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Odisha Govt Plans World-Class Renovation for Pathani Samanta Planetarium

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government is set to transform the Pathani Samanta Planetarium into a world-class institution, introducing new features in its galleries to enhance its offerings. This announcement was made by Krushna Chandra Patra, the Minister for Science and Technology, during his visit to the planetarium on Monday. During his visit, Minister Patra also planted mango saplings on the premises, symbolizing growth and rejuvenation.

Minister Patra emphasized the importance of the Science and Technology Department’s visibility through initiatives that promote scientific temper, science communication, and the establishment of various science centers, parks, thematic museums, innovation hubs, and the organization of science festivals and conclaves.

In a comprehensive review of the department’s activities, Minister Patra highlighted the need to prioritize biotechnology, research, and development. The minister was welcomed by Principal Secretary Chithra Arumugam, who presented various schemes and programs under the department’s administrative control.

The briefing included detailed overviews of the activities of several key organizations such as the Odisha State Council on Science and Technology, Odisha Bigyan Academy, Institute of Mathematics and Applications, Odisha Space Applications Centre, and the Pathani Samanta Planetarium. Principal Secretary Arumugam elaborated on initiatives like financial assistance for studies, research and fellowship programs, the UNESCO-KALINGA Science Award, training for mathematics and science teachers, and the publication efforts of the Odisha Bigyan Academy.

The Principal Secretary also discussed the ongoing activities of the Institute of Mathematics and Applications as a center of fundamental research in mathematics and the role of the Odisha Space Application Centre in providing remote sensing, GIS, GPS, and other application solutions to government departments, PSUs, and research organizations.

Special attention was given to the new Biotechnology Policy 2024 and the establishment of a Biotechnology Cell within the department. The department’s vision includes creating the Odisha Marine Biotechnology and Innovation Corridor and establishing a world-class science museum as part of a new science city. Transforming the Institute of Mathematics and Applications is also a key goal.

Minister Patra praised the ongoing schemes and programs and suggested further promotion of green energy schemes in coastal farming systems. He urged the department to explore Solar Wind Hybrid Systems to save the environment and reduce costs.

The review meeting was attended by senior officials including Additional Secretary Sibani Mohanty, Joint Secretary Puja Mishra, Bidyutprava Rout FA-cum-Joint Secretary, Joint Secretary P K Patra, Joint Secretary S. Murmu, Deputy Secretary Urmiprava Maharana, Deputy Director Sashikant Dash, Senior Scientist Laxmi Narayan Padhi, and others.

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