National Council of Science Museums (NCSM)
National Council of Science Museums is primarily engaged in popularizing science and technology by organizing exhibitions and seminars, training programmes for science teachers, students, young entrepreneurs, technicians etc. The Council has national level centers at Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi; besides, small centers at 26 other places. Out of 26 Science Museums, 6 are of National level, 11 Regional level and 9 are Sub-regional/ District level.
NCSM is formed by the government based on the recommendations of Task force formed by the Planning commission in early 1970’s to assess the activities of the Science Museums.
Functions and powers
NCSM is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Culture. Its headquarters is in Kolkata.
The Birla Industrial and Technological Museum (BITM), Kolkata under CSIR, was the first museum opened in 1959. In 1965 the second science museum of the country, the Visvesvaraya Industrial & Technological Museum (VITM) was opened in Bangalore. It is in 1978, that government delinked these museums from CSIR and formed the NCSM based on the recommendations of Task force formed by the Planning commission to assess the activities of the Science Museums.
NCSM presently is the largest network of science centres and museums in the world. These science centres provide an experiment based learning environment to inculcate a spirit of inquiry, foster creative talent and create scientific temper in the community.
The main objectives of NCSM are:
- To portray the growth of science and technology and their applications in industry and human welfare.
- To collect, restore and preserve important historical objects, which represent landmarks in the development of science, technology and industry.
- To design, develop and fabricate science museum exhibits, demonstration equipment and scientific teaching aids for science education and popularization of science.
- To popularize science and technology in cities, urban and rural areas for the benefit of students and for the common man by organizing exhibitions, seminars, popular lectures, science camps and various other programs.
- To supplement science education given in schools and colleges and to organize various out-of-school educational activities to foster a spirit of scientific enquiry and creativity among the students.
- To organize training programs for science teachers/students/young entrepreneurs/technicians/ handicapped/housewives and others on specific subjects of science, technology and industry.
NCSM is characterized 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.
NCSM also conducts 23 mobile science exhibition units throughout the country to create awareness of science and technology in rural areas and provides hands on learning opportunity to rural children.