A two-decade-old science fair in north Kolkata, which sees participation from hundreds of young innovators from schools and colleges in the city every year, is going virtual this time, courtesy Covid-inflicted restrictions on mass gathering.
The four-day fair — Acharya Satyendra Nath Bose Smarak Bigyan-o-Projukti Mela — held at Hedua Park was inaugurated on Wednesday. This year, all the displays and innovations are themed around Covid-19. Students from multiple schools and colleges have displayed their science models and are participating in science quiz over an online platform by logging on to the website www.asnbosebijnanmelahedua.in.
“Every year, several scientists and students participate in the fair along with a number of organizations who work on technology and innovations. But this year, we are organizing the fair virtually where all the participants will be partaking in the quiz, model displays and seminars on the online platform. The fair is still open for public but we are making all attempts to restrict the number as low as possible to ensure social distancing protocol on the fair premises,” said Sanjay Ghosh, secretary of the fair committee.
Keeping in view the pandemic, all the discussions, seminars and innovations on display are themed around Covid-19. “Stuck at home during lockdown, I have made six models. I have made a solar-powered UVCRT Covid disinfection tunnel gate, a solar-powered automatic total sanitizer machine that kills germs through infrared electron beams and a pocket-fitted machine to disinfect gadgets like mobile phones, power banks and watches without using any chemicals or water. I also displayed an eco-friendly solar-powered biometric bike that switches on with fingerprint, runs up to 400kms once fully charged and can be tracked on cell phone anywhere around the world,” said Subhamoy Biswas, a final-year MSc student at Kalyani University.
Professor Bikash Sinha, former the director of the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics and Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre, who has been closely associated with the fair since its inception in 2000, said the fair has only increased its ambit as a national event by going virtual.
“In spite of all the challenges, we have had response from all over the country this year. I have been associated with the fair since its first day and have found it grow bit by bit every year. This year, those who cannot attend the fair physically can participate and watch it live virtually. Fairs like these are very important. India’s future rests upon science and technology and fairs like these nurtures young and innovative minds,” Sinha said at the virtual inauguration of the fair on Wednesday.