NEW DELHI: In the wake of the success of Mars Orbiter Mission, the Department of Science and Technology has decided to use it as a tool to inspire school children and inculcate interest in science.
Vigyan Prasar, a wing of DST which looks into promotion of science and technology, has set up a ISRO exhibition, showcasing achievements of the space agency, in the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) award programme organised by the Ministry starting today.
The exhibition traces the history of space programme by showcasing major developments in the Indian programme- right from how the first rocket was transported on a cycle in the initial days to the latest achievements of MOM, successful launches of PSLV, GSLV and Chandrayan I, the moon mission programme of India.
"The Mars Orbiter Mission has heightened the interest of school children in science. We are using the success to inculcate and attract more students towards science," T V Venkateswaran, a scientist with Vigyan Prasar, said.
Venkateswaran said the ISRO exhibition was undertaken by the DST and not the space department as the attraction towards the space programmes had increased greatly.
More importantly, the occasion is also an ideal opportunity for Vigyan Prasar as more than 900 students from all the states across the country are vying for a INSPIRE award for their scientific experiments.
Every year, the DST organises INSPIRE awards.
"Under this Rs 5000 is paid to every recognised school and two school children have to come up with an innovative project. The best projects are selected at the district level. Of these the best are selected for the state level and from them for the national award," said Sandeep Bansal, a scientists with the DST, who is part of the INSPIRE team.
Cabinet Secretary Ajit Kuamr Seth, who was at the inaguaral function, said such functions encourage children.
"It is noteworthy that some students are first generation school-goers and yet have done a fabulous job. Young buds have definitely showed their mettle and the future awaits them for a prestigious contribution in the field of science and technology.
"INSPIRE is a National Programme implemented for attraction of talent amongst students to study science," Seth said.