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India’s first global, Mega Science Exhibition ‘Vigyan Samagam’ begins today in Mumbai

  • Vigyan Samagam to reach to Bengaluru, Kolkata and New Delhi after Mumbai in its 11-month journey
  • Exhibition to bring global Mega Science projects closer to people
  • To host innovative programmes for students and science aspirants
  • Showcasing by CERN, TMT, INO, LIGO, SKA, ITER and FAIR will be key attractions for science enthusiasts

by Suman Gupta

Mumbai, May 8, 2019: Bringing the world’s major Mega Science projects together, India’s first-ever, global mega – Science Exhibition, ‘Vigyan Samagam’, was inaugurated today in Mumbai at Nehru Science Centre, Worli. Dr. Vijay Kumar Saraswat, India’s renowned defence scientist and a Member of NITI Aayog inaugurated the first edition of Vigyan Samagam.

This multi-venue Science Exhibition, which is planned in the four cities of Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and New Delhi. The exhibition will be 11-month long duration, commencing its journey from Mumbai today. The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Department of Science and Technology (DST), the funding agencies to these projects and the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), Ministry of Culture, who are venue partner and having expertise in design and hosting such exhibition, have jointly organized this first edition of prestigious Science Exhibition.

Dignitaries such as Dr. V. K. Saraswat, Member NITI Aayog, Prof. K VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor, Government of India, Shri Kamlesh N. Vyas, Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy and Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission, Prof. Shri. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Shri A.D. Choudhury, Director General, NCSM, Dr. Frederick Borday, Director for Accelerators and Technology representing CERN and Dr. Andreas Baun, Ambassador of Switzerland to India graced the event. As a host of this prestigious global Exhibition, Shri Ranajit Kumar, Chairman, Apex Committee, Vigyan Samagam and Head, Nuclear Controls and Planning Wing (NCPW), Shri Arun Srivastava, Head, Institutional Collaboration and Program Division (ICPD), DAE and Convenor of the Apex Committee and Shri Shivprasad Khened, Director, Nehru Science Centre and Dr. Praveer Asthana, Head of Scientific Divisions, Department of Science and Technology (DST) were present on the occasion. Former Chairman, AEC viz Dr. P. Chidambaram, Former PSA to GoI and eminent scientist Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Dr. S. Banerjee, Dr. R.K. Sinha and Dr. S Basu also graced the occasion.

Inaugurating Vigyan Samagam, Dr Vijay Kumar Saraswat, expressed his happiness at the organisation of the event and said, “Vigyan Samagam will bring society and the scientific fraternity together to discuss the exciting world of science in a lucid way. The exhibition will act as a new Science Gateway that will satisfy the curiosity of millions of visitors who will visit this year-long exhibition, including researchers, students, science aspirants and families. It will help them feel and witness an incredible work done by reputed institutions from a very near. It will enhance overall knowledge quotient of career seekers in fundamental science, a common man and the society about science and technology. He congratulated all the Apex Committee Members for the excellent work done by them in popularising science and technology.”

Shri Ranajit Kumar, Chairman, Apex Committee, Vigyan Samagam and Head, NCPW Wing, DAE, while welcoming the dignitaries, said, “Vigyan Samagam will bring Mega Science a step closer to the society. Shri Arun Srivastava, Head, ICPD, DAE and Convenor of Apex Committee gave a brief about Vigyan Samagam. He said that Vigyan Samagam will underline the value and impact of fundamental research to a broad cross-section of stakeholders like students, academia and industries. He said that “all these projects work on cutting edge technologies and hence will build industrial capacity in the country. He further said that “this Exhibition shall also provide a unique science communication platform and create a bridge for further interactions between India and its global peers, bolstering India’s contribution to global prestigious science projects. Shri K.N. Vyas, Secretary, DAE and Chairman, AEC said that “this Exhibition will highlight the scientific and engineering merits of the country and will keep India shouldering with developed countries in the world, thus keeping their scientific knowledge in line with the world”.  Prof Ashutosh Sharma said that “Vigyan Samagam will enthuse students to choose science as their carrier option. He said that DST has been promoting this for quite some time”. Dr. A.D. Choudhary, Director-General said that “holding such Mega Science exhibition is a privilege for NCSM, and is in line with its mandate of promoting science”. Dr. Frederick Borday, Director for Accelerators and Technology, thanked DAE, DST and NCSM for hosting this exhibition in India.

Prof. K. VijayRaghavan presented the key note address. In his presentation, he explained the importance of each of these projects. He strongly encouraged participation of industries with all major Mega Science projects. He congratulated the Organisers for putting-up Vigyan Samagam and hoped that it will create awareness among students, enthuse scientific temper and large industrial participation to develop technological capacity in the country.

The three organisers – DAE, DST and NCSM – have planned this Mega Science Exhibition of a global stature in a unique way and with a distinct objective. The Exhibition will bring several global, collaborative Mega Science projects under one roof for the first time in the world and is expected to ignite the minds of students, academia and industry to look for opportunities. These projects will help our scientist to work and contribute to international collaborations on fundamental science and research. The exhibition will also aim to connect with school children, students and aspirants who want to pursue fundamental science and research as a strong career option.

After Mumbai, Vigyan Samagam will reach to Bengaluru to function from 29th July, 2019 to 28th September, 2019 at Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum. It will move to Kolkata from 4th November, 2019 to 31st December, 2019 at Science City (East Topsia). In its final leg, it will reach to New Delhi at The National Science Centre from 21st January, 2020 and will close on 20th March, 2020. Thereafter it will remain as a permanent exhibition in New Delhi and will be taken care-off by NCSM.

Vigyan Samagam exhibition will traverse you through the world from micro to macro, unveiling the efforts of the international community in understanding the Universe.  It will also showcase that DAE not only works on nuclear technologies, but also work on fundamental science and research, in a big way. Vigyan Samagam exhibition will take you through the workings of the Universe.  From discovery of the Higgs particle to that of gravitational waves from merger of neutron stars and black holes, these projects throw light on crucial questions related to the origin of the Universe and its evolution through its various stages. The Exhibition will highlight India’s contribution to the world’s science and technology innovations, researches in the areas of space science, nuclear technology.

Iconic Global Scientific Organisations to participate: Vigyan Samagam will have the presence prestigious of organisations such as the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN, ‘Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research’ (FAIR), India-based ‘Neutrino Observatory’ (INO), ‘International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor’ (ITER), ‘Laser Interferometer Gravitational – Wave Observatory’ (LIGO), ‘Thirty Meter Telescope’ (TMT) and ‘Square Kilometer Array’ (SKA).

Format of the Exhibition:The Exhibition will have themed galleries of posters, working models and exhibits, informative audio-visual content and on electronic displays and interactive kiosks will be setup for each of the Mega Science Projects. The inaugural event at each of the four venues will be followed by a two days scientific event comprising of invited talks and lectures by eminent speakers from the field of science, technology and Industry. The audience would include invited members from scientific organisations, industry partners and academia. Coinciding with the scientific seminar, during the first two days at each venue, industry partners working with the participating Mega Science Projects will set-up an expo at the venue to showcase their contributions. As part of project awareness activities, each participating project will be carrying out a week-long activities consisting of popular talks, science demonstrations, interactive quiz programmes, etc.

Connecting with School Children, Students: A key objective of Vigyan Samagam: In each of the four cities, various engaging activities for school children and students will be taken up. Activities such as quizzes, essay-writing / drawing contests, and popular outdoor programmes like science awareness cyclothon etc. are planned.

In order to reach out to people at large and involve them with this Exhibition, Vigyan Samagam has launched a special website www.vigyansamagam.in where people can get more information about it. It will soon launch a mobile application Vigyan Samagam. The events such as talk shows, lectures etc. will be streamed live through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Exhibition will be open on all Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. At Mumbai, the timing will be from 10 am to 6 pm.

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