaffar

Education is of the utmost importance for any nation that wishes to contribute to mankind’s development and leave a better place for future generations. Our founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah also envisioned a Pakistan where youngsters study and contribute to scientific advancements. This was perhaps the reason why Jinnah addressed the youth and reminded them of this task on several occasions.

Almost every Pakistani knows Dr Abdul Kadeer Khan by his name due to his unmatched service for Pakistan. He is undoubtedly the most renowned scientist of our country mainly because of his work in the development of a nuclear deterrent for Pakistan. Pakistan has produced several other scientists who have contributed groundbreaking inventions for the whole world to benefit. Unfortunately, we seldom know or read about these individuals. From the Alvi brothers, the Pakistani computer scientist duo that developed the first computer virus “Brain” to Mr. Mahbub ul Haq who made Human Development Index which the whole world uses to measure their population’s development, we have several brilliant scientists who contributed to almost every field of Science. Our youth aspires to be like them, it is our responsibility to facilitate our youth, provide them with avenues to progress and equip them with the education of today’s world. We must continue to bring light to our nation’s contributions which can serve as an inspiration for our future generations.

Pakistan has immense untapped potential but we are lagging behind when it comes to Education because of several factors. Be it our minimal budgetary allocation or subsequent negligence in its spending. Careful assessment and improvement are necessary at the policy level. Simultaneously, the responsibility lies on Media’s shoulders as well. We need to engage our youth, address their concerns and provide learning opportunities for them so that they can take Pakistan to the next heights.

Carrying the spirit of promoting scientific literacy in Pakistan, aur TV has developed a program “Kyun aur Kesay” (Why & How). The show aims to tickle the curiosity of Pakistanis, particularly our youth towards Science and Technology.

The show comprises interesting segments which will keep the audience engaged and increase their knowledge with every episode. It is divided into the following four segments.

  1. “Kya Yeh Sach Hai?” (Is it true?) will debunk myths & misconceptions.
  2. “Yeh Kesay Hota Hai?” (How does it work?) will educate about scientific concepts & processes.
  3. “Humaray Sciencedan” (Our Scientists) will introduce you to Pakistani scientists & how to choose those careers.
  4. “Kaheen aur” (Another World) will take you to new places with historical, cultural & geological significance.

The show is hosted by Ms. Zara Shafique who is a gold medalist and science enthusiast. The show’s coordinator is Ms. Sarah Khan & it is produced by Mr. Ehtisham Ahmed.  Let’s get some detailed views from the show’s host.

With our attention spans getting shorter every day, how do you think Kyun aur Kesay will keep the viewers engaged?

What you have mentioned is truly a great challenge, academics and educators across the globe are facing today. Our target audience is mainly younger. Keeping shrinking attention spans in mind, Kyun aur Kesay is designed to be snappy and scientifically enriching at the same time. It covers a wide range of topics, without getting into too many details. The knowledge is presented in a simple and humourous way to keep the audience engaged and educated.

In today’s cluttered media, how do you feel about hosting a Science-based TV show?

I think media platforms here and there, are making efforts to promote educational content in different ways and styles. But as you mentioned, there is still a long way to produce quality content on science communication in Pakistani media.

As far as I am concerned, I have been in the science communication space for over 7 years now. Doing Kyun aur Kesay, was my dream come true. I want to confess that I have been idealising science communicators like Prof Brian Cox and Jim Al Khalili for a long time now. Doing this show, somehow made me feel like part of their community.

Also, I feel very proud to be the researcher and scriptwriter for my show as well. It gives me a sense of greater purpose and nation-building while teaching masses about science.

What message would you like to give to Pakistan’s youth?

You are the architect of your future. There is absolutely nothing you can dream and can’t achieve. You just have to put in your best efforts, be desperate for success and don’t shy away from failures. Accept your talents and put them to use for something that makes you happy and helps make the world a better place.

And for those of you, who want careers in science, it is of grave importance that you recognize the responsibility it puts on your shoulders. We need more ethically informed scientists and thorough professionals to solve the problems of the modern world. Only with the right skills, and helping each other, can we make the future of humanity brighter and better.

Who is your favourite Pakistani scientist and why?

My favourite Pakistani scientist is my teacher Dr Hamid Mehmood. He is currently serving as a research officer at the United Nations University, Institute of Water, Environment and Health. I think he is a genius with his skills and command of his subject.

He is my favourite because, he is not just a great teacher, but a wonderful human being. I remember, whenever we walked into his office, he greeted us with a bar of chocolate. You would always find him smiling and encouraging to follow one’s dreams. He would never limit a student’s potential to grades or how well we performed on a certain test. He has been the reason, I have found so much interest in using science for solving modern challenges humans face in terms of overall quality of life.

Do you think the trend is shifting from accepted career options to more diverse and unique fields?

Well, if you think about it, we live in such an amazing time. The power of social media has landed in our hands, and platforms like YouTube and Vimeo have opened so many career possibilities for the younger generation. I think the trend is shifting from earning solely college degrees to more skills-based education and applied knowledge. That is resulting in many non-conventional career options today.

Same is the case with science. As knowledge is increasing and becoming more specialised, new career options are opening. Kyun aur Kesay tries to inform the viewers about some of these options as well. All you have to do is watch the show, and know.

What will be the biggest takeaway for the audience from Kyun aur Kesay?

Well, there were many challenges in terms of producing Kyun aur Kesay, we have made our best efforts to make it a source of knowledge and enjoyment for the viewers. There surely is room for improvement and we are working on it. Keeping that in mind, I think the greatest takeaway for the viewers would be meeting the scientists and learning about all the cool ideas they are working on. Not just this, you will also get to see some geographically interesting places on Earth.

Whether you are an adult with a curious mind or a young Pakistani eager to learn something, you can watch Kyun aur Kesay every (programme’s airing day) at (time slot) only on aur TV.

Stay curious, Pakistan!

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