Govt plans to set up planetarium in every district
The state Science and Technology department plans to set up a planetarium in every district to help students watch educational programmes about space and astronomy and cultivate interest in various scientific phenomena.
Asish Banerjee, minister in-charge of Science and Technology department, who has been visiting different districts to oversee programmes started by his department, said: “We will set up a planetarium in every district. Bolpur and Jalpaiguri will get the first two planetariums. This apart, we have a plan to set up Science Centres in every district to encourage scientific temperament in students. Our main purpose is to reach out to the grassroots level and identify students who perform extraordinarily in different fields.”
In the initial phase, one planetarium would be constructed each in Birbhum and Jalpaiguri districts. According to primary estimates, each planetarium will cost Rs 2 crore to the state government. The department will soon write to the Chief Minister seeking her nod for the project.
The department has already sanctioned Rs 1 crore for the renovation of a planetarium in Burdwan which has been in a shambles for a long time.
The primary objective of the project is to ensure that students from the districts who are unable to visit Birla Planetarium in Kolkata can get an opportunity to watch celestial objects and astronomical phenomena by using modern technology and equipment. This will help the students grow interest in scientific studies.
The project includes construction of an auditorium where educational and entertainment shows about astronomy and the night sky can be organised.
The facility can also be used for training in celestial navigation. A large dome-shaped projection screen would be set up to show various planetary phenomena, planets and other celestial objects.
The department has chalked out a number of plans so that students from rural areas can be brought under the new initiatives. Science congresses have been planned to provide a forum for scientific research, especially to young scientists, and to synergize new ideas. It also aims to encourage students to write scientific papers in vernacular languages.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after coming to power laid a greater emphasis on talent-hunt and instructed the Science and Technology department to identify talented students and help them fulfill their dreams. Following the Chief Minister’s instruction, the department started many new initiatives to promote these students and help them financially.