Science Centre fails to showcase ISRO achievements

THE HANS INDIA |   Feb 16,2017 , 01:13 AM IST



Even as Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) on Wednesday took a total of 104 satellites in space with the PSLV-C37 rocket, of which only three were from India, the Regional Science Centre (RSC) here has failed to celebrate the occasion by updating its exhibits on Isro achievements.

In fact, the development activity came to a halt at the RSC, affiliated to AP State Council of Science and Technology (APCOST), since 2009 when 35 new exhibits have been added to already existing 45 exhibits. Even the Isro’s Mangalyaan, the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) achieved in September 2014 was not incorporated to the existing exhibits, which were incomplete without latest updates.

Began in 2005, the RSC was constructed at a cost of Rs 3 crore. The centre has two halls, Hall A and Hall B, showcasing various scientific aspects which can be helpful to school children. The centre opens from Tuesday to Sunday from 10.30 am to 5 pm. On Saturday and Sunday it is open between 10.30 am and 6 pm. Monday is holiday. The entry fee is Rs 10 for private school children and others. For government students, the entry fee is Rs 5.

During initial days of its inception, students from social welfare and other hostels in other parts of State were brought here to have a glance at the exhibits. The government used to bear expenses on lodging and boarding for all such curious students. Things began to deteriorate for seven years. After bifurcation, the situation turned from bad to worse. It is the only State-run Regional Science Centre in the State.

The AP Govt has allocated Rs 1 crore budget for the centre apart from Rs 50 lakh earmarked for maintenance. There was no special allocation to update the scientific exhibits here. As a result, the number of students visiting the centre came down sharply. As against Rs 2 lakh revenue from sale of tickets earlier, the collection dropped to mere Rs 60,000.

The centre has become a burden for children as the visiting students are disappointed by the exhibits. The centre organised annual event of State-level Children’s Science Congress in December. Out of total Rs 10 lakh spent on the event, the Union government’s share was 6.45 lakh.       

Post-bifurcation, assets distribution is not over. Except for appointment of member secretaries for two Telugu States, no employee division and property sharing was took place so far. At present, the member secretary works from AP Secretariat. Six employees, including a resource person, were always busy doing science centre work apart from head office work.

Sources said that an additional 15 employees needed to ease work burden. As the existing staff busy with head office work, science exhibits have taken less priority. Another four resource persons are required to explain exhibits to students.

As Telangana State Council of Science and Technology (TSCOST) offer 30 per cent HRA to its staff, science centre staff are said to be preferring to stay in Hyderabad. Though the member secretary was appointed in May 2015,  no employees have been appointed for the science centre.  

As a result, the very crux of science centre was defeated in AP. The science centre has nothing special scientific feature that makes it up-to-date. Moreover, staff shortage turned out to be the last straw on the camel. If the government takes care and appoints new staff and updates exhibits, it would generate curiosity among the school children.

By Noor Shaik

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