Biodiversity park at science centre

Biodiversity park at science centre

The under construction building of the Dr H N Science Centre, at Hosur, Gauribidanur. The Centre is yet to be dedicated.

Big plans are afoot for expanding the yet to be dedicated Dr H N Science Centre (HNSC) at Hosur village, the birthplace of physicist and educationist Dr H Narasimhaiah, in Gauribidanur taluk of Chikkaballapur district.

The state government recently gave its nod for developing the existing sub-regional science centre into an international science centre, which, if executed, will emerge as one of the most unique science parks in the country.

In addition to 15 science and history enclaves, the government is planning to establish a massive biodiversity park, a half-kilometre artificial beach hosting various species of marine life and, a research laboratory on the lines of the Mount Abu InfraRed Observatory (MIRO) in Rajasthan.

The proposed centre will be set up on 200 acres of government land at the same location as the HNSC at a cost of
Rs 200 crore. The proposed centre has already begun to gain traction as HNSC is attracting both Indian and global scientists, with leading scientific institutions showing keen interest in the project. The government has set up a panel headed by aerodynamics professor K P J Reddy of the Indian Institute of Science.

The five-member committee comprising two other IISc professors, a professor from University of Mysore and a local science teacher from Gauribidanur, has been asked to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for the project.

Gauribidanur MLA and Agriculture Minister N H Shivashankar Reddy, who recently got Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s consent for the project, said that he had sought Rs 5 crore as a seed fund. He hopes that the project will find a mention in the soon- to-be presented Budget 2018-19 by Kumaraswamy.

Prof Reddy told DH that the committee would start work soon after the budget announcement is made. “However, the groundwork has already begun. The Bharat Electronic Limited (BEL) has come forward to set up a 1 MW solar power station at the centre. The entire facility will be run on solar. Also, the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) has agreed to develop a balloon-based WiFi system, which should hopefully materialise in two months. Once that happens, one can hook onto the internet in a 10 km radius of the centre,” he said.

Prof Reddy said the centre will partner with science and space research organisations such as ISRO, DRDO, Department of Atomic Energy, National Aerospace Laboratory and National Institute of Advanced Studies. The centre, which is aimed at the student community, will incorporate interdisciplinary subjects such as science, arts and literature, in its teaching methods.

“Knowledge will be intermixed with fun and entertainment. For instance, we are planning an archaeology enclave, students will be asked to dig and dismantle prototypes of major temples in the country and put it back together. This will give them an insight into the architectural engineering.” He said a 1,000-bed hostel will be built to accommodate students at the centre. No vehicles will be permitted inside the centre. Visitors will be ferried in a narrow gauge train, which will make regular stops at various enclaves.