The numerous Science Centres and Museums in the country have been instrumental in taking the message of science to the people of the country for the past 50yrs. However, their potential as instruments and agents of percolating scientific temper, innovation and thereby socio-economic development is underutilized.
Notwithstanding the need for more science centres to cater to the current billion plus and future Indian population, National Innovation Council (NInC), partnering with National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) and others, seeks to showcase models of promoting innovative spirit and enhancing impact of science centres.
NInC proposes the following to invigorate the existing Science Centres in the country:
1. Enhance Interactivity: Populate science centres with more interactive exhibits, while leveraging locally available resources to showcase science in a hands-on manner. Organizations such as the Agastya Foundation have showcased successful examples of the same.
2. Showcase Innovation: It is proposed that all Science Centres should focus on showcasing innovations on a regular basis. The section should house successful application of scientific discoveries, effectively relaying stories of stalwarts and innovators among others to portray application and benefits derived from science in day-to-day life.
3. Improve Outreach: Examples of innovative ways of taking science to remote areas using buses, the science train and others exist. Yet, there needs to a renewed focus on interacting with the local communities better and attracting them to leverage the facilities at the Science Center.
Focusing on these will also accrue benefits to the Science Centre in becoming more receptive to the audience and also towards self-sustaining.
Post discussions with multiple stakeholders it has been decided that 7 pilots of Innovation Spaces at Science Centres will be created. The 7 pilots have been identified to be hosted at Science Centres/Museums in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Sawai Madhopur and one in the North-East.