(Above): Indian Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Dr Jitendra Singh (seated, r) and Minister of Culture, Tourism and Development of the North East Region (DoNER) G. Kishan Reddy (seated, l) at the signing of an MoU between the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Culture, New Delhi, September 29. (GDP)
Indian Minister of State (Independent Officer) Science and Technology; Minister of State (Independent Officer) Earth Sciences; Dr Jitendra Singh said on September 29 that the government would establish science museums across the country to promote scientific temperament, especially among children and the younger generation.
Dr Jitendra Singh speaking after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the National Council of Science Museums (HMCS) in the presence of G. Kishan Reddy, Indian Minister of Culture, Tourism and DoNER. The MoU aims to establish science museums in selected CSIR laboratories in order to promote scientific curiosity and awareness among citizens from all walks of life.
Dr Jitendra Singh called for soaking up scientific thought to meet the challenges of the 21st century. He said the recent pandemic has highlighted the importance of increasing society’s awareness of science and scientific thinking.
Referring to the Prime Minister’s recent speech at the 76th United Nations National General Assembly in New York, in which Prime Minister Modi highlighted the threat of regressive thinking and extremism facing the world, Dr Jitendra Singh reaffirmed that science-based, rational and progressive thinking should form the basis of development and in order to strengthen a science-based approach, India encourages experiential learning.
The minister said the MoU is a step in this direction and will create a new chapter in the history of communication and dissemination of science. He said it is also a matter of pride as it comes at an opportune time when the nation celebrates AzadikaAmritMahotsav to mark 75 years of Indian independence.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that the new CSIR initiative to create virtual laboratories in partnership with IIT-Bombay for school students, as desired by the Prime Minister at the CSIR society meeting in 2020, is very commendable. He also welcomed the decision of the CSIR and HMCS to create a museum within the NPL to showcase the technologies and interventions developed by the CSIR over the past eight decades.
The minister said that this initiative is also in line with the vision of Narendra Modi, who wanted S&T to reach every nook and cranny of the country and that there was a need for awareness. He said museums should not be static but dynamic and engaging and should emerge as crucibles of innovation and we should tap into the curiosity and enthusiasm of students and young people.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that while CSIR has partnered with NitiAayog’s KendriyaVidyalayas and NavodayaVidyalayas and Atal Tinkering Labs, it needs to reach out to remote areas and schools. He said that the use of digital means and the virtual laboratories of CSIR and the mobile science museums of HMCS will be very complementary and valuable.
In his address, G. Kishan Reddy said that “Globally, it is recognized that science centers play an important role in complementing science education in the country and creating a culture of science and technology and developing the scientific temperament among the masses and the young in particular ”. He also pointed out that this is also the vision of our Prime Minister, who said that students must move forward with “21st century skills, which he cited as the 5Cs of the 21st century. These are critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, curiosity and communication.
Reddy said signing this MoU will connect HMCS and CSIR and its laboratories in a meaningful way in achieving their goals and our Prime Minister’s vision in a more fruitful way. He also ensured all the help and assistance of the Ministry in the successful implementation of this initiative.
He also suggested that there is also a need to have synergy and collaboration between other Indian government departments which also aim to promote a culture of science, technology and innovation in the country. .