The National Science Week (NSW) 2019 was officially launched this morning at the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre (RGSC) in Bell Village by the Director Zone 1 of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Mrs D. Sauba, in presence of the Indian High Commissioner, Mr T. Lal, and other personalities. The objective is to encourage the public to take an interest in Science and to reveal the practical importance of Science and Technology in various sectors of the economy and in everyday life.
In her address, Mrs Sauba stated that, in order to keep pace with the rapid advances in science and technology as well as rise to new challenges as a country, there is a need for more citizens with a scientific background, and more innovative scientists. She recalled that both Science and Technology are seen as the essential tools to address global 21st century issues such as climate change, energy challenges, food issues and health. Mauritius, she added, needs scientists who understand the local context, can identify challenges and, when the time comes, guide policy makers for the formulation of bold strategic actions to enable informed and timely decisions.
The new pillars for the future economic development of our country, said Mrs Sauba, require that we encourage more research in all areas to assist for sustainable exploitation of our marine resources, and to look for alternative resources to reduce dependence on imported fuel as a source of energy. She thus made an appeal for more students to choose Science subjects at higher level as Mauritius will need to have its own experts in different sectors for the country to become self-reliant and strong.
For his part, the Indian High Commissioner dwelt on the efforts made by the Indian Government to encourage youngsters to engage in the Science field. Mr Lal also enumerated some achievements of Indian scientists, despite their relatively limited resources, which include exploring the depths of the ocean, advancements in the pharmaceutical field and the green revolution to meet food requirements for their country.
The National Science Week (NSW), organised at the initiative of the RGSC, brings together some 17 stakeholders from different Ministries and parastatal bodies to participate in an exhibition, from 7 to 10 May 2019, to showcase science-related technologies to the public.
The exhibitors comprise the Mauritius Meteorological Services; the Police Crime Prevention Unit; the Road Safety Unit; the Police Helicopter Squadron; the Maritime Air Squadron; the Department of Health Sciences of the University of Mauritius; the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life; the Mauritius Institute for Training and Development; the Aeronautical Society of Mauritius; and the Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service.
In addition, a series of parallel activities is scheduled specifically targeting students during the NSW. The programme of activities comprises workshops on Young Mauritians' Plan for the Planet; Inspiring Scientists; Chemistry and Society; and Talks by local scientists. Science Shows are also scheduled.