India’s Union Minister of State for Science & Technology, Jitendra Singh just inaugurated the country’s first virtual science lab for children under the CSIR Jigyasa programme. The government has said that the virtual science lab will help students connect with scientists across the country. Also Read - "Mobile payments exceeded ATM cash withdrawals for the first time" in India last year: PM Modi
Singh during the inauguration stated that the virtual lab is a new beginning and that the platform will help take science to all segments of students in every corner of the country. He also added that the lab is also in tune with the National Education Policy (NEP), where students are allowed to choose any subject and the concept of streams has been disbanded. Also Read - Cryptocurrency regulation bill: How worried are Indian investors?
Why introduce the new facility?
According to a release issued by the ministry, this new facility will benefit the students from Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidyalayas and government schools, catching them young and building an interest in science. Singh even said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a CSIR Society meeting last year had appreciated the scientist-student connect programme, Jigyasa, while at the same time stressing the importance of developing virtual labs. Also Read - Indian mobile gaming market to shoot up to at least $5 billion by 2025: Report
The new virtual science lab facility has been developed by CSIR in partnership with IIT Bombay under the CSIR Jigyasa programme, which facilitates classroom learning with laboratory research for school students.
The target audience for the virtual lab is children between the ages of 11-18 years, studying in classes VI to XII, and who would like to explore science via activities.
With the facility students will be provided with quality research exposure and innovative pedagogy to help them drive their scientific curiosity with the help of an online interactive medium. The platform will consist of simulated experiments, pedagogy based content, videos, chat forums, animations, gaming, quiz, facility sharing, webinars and more.
All of the content will initially be made available in English. However, the ministry has said that it plans to increase the availability of the content in Hindi and other regional languages.
The virtual lab will provide students with a virtual tour of CSIR laboratories and showcase the research infrastructure. The platform will also allow students to interact with scientists and learn from them.