Speech - Signing of Addendum to MoU between Rajiv
Gandhi Science Centre Trust Fund and National Council of Science Museums
Friday 29th August 2014 at 9.00 hrs
His Excellency, Mr A.K. Mudgal, High Commissioner of India,
Mr Pramod Kumar Jain, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Government of India,
Mr K.K. Motee, Chairman of Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre Trust Fund
Thank you all for being present here this morning, for the signing ceremony of the Addendum to the Memorandum of Understanding between Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre and the National Council of Science Museums India.
I have the pleasure to welcome Mr Pramod Kumar Jain, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Government of India who is here for the signing of the Addendum.
The Memorandum of Understanding itself was signed during the visit of the Prime Minister to Indian in February 2012 to establish collaboration for the setting up of a Planetarium and extension of galleries at the Rajiv Gandhi Science centre. The Government of India, which through the National Council of Science Museums has provided exhibits for five galleries, the outdoor science park, a Mobile Science Exhibition and an inflatable planetarium. The Government of Mauritius provided funds for construction of the centre.
Today, we are signing an addendum to provide for the change of the site of the planetarium, which will now be located at Pamplemousses on the land allocated for the university campus. I wish to mention here that the Rajiv Gandhi Science centre has become an active stakeholder in the promotion of science and technology and arousing the interest of students to the importance of science.
It has been organising activities throughout the year and reaching out to more than 50,000 people, mainly students, through its National Science weeks, the sky observation programmes, the science fun and science on the move activities, and the Caravane de la science.
The construction of a planetarium will bring an additional asset to the centre and be useful to introducing people to the world of astronomy and offering non formal education and awareness on astronomy.
Science and technology are critical not only for the economic growth but also to address challenges of water security, food security, sustainable development and health problems. The Rajiv Gandhi Science centre has therefore a vital role to play in popularising science and making children aware of the importance of science education.
Allow me to express our sincere thanks to the Government of India for the support to this centre and other education projects in Mauritius. One month ago, we had the immense pleasure to launch the IIT Research Academy, which is a collaborative venture with the IIT Delhi. This is a project with a great future as IIT is an iconic model science education of high standard with world reputation.
Once again, we greatly appreciate the commitment of the Government of India to support education in Mauritius and to help us in promoting science and technology.
I thank you for your attention.