Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Achievement of Indians in science & technology
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: The Indian Museum of the Earth (TIME)
Mains level: India’s geological and paleontological evolution
- India has set in motion an ambitious plan to create Indianised version of the world-famous Smithsonian Museum, showcasing Indian subcontinent’s evolutionary history.
The Indian Museum of the Earth (TIME)
- This museum will be modelled on the American Museum of Natural History, or the Smithsonian museum in the U.S.
- The museum, which will be set up as a public-private partnership, would be located somewhere in NCR.
- Unlike static museums that are commonplace, the proposed Earth museum would be a dynamic place to encourage fossil research, student activity, public outreach besides driving policy decisions.
- The museum would be having a repository where individual collectors and researchers can submit their life long collection for safekeeping and allowing future generation researchers to study those samples.
- India has a rich geological history and fossils dating back to the breaking up of the Gondwanaland super-continent nearly 150 million years ago.
- Prominent fossils include the jaw of an extinct ape, Gigantopithecus bilaspurensi, dinosaur eggs so large they were mistaken for cannon balls, and the skeleton of a horned carnivore, Rajasaurus narmadensis, or the royal Narmada dinosaur.
Why need such museum?
- India is home to a vast treasury of geological and palaeontological specimens that contain a wealth of scientific information about the planet and its history.
- Several collections of fossils and important geological specimens weren’t properly organised, and they survived only due to the efforts of individual researchers who maintained them within their labs.
- But these rare specimens are scattered in different labs all over the country.
- India doesn’t have a single such museum of repute, or a repository where new finds may be compared to those already discovered.