More mobile science centres in the offing

Pilot project trying to get mobile centre connected with satellite

More mobile science centres in the offing

INteraction: Prof CNR Rao, President of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, interacting with students after inaugurating the National Science Seminar 2010 at the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum (VITM) in Bangalore on Friday. VITM Executive Committee Chairman Prof Siraj Hasan and Director K Vasudeva Bhatta are seen. DH PHOTO

One such initiative, is the mobile science centre that all its 26 working centres boast of. The mobile centres –– basically meant for rural areas –– have working models, science kits, films, telescope et al on board to help students in such areas experience the learning of science.

Taking this initiative a step further, the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum, one of the council’s 26 working centres has been carrying out a pilot project of getting its mobile centre connected with a satellite, its Director K Vasudev Bhatta said here on Friday.

“This will help the centre, which already carries the aforementioned things, also provide the students access to lectures and talks happening in places like Bangalore,” National Council of Science & Museum Director General G S Rautela said, adding that this will be emulated if proven successful here.

Further, he said Karnataka has also been a keen participant in all of the council’s initiatives and has been the front runner in terms of proposals for setting up new working centres.

“Presently, we have 26 working centres, 13 more are under development and 26 proposals are pending,” he said. Of these about eight proposals are from Karnataka, he added.

One centre each at Dharwad and Mangalore, being built at an estimated cost of Rs 8.5 crore, are in the process of being completed and will be thrown open to the public by 2011 and construction of a centre in Mysore will commence next year and be done by 2013. Similarly, a centre at Coimbatore is also nearing completion.

He also said that the council is in the process of helping schools enhance infrastructure, so that students can learn science appropriately. “Science is not learnt without experiment and unfortunately, not too many schools in India have the required infrastructure,” he said.

Karnataka has also sent in proposals for centres at Tumkur, Gadag, Raichur and Bidar. The State, in fact, has plans of setting up a centre for each of its districts. Besides, the council has also set up nine other centres and handed them over to State governments, he revealed.

Science seminar

Speaking about the National Student Science Seminar (first started in 1982), they pointed out that 35 students have made it to the final round this year out of about 2,500. “We’ll pick 10 winners of the 35, of whom the first place winner will receive a prize and a Rs 2,000 per month scholarship for one year and the nine others will receive a prize each and avail Rs 1,000 per month as scholarship.”

Besides, the first ten will also see their respective schools win a telescope each, while the remaining 25 students will receive science kits and Rs 10,000 in cash. Moreover, Rautela revealed that C N R Rao, impressed by the aptitude of the participants, announced that the best participant will also be conferred with the C N R Rao Foundation Award.

‘Lack of innovation in IT’

Speaking at the seminar organised by the NCSM, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research President Prof C N R Rao said IT professionals have been reduced to ‘white collared coolies’, without any substantial innovation in computer science.

Stating that quality of educaiton in India has to improve he said number of engineers passing out every year from Bangalore’s engineering colleges is more than those from all the enginering colleges in the US. Several engineers are going abroad to earn money but not for research, he added.

First place

Thirty five students from all over India participated and spoke on the theme 'India and world Science: Are we there?’ Satyesh Mundra, a ninth standard student from St Francis School, Castair Town Deoghar, Jharkhand won the first place  carrying a purse of Rs 2000 and a scholarship for one year and cash award and education material from CNR Rao Education Foundation. Each student was awarded a telescope from Indian Institute of Astrophysics and Fuel Cell kits.

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