A science centre provides an experiment based learning ambience to inculcate a spirit of inquiry, foster creative talent and create scientific temper in the community as a whole. It is characterised by its two-pronged channel of communication – exhibits and activities. While the exhibits, both indoor and outdoor, are mostly interactive, the demonstrations and training programmes are also fully participatory and help children and the adults alike to learn the basics of science through fun and enjoyment.
Based on this the National Council of Science Museums initiated process to set up national level science museums/centres, Regional Science Centres and District Science Centres located in metropolis, state capitals and district headquarters respectively.
During early 90’s while NCSM was setting up science centres in the northeastern region, it was felt that although the north-eastern states were small in dimension, they had a distinct identity as a State. Therefore, naming the science centres in the northeast, as District Science Centres appeared to be out of place. Consequently these centres were designated as Sub-Regional Science Centres.
Currently there are several nomenclatures existing that categorise the science museums/centres. Such diverse nomenclature may confuse the State Governments or other agencies that are interested in setting up science centres.
Therefore, it is proposed that in place of having diverse nomenclatures for the science centres, a single title namely “ SCIENCE CENTRE” may be considered and the norms for setting up of the science centres may be derived based on the population of the place where the science centre is proposed to be set up.
- To portray the growth of science and technology and their application in industry and human welfare, with a view to develop scientific attitude and temper and to create, inculcate and sustain a general awareness amongst the people.
- To popularise science and technology for the benefit of students and for the common man of the region by organising exhibitions, seminars, popular lectures, science camps and various other programmes.
- To supplement science education given in schools and colleges and to organize various out-of-school educational activities to foster a spirit of scientific inquiry and creativity among the students.
- To design, develop and fabricate science museum exhibits, demonstration equipment and scientific teaching aids for science education and popularization of science.
- To organise training programmes for science teachers / students/young entrepreneurs/ technicians/physically challenged/housewives and others on specific subjects of science, technology and industry.
Physical and Financial Requirements:
Category I (Regional Science Centre)
(A): Science Centre located in a city / town with a population of 15 lakhs or more
(i) Land: Minimum 7 acres developed land (preferably without any low-lying area and of fairly regular shape) to be provided by the State Government, free of cost.
(ii) Capital Expenditure: The capital fund needed for setting up science centres of Category I is Rs. 14.50 crore.
(iii) Fund Requirement:
Science Centre (Scheme ‘A’) – The estimated cost of this Category of Science Centre shall be Rs.14.50 crore. It can be set up in locations /regions where the Science Centre activities have not yet started or in priority areas. Ministry of Culture, Government of India may consider providing full funding for such Centres through NCSM.
Science Centre (Scheme ‘B’) – The capital cost of the Science Centre project (Category I) will be Rs. 14.50 crore which will be shared on 50:50 basis between the State Government and the Govt. of India.
Science Centre (Scheme ‘C’) – The Capital cost of the Science Centre will be Rs.14.50 crore. The State Govt./U.T. shall fully fund this science centre project and set up the Science Centre with technical support from NCSM within this budget.
Category II (Sub Regional Science Centre)
(B) Science Centre located in a city/ town with a population between 5 and 15 lakhs and for those located in hilly terrains and island territories
(i) Land: Minimum 5.0 acres (preferably without any low-lying area and of fairly regular shape) of developed land shall be provided by the State Government free of cost. For hilly areas, island territories etc. 2.5 acres will be acceptable provided the land is having good vicinity.
(ii) Capital Expenditure: The Capital fund needed for setting up Science Centre of Category II is Rs.5.00 crore. However, for hilly terrains, island territories and remote areas with difficult access, the capital cost of science centre will be Rs. 6.00 crore. The number of such centres may be restricted to one per State/UT. The required land for the science centre shall be made available free of cost by the State Govt. or the local body.
(iii) Fund Requirement:
Science Centre (Scheme ‘A’) – The estimated cost of this Category of Science Centre will be Rs.5.00 crore. It can be set up in locations /regions where the Science Centre activities have not yet started or in priority area. However, for hilly terrains, island territories and remote areas with difficult access, the capital cost of science centre will be Rs.6.00 crore. Ministry of Culture, Government of India may consider providing full funding for such Centres through NCSM.
Science Centre (Scheme ‘B’) – The capital cost of the Science Centre project (Category II) will be Rs. 5.00/6.00 crore which will be normally shared on 50:50 basis between the State Government and the Govt. of India.
Science Centre (Scheme ‘C’) – The Capital cost of the Science Centre project will be Rs.5.00/6.00 crore. The State Govt./U.T. shall fully fund this science centre project and set up the science centre with technical support from NCSM within this budget.
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