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Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre

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The Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre (RGSC) has been set up with the objective of kindling scientific curiosity among young Mauritians, through innovative and interactive exhibits, displays and models; the organization of activities and programmes, scientific lectures, seminars and fairs, and other outreach efforts. In this way, the Centre is meant to supplement school education in a non-formal way, and thus popularize scientific temper among the youth and the masses.

A proposal for setting up a science centre in Mauritius for the above purposes was first mooted in 1992. The Government of India readily agreed to provide assistance for the project and identified the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), Kolkata, as the nodal agency in India for rendering such assistance to Mauritius, in the form of technical expertise, training of local staff in India, supply of exhibits and equipment and their installation. The project was reiterated during the VIIth session of the Indo-Mauritian Joint Commission in January 1994. The Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre Trust Fund Bill was enacted in Mauritius in May 1994, and the Act came into operation on the June 24, 1994.

The foundation stone laying ceremony was held on the April 6, 1995 in the presence of Smt. Sonia Gandhi. The Memorandum of Understanding for setting up the RGSC in Mauritius was signed on the October 3, 1998, between the NCSM and the Ministry of Education, Mauritius during the visit of Shri Murli Manohar Joshi, the then Minister of Human Resource Development. Construction of the RGSC building was officially launched on August 9, 2001 by the then Mauritian Prime Minister, Sir Anerood Jugnauth.

Considerable Indian assistance, through NCSM, was extended towards the establishment of the Centre. The exhibits for the Centre were provided by India, at an approximate cost of Indian Rs. 5 crore. India also helped in the physical installation of these exhibits, and in training the technical staff (curators) who would be manning and maintaining these exhibits. All of the initial work took place under the supervision of the first Director of the Centre, Dr. Parvathinathan, who represented the NCSM. In addition, the High Commission of India in Mauritius has one representative on the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre Trust Fund Board, which is the overall administrative body looking after the facility.

After the completion of the Centre, the Prime Minister of Mauritius extended a personal invitation to Smt. Sonia Gandhi to visit Mauritius and inaugurate the facility. The Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre was inaugurated by Smt. Sonia Gandhi on November 30, 2004. Smt. Gandhi also unveiled a bust of late Shri Rajiv Gandhi, installed at the entrance of the building, which had been sculpted by Ms. Latika Katt.

Visitors to the RGSC can benefit from enlightening displays covering diverse subjects, such as the geological origin of Mauritius, Resources and Demography of Mauritius, an introduction to the world of modern Science & Technology, and an area reserved for hands-on science called “Fun Science”. Apart from these permanent exhibition areas inside the science centre, the sprawling garden outside hosts a “Science Park”. Young visitors have access to about forty exhibits in the Science Park to explore concepts of science through ‘play based activities’.

The RGSC contains five permanent galleries of interactive exhibits and one temporary exhibition gallery. In addition, the Children Activity Corner, Adult Activity Area and conference room are meant to host activities like Science Demonstration Lectures, Vacation Hobby Camps, Sky Observation, Science Quiz, Science Seminars, Science Rally, etc. Other facilities available for the public in the RGSC include a cafeteria, a souvenir shop, a library, car park and a state-of-the-art auditorium.

Contact details: 

Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre

Old Moka Road
Bell Village
Tel: (230) 2132773
Fax: 2132726 
E-mail: rgsctf@intnet.mu

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