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CHANDIGARH, India, Dec. 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — With a mission to motivate the students to choose sciences as career after schooling, Chandigarh University today launched a Mobile Science Bus which has been equipped with the state-of-the-art research and practical-lab facilities that can help students to perform advanced practices which are part of their course curriculum. The Science bus project is of Government of India’s Mobile Science Exhibitions (MSE) mission, and is a joint effort of Chandigarh University Gharuan and Department of Science and Technology (DST). The inauguration ceremony was presided over by UT Adviser to Administrator, Dharam Pal (IAS) along with Harsuhinder Pal Singh Brar (PCS), Director of School Education Chandigarh; Satnam Singh Sandhu, Chancellor of Chandigarh University; Purva Garg, Education Secretary Chandigarh; and Mr. Rajeev Kumar, Principal, Govt. Model Senior Secondary School Sector-22 Chandigarh.
Designed with modern equipment and relevant facilities worth 1 crore, the science bus aims at covering all the schools across the union territory of Chandigarh. The bus will be led by a team of 20 faculty members including national awardee Dr. Jaswinder Singh (science expert), with 4 research scientists from Chandigarh University present at one time. It will showcase projects and help students perform more than 150 experiments from up to Class 12 in Physics, Chemistry, and Biology along with providing information about various devices, tools, and developments in the sector. The bus carries additional kits for students to perform experiments. A multimedia projector screen is also present for conducting experiments in a group.
Speaking on the occasion Dharam Pal, UT Adviser to Administrator said, “This Science Bus will become a milestone in school education and learning as it will reach out to every student where they will be able to perform science practicals to enhance their learning. There are some government schools in the periphery of Chandigarh where the laboratory infrastructure is still being established, and hence, the Science Bus designed by the Chandigarh University will reach at their doorstep. The Department of Education, Union Territory of Chandigarh, will also help in this project by sending their teachers on training of new technology so that they are equipped with the skills which are needed to teach the students.”
Speaking about the initiative by Chandigarh University, Chancellor Satnam Singh Sandhu said, “Investment in science will lead the nation to become self-reliant, and the Science Bus project is yet another admirable initiative by the university to intrigue young minds to opt STEM subjects in higher education, eventually contributing to the development of the country at large. The bus aims at covering all schools in Chandigarh within a period of six months. Starting from tomorrow, i.e. 7th December, the bus will visit the model schools in Sectors 20 and 35 of Chandigarh, followed by the government schools in rural areas.”
Underlining the attempts of Chandigarh University in promoting STEM subjects in higher education, Chancellor Satnam Singh Sandhu said, “Chandigarh University has reached out to more than 5 lakh students through science communications, science outreach, and science mela initiatives of the Government of India. So far, the university has organized more than 40 INSPIRE camps for the meritorious students to promote the spirit of Science and Technology among the students and motivate them to choose science as a career.”
Talking about research and development at CU, he said, “Chandigarh University has allocated an annual budget of Rs. 11 Crore for research and development. The university also has more than 30 R & D Centres, Centre of Excellence established by top multinational companies such as Google, Microsoft, IBM, Volvo-Eicher, and Hyundai. As of now, the university has filed more than 2000 patents of which 90% of the patents have been filed by the students and faculty in the field of science and technology.”
As per the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) Report of 2019, Sciences are the second most popular sought for subject at the graduation level after Arts with a large marginal gap. The total number of students enrolled in Science is 47.55 lakh whereas Arts courses have an enrolment of 96.56 lakh students. Engineering & Technology is the fourth major stream with an enrolment of 37.27 lakh students, followed by 13.5 lakh students in Medical courses. Although the number of Indian women who have opted for STEM as a field of study has increased in the last three years, however, the basic challenge of gap between students and innovation remains.