Kolkata: National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), functioning under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, celebrated Golden Jubilee of its Mobile Science Exhibition(MSE) program at Science City, Kolkata from 17th – 19th November, 2015. This flagship program started as Mobile Science Museum (MSM) in 1965 with a motto: If the people do not visit the museum, let the museum visit the people at their doorstep.
Shri Manish Gupta, Hon’ble Minister-in-Charge, Dept. of Power and Non-Conventional Energy Sources, Govt. of West Bengal launched the Golden Jubilee Celebration at ScienceCity, Kolkata today. A film titled ‘Fifty Golden Years of Mobile Science Exhibition: Reaching out to Rural India’ and a Memoir, a Special cover were also released on the occasion. A new MSE bus on the theme ‘Digital India’ was also inaugurated on the occasion. This is an attempt of NCSM to communicate the vision and mission of ‘Digital India’ to rural masses through this most successful program of NCSM.A workshop on various themes like ‘Challenges in conducting MSE Program’, ‘Relevance of MSE program in current scenario’, ‘Future model of MSE and add-on activities ’ has also been organised from 17th – 19th November, 2015.
First MSE(earlier MSM), with the theme ‘Our Familiar Electricity’ was inaugurated by Shri Praffula Chandra Sen, the then Chief Minister of West Bengal, at Ramakrishna Mission School, Narendrapur on 17th November, 1965. However, the first MSE bus was flagged off in 1966 from Birla Industrial and Technological Museum, Kolkata. Since then the MSE buses have travelled a distance of 14,88,297 km and have been visited by more than 6,45,19,367 people till now. This has made MSE the largest and longest running non-formal science education program in the country. MSE program is an attempt of NCSM to communicate science and technology in rural India.
At present, 23 MSE buses, attached with different Science Centres of NCSM spread across the country, travel to unreached rural part of India and help develop scientific temper in the society. Besides exhibits, there are programmes like, Taramandal show, Science show, Open house quiz, sky observation programmes, film show and science demonstration to enrich the minds of students and the general public. One of the Education Officers recounts his memory of an MSE tour – ‘When we asked rural people in a village of Orissa to see the exhibition, they said they are illiterate and have nothing to do with science. MSE program.has managed to pull huge crowd and gathered social attention
NCSM officials, who mainly included Education Officers, Technicians and Drivers, and were involved in conducting such mobile science exhibitions were felicitated on the occasion. A panel exhibition on ‘The Journey of 50 Years of MSE program’ is on display at the Science City ground along with 20 MSE buses based on different themes and coming from different corners of India. For the first time, all these MSE buses are on display at and this is a unique opportunity for the people of Kolkata to visit all the exhibition buses at a place. Speaking on the occasion, Shri G.S. Rautela, Director General, NCSM said: ‘Rural people need to develop a level of science consciousness that will enable them to integrate modern technologies in their day to day life. MSE programs have been proved as the best way to connect with them.’ Sixty students and teachers selected from all over India, who were part of the MSE program, shared their experiences and the impact of MSE programs on their life. Prof. Ajoy Kumar Ray, Director, IIEST, Shibpur, Dr. Saroj Ghose, Former President of ICO Mand Museum Advisor to the President of India, Ms. Arundhaty Ghosh, Chief Postmaster General, West Bengal Circle were among the present on the occasion.