pronged activity one: development of science centres/museums, exhibits, gallery, exhibitions,
innovation Hub etc., and other by organising various interactive science programmes and out of
school activities, NCSM provides non formal support to the science education to the schools.
The concept of ‘Museum on Wheels’ was introduced in India in 1965 when Mobile Science
Exhibition (MSE) programme started as Mobile Science Museum (MSM) at Ramakrishna
Mission School, Kolkata. Today, a fleet of 23 MSE buses, attached to different science centres of
NCSM, travel through the parts of rural India and take the message of science and technology to
the rural populace. Apart from the exhibition on themes of local relevance the MSE programmes
include science shows, hands on workshop for students, night sky observation through telescope,
science film shows etc., as value addition. This is one of the most successful programme of
NCSM and more than 65 million people, mostly students, have been benefited so far. Last year,
this programme has been added in Limca Book of Records for largest and longest running
Informal Science Education Programme in India.
NCSM also facilitates participation of Indian students in International Astronomy Olympiad
(Junior category) every year by organising Orientation Cum Selection Camp and Pre Departure
Training for selected students. NCSM is also implementing the scheme for setting up of
Innovation Hubs in the science centres/institutions to inculcate a culture of innovation, creativity
and engagement in science amongst the youth of the country. NCSM has also conceptualised,
developed and sent travelling exhibitions to more than 15 countries namely USA, Russia, France,
Bulgaria, Nepal, China, Bangladesh, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Bhutan, Indonesia, Malaysia,
South Africa, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Australia and UK. Details, are available on its website.
Relevant Website: www.ncsm.gov.in
Victoria Memorial Hall
The Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata (VMH), was founded principally through the efforts
of Viceroy Lord Curzon, in 1921 as a period museum in memory of Queen Victoria with
particular emphasis on Indo-British history. The VMH was declared an institution of national
importance by the Government of India Act of 1935.
It is the premier period museum in India on Indo-British history in the eighteenth,
nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It also functions as the premier art gallery, museum, research
library, and cultural space in Kolkata. It has been widely hailed as the finest specimen of Indo-
British architecture in India, and called the ‘Taj of the Raj.’ In 2017, the VMH has been
recognized by Trip Advisor – the world’s largest travel and tourism-related website – as the no. 1
museum in India and the no. 9 museum in Asia. It’s rapidly rising global stature as a top tourist
destination in India is also indicated by the award of Lonely Planet ‘Top Choice’ and ‘Fodor’s
Choice’ ratings. The VMH is currently by far the most-visited museum in India and one of the
top museums in the world in terms of footfall. In 2015 it was also named as the ‘Cleanest
Monument in India,’ for which it bagged the India Today Safaigiri Award.
As a museum, the VMH collection has 28,394 artefacts displayed in nine galleries that
encapsulate the history of the country extending over three centuries beginning from 1650 A.D.
The collection includes paintings in oil and watercolour, sketches and drawings, aqua tints,
lithographs, photographs, rare books and manuscripts, stamps and postal stationery, coins and
medals, arms and armour, sculptures, costumes, personal relics and other miscellaneous archival