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Tripura gets 'Vigyan Gram' to promote scientific culture
Friday August 30, 2013 8:51 PM, IANS

A science village is set to come up in the northeastern state of Tripura to facilitate "edutainment" and to promote, nurture and stimulate a scientific culture.

The "Vigyan Gram", the first such in the eastern India, will be developed at Nimbark village in western Tripura, 10 km south of here.

Amidst greenery, the "Vigyan Gram" will have a space theatre-cum-planetarium, a botanical garden, a bird sanctuary, a modern laboratory, a museum and a library, besides heritage and theme parks.

"Besides modern scientific facilities for education about astronomy, there will also be facilities for screening films to enhance knowledge in the fields of geography, earth sciences and the universe," Tripura's Science, Technology and Environment Minister Bijita Nath told IANS.

"Vigyan Gram" aims to grow, nurture and stimulate a scientific culture and develop a scientific temperament among the people in the region and specially among the young people."

"The 'Vigyan Gram' is also intended to facilitate 'edutainment' (education through entertainment)," the minister said adding that it also expected to popularise scientific concepts in the rural areas of the northeastern region.

According to the minister, the "Vigyan Gram" project has been prepared by former director general of National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) Ingit Mukherjee.

Responding to the Tripura government's request, the central government is expected to provide Rs.62 crore for the project, to be built within five years from now.

Bijita Nath said that 12.42 acres of land had been allotted at Nimbark village for the project.

"Without spreading the effect of modern science, how can the new generation be familiar with the changing world?"

The minister said it would help people to learn about scientific works through recreational and playing activities and also promote research, innovative and viable experimental works.

"The "Vigyan Gram" project will also contribute towards generating employment and promoting eco-tourism."

"The project seeks to develop scientific awareness among the people of all ages," the minister added.

Formally kicking-off the project, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said Thursday: "Young people and children would learn the innovation of science and modernity in a rural atmosphere in the "Vigyan Gram". Their outlook would be broaden and they would think many thing positively when the young people intermingled themselves in the 'Vigyan Gram'.

The project's nodal authority is the Tripura State Council for Science and Technology (TSCST), a wing of the science, technology and environment department.

TSCST will manage the science village and turn it into a regional science hub. The NCSM, under the union culture ministry, is supporting the project.

TSCST's principal scientific officer Mihir Lal Roy said the "Vigyan Gram" was expected to also attract students and science enthusiasts from Bangladesh, with India planning to improve connectivity with the neighbouring country.

Roy said the Vigyan Gram would be an integrated approach towards the free-choice learning of science.

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