India’s science express, a unique venture to spread awareness on science and technology through exhibition on an express train that travels through the country has focused on climate change this year.
The exhibition put up by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt of India, covered themes like Biotechnology for bio-resources and nature conservation with emphasis on Tiger Conservation and Chemical Ecology and India’s research and development initiatives in field of Biotechnology.
The Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS) was flagged off on 15 October 2015 from Delhi Safdarjung Railway Station by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Hon’ble Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences; Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Hon’ble Minister of Railways; Shri Prakash Javadekar, Hon’ble Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change; Shri Y. S. Chowdary, Hon’ble Minister of State for Science & Technology and Shri Manoj Sinha, Hon’ble Minister of State for Railways in presence of several other dignitaries and guests.
The SECAS is scheduled to travel across the country for about seven months, halting at 64 locations in 20 States, covering 19,800 km. The exhibition will convey a strong message about Climate Change and will also be a good opportunity to generate dialogue and discussion.
The state-of-the-art exhibition aboard the ‘Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS)’ aims to create awareness among various sections of society, especially students, as to how Climate Change can be combated through mitigation and adaptation.
Climate Change is the most important environmental issues, with short term as well as long term impacts. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are not just global in scope and unprecedented in scale but also more severely affect poor and marginalized people. However, there is very little understanding about Climate Change and its impacts.
For Climate Change, 2015 could be a decisive year, with leaders of 190 nations gathering in Paris to discuss a possible new global agreement on Climate Change during the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th session of the Meeting of the Parties (CMP 11) to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Thus, “Science Express”, redesigned as SECAS, intends to contribute towards increasing understanding of the science of climate change, the observed and anticipated impacts, and different possible responses. The previous 3 phases/runs of ‘’Science Express’’ were rolled out as a joint initiative of DST and MoEFCC as Biodiversity Special and showcased the myriad ‘Biodiversity of India’. Thus it was rational to shift the focus to the theme ‘Climate Change’ as it will affect the biodiversity of not just India but the entire globe as well.
Of the 16 coaches of SECAS, exhibition in 8 coaches developed by Centre for Environment Education (CEE) on behalf of MoEFCC, is exclusively devoted to information, case studies and material related to various aspect of Climate change, the underlying science, impacts, adaptation activities, mitigation solutions and policy approaches in a manner that is easy to understand and interesting for not just school students but also the masses.
At each halt of SECAS, activities are planned to engage visitors across different age groups to reinforce its message. An exciting and much sought-after Outreach Programme is also conducted in local schools/institutions along with activities on the railway platforms. In addition, informative take-away material is made available for wider distribution amongst schools and visitors.
DST has entrusted Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Centre (VASCSC), Ahmedabad with the task of managing the SECAS across India. VASCSC’s team of qualified, trained and highly motivated Science Communicators travelling with the train explain and interpret the exhibition, answers queries, facilitate the visitors and conduct complementary activities.
The exhibition is open to all but primarily targets students and teachers. More information is available on the website www.sciencexpress.in.
For visit to the exhibition or any queries, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the team aboard the train on 09428405407. School students can participate in the JOS Lab in small batches of up to 20 students, by prior registration.
Team-SECAS solicits cooperation from all the concerned departments, media, institutions and individuals in giving wider publicity to this prestigious exhibition-on-wheels, so that a large number of visitors are benefited.
Science Express is an innovative mobile science exhibition mounted on a 16 coach AC train which has been custom-built for Department of Science & Technology (DST) by Indian Railway. This unique mobile exhibition was first launched in October 2007 by DST and since then it has completed 7 phases across India of 6-7 months duration each and currently it is on its 8th phase journey. Till date Science Express has travelled over 1,25,000 km with 398 halts, usually of 3-4 days duration each. So far, in 1425 exhibition days, more than 1.34 crore (13.4 million) people, primarily students & teachers, have visited it. Science Express’ has thus become the largest, the longest running and the most visited mobile science exhibition that created several records in its wake, including six entries in the Limca Book of Records.
After 7 successful tours across India, ‘’Science Express’’ has been redesigned on the theme ‘Climate Change’ and is running on the Indian Rail Tracks as ‘Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS)’. It is a unique collaborative initiative of Department of Science & Technology (DST), Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC), Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Ministry of Railways, Government of India.