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Inculcating Scientific Mindset in the Masses

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Vinay Kumar
Managing Director, Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation
Ltd and Director, Science & Technology, Government of Bihar

“We are taking many initiatives for promoting a spirit of science and technology in the rural and urban masses,” says Vinay Kumar

You have served state in various capacities. You were also the head of BELTRON. In your opinion what are the best ways of ensuring rapid implementation of IT in the state?
Information Technology has huge potential for Bihar. This industry can flourish in very limited amount of land and it does not require any natural resources. Over the years, many things have improved in the state, even when you look at ICT Policy and Industrial Policy, the major thrust have been given to promoting industries including IT industry in the state. But the area which we need to focus upon is development of better infrastructure, and creation of a conducive environment for private companies to flourish.

The Department of Science & Technology strives to facilitate promotion of research and development in areas of science and technology. What are the major initiatives have you taken?
We are doing lot of activities for the promotion of Science and Technology in the state. The Bihar Council on Science & Technology has established District Science Centres (DSC) and also upgrading the established ones. Our IGSCPlanetarium is functioning since 1993; we are also upgrading the equipment’s at IGSC-Planetarium which is playing an important role in the area of inculcating scientific temper among rural and urban masses. Our Bihar Remote Sensing Applications Centre (BIRSAC) is helping in assessing the natural resources management and development needs of the state by considering an integrated development plan for the state on a regular basis. BCST is also working to establish Science Library at Government High Schools in the state. We have also established a satellite based Edusat Hub and co-located SIT in the premises of IGSC-Planetarium in association with ISRO to provide satellite based distance education to our students. We are also working on the area to establish Science City in the Patna, similarly, there is plan to open planetariumcum- science museum at Darbhanga and Gaya. Also, we are actively working on the establishment of Astro-Tourism Circuit at Taregna (Masaurhi), Taregna Top and Khagaul and development of Aryabhatta Astronomy Activity Centre at Khagaul, Patna.

You spoke about remote sensing application centre. Have you been able to use it for managing natural resources, urban settlement and planning and in other social sectors?
Remote Sensing activities are being coordinated through the National Natural Resources Management System (NNRMS) set up under the planning Commission which is in place for over 3 decades and ISRO serves as the nodal agency for implementing this. The Planning Committee PC-NNRMS provides guidelines through Standing Committees on different themes headed by Secretaries. For Bihar Remote Sensing Application Centre the objective is to assess the natural resources management and development needs of the state by considering an “integrated” development plan for the state on a regular basis. The centre also coordinates the establishment of GIS based spatial information infrastructure for the state in tune with national efforts. The centre has done good work in generating regular report on existing natural resources in the state – as a bench mark for change monitoring and further development.They have been able to provide inputs in managing natural resources, urban settlement and planning.

You are also heading Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation. Please tell about initiatives that you are taking to promote tourism in Bihar?
In an effort to boost tourism in the state we are promoting lot of things such as religious Ramayana, Shakti, Sufi and Buddhist circuits. We are also promoting river cruises, bird watching activities, litchi festivals, rural tourism, Pitripaksha Mela, the ropeway in Rajgir. Our budget has also gone up and we have seen substantial increase in the numbers of tourist who visited Bihar. We are targeting over three crore tourists every year. The government is also focused on building international standard airports and accommodation, seamless road and rail connectivity to tourist sports and sites, telecommunication and electricity supply to make the experience a memorable one.

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