‘World Discussing Climate Change, India Leading the World on Climate Action by Running Climate Action Express’: Javadekar
‘Climate Change Big Cause of Concern Globally, we need to take Concerted Action’: Suresh Prabhu
‘Every Citizen should Continuously Work to Reduce Global Warming’: Harsh Vardhan
New Delhi: Three Ministries, led by their Union Ministers came together to flag off the Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS) here today. Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Railway, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu and Union Minister of Department of Science and Technology, Dr Harsh Vardhan flagged off the train from Safderjung Railway Station. The Science Express Climate Action Special will travel across the country, covering about 19, 500 kms, initially for about eight months, halting at 64 locations in about 20 states. Some of the prominent cities that the Express will halt at include – Jaisalmer, Patiala, Ambala Cantt, Pathankot, Haridwar, Allahabad, New Jalpaiguri, Bilaspur, Vishakhapatnam, Rajamundhry, Secunderabad, Rameshwaram, Palakkad, Nizamabad, Valsad and Gandhinagar.
Addressing the gathering on the occasion, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar said that while the world is discussing Climate Change, India is leading the world on Climate Action and running a Climate Action Express. The Minister said that this is world’s first mass education programme on wheels. Shri Javadekar reiterated that India is not a part of the problem, but wants to be a part of the solution.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that Climate Change is a big cause of concern globally and we need to take concerted action to address all environment-related issues. He said that it is quite necessary to create awareness among people about these issues which affect the lives of people in a big way. He said that Science Express Climate Action Special is a major initiative in this direction. He said Railways is an environment-friendly mode of transportation and now it is engaged in spreading the message on environmental issues. He said this is an example where the message is relevant and apt and we have the appropriate messenger to carry this message. Referring to the initiatives taken by the Ministry of Railways in this direction, Shri Suresh Prabhu pointed out that a dedicated Directorate focussed only on environment issues has been created in his Ministry. The Railway Ministry is also chalking out a mega plan of planting trees along tracks, which will help in environment upgradation, the Minister added.
Addressing the gathering, Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that each and every citizen should continuously work to reduce global warming. The Minister recounted how the Prime Minister speaking on the occasion of birth anniversary of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam earlier today, has called for adoption of science for addressing various problems of the people. He pointed out that his Ministry is working towards building clean solar energy solutions for the Railways. The Minister also added that three coaches of the Science Express have their electricity supplied from flexible solar power panels installed overhead of these coaches. Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that on each of such solar powered coaches, 1700 litres of diesel can be saved per year and if these techniques are adopted, 100 million litres of diesel can be saved by the Railways every year.
Minister of State for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Shri Y.S. Chowdary said that through this special exhibition on wheels, the concept of clean energy will reach young children and students with practical demos and information. He said that it will also inculcate a scientific temper among them.
Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Ashok Lavasa said that Mahatma Gandhi had undertaken a train journey during the freedom struggle to raise awareness. Similarly, this train too will create awareness on the issue of Climate Change.
A brochure about an exhibition related to the issue of Climate Change and a poster were also released on the occasion.
General Manager, Northern Railway, Shri A.K Puthia, Member (Electrical) Railway Board, Shri Navin Tandon, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Shri Girish Sahni were among the distinguished invitees in the gathering.
SCIENCE EXPRESS CLIMATE ACTION SPECIAL: A BACKGROUND
“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. The Express is a unique collaborative initiative of Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and Ministry of Railway.
The unique mobile expo was launched in October 2007 by DST and since then it has travelled about 122, 000 kms across India in seven phases of 6-7 months duration each. The previous three 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. More than 1.33 crore (13.3 million) people, primarily students and teachers have visited “Science Express”. It has thus become the largest, the longest running and the most visited mobile science exhibition in India.
After seven successful tours across India, “Science Express” has been redisgned on the theme “Climate Change” and run it as “”Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS). As countries across the globe come together in Paris in December 2015 to strike a new climate change pact, India will see the Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS) running across the country to sensitise people among various sections of the society, especially youth, students and teachers on how Climate Change can be combated through mitigation and adaptation. The exhibition will convey a strong message about Climate Change and will also be a good opportunity to generate dialogue and discussion on the impact of Climate Change and possible strategies on mitigation and adaptation for enhancing sustainability of India’s development path. It will also put forth India’s action and the role of civil society in combating Climate Change.
40 educators in different coaches of the Express will spread awareness across the country.
The broad themes covered in each exhibition coach are as follows:
- Coach 1: Understanding Climate Change -Insights in the climate as a system, the greenhouse gas effect and the underlying reasons for climate change with key message that the current change in the climate is due to human activities.
- Coach 2: Impact of Climate Change -How temperature rise, monsoon variations, sea level rise are predicted to affect vital sectors like water, agriculture, forests and biodiversity, and human health and ways to reduce these.
- Coach 3&4: Adaptation -Concepts of adaptation and examples from day to day life, adaptation strategies and stories from field. Adaptation options in urban and rural contexts and the adaptation actions India is taking.
- Coach 5 & 6: Mitigation -Concept and definition with examples, emphasis on restoring balance, enhancing sinks and reducing emission through Renewable Energy (RE) technologies. Various programmes implemented by India and low carbon strategies and ambitious goal to increase RE footprint.
- Coach 7: International Negotiations on Climate Change-Introduction to UNFCCC, IPCC and internationally agreed action &targets. Explaining concept of equity and common but differential responsibility, Kyoto protocol & other key outcomes of major COP, etc.
- Coach 8: Handprint -What can one do at school, on roads, at home and in offices and focus on concept of lifestyle choices with the key message ‘Increase your Handprint. Decrease your Footprint’.
- Coach 9&10: Exhibition put up by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, covering 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.
- Coach 11: Exhibition put up by the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) showcasing select innovations, demonstrating the ingenuity of common people and an innovative project which uses augmented reality techniques. Exhibition on themes like Innovations in S&T, Science Education, DST Scholarships & Schemes, Careers in S&T, etc.
- Coach 12: A Kids Zone is set up for children from Std. 4 and below to participate in fun-filled activities, games and puzzles in science, mathematics and environment.
- Coach 13: The Joy of Science (JOS) Hands-on Lab in this coach is a space where students from Std. 5-10 can perform experiments and activities to understand concepts in environment, science and mathematics in an interesting manner. A training facility is also set up for orientation of teachers here.
- For the first time, solar panels have been installed on the roof top of coaches 11-13, which is a collaborative effort of DST and Central Electronics Limited (CEL).
The rest of the train will have exhibitions on various themes like wildlife and nature conservation work being carried out by different research institutions across India, India’s development in the field of biotechnology, innovations in science and technology, DST scholarships and schemes and careers in science and technology.
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, email at 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.
SOME DO’S AND DON’TS FOR VISITING SCIENCE EXPRESS CLIMATE ACTION SPECIAL
- The exhibition is open to all.
- There is no entry fee for visiting the exhibition.
- Not allowed on the Science Express: Items like mobiles, cameras, bags, match-boxes, cigarettes, beedis, tobacco, water bottles, any liquid, and any sharp/pointed objects.
- Venue: Railway station of the respective city
- Timing: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
- Refer schedule for the dates at respective halts (Schedule attached).