Friday, June 8, 2012

Need for Geology Museums in India

An year back, I was at a small Swiss city called Lausanne for a business visit. Adjacent to Lake Geneva and on the back ground of snow mountains, Lausanne is blessed with natural beauty. At Lausanne railway station, I found a large banner displaying the places of tourist interest within the city. I was surprised to find that a Geological Museum was among the list. Instantly, I decided to give a visit to this Geological Museum. Believe it or not, I spent nearly six hours in the geological museum, absolutely blown away looking at the colors and shapes of different minerals on display. The museum had collection of minerals found from all parts of the world, including from different states of India. Imagine, watching the rocks of India on display in Switzerland! I asked myself, what’s the purpose of this Museum? Just when I was thinking this, I was distracted by a little girl, who asked her mother pointing towards a white rock with blue spots, about what those blue spots are. The mother explained her that, its Cavansite, a calcium vanadium silicate, a mineral found at Maharashtra, India. I got the answer to my question.


In India, we often complain that, everyone either wants to be either engineer or doctor. What about explorers, physicists, chemists, botanists and GEOLOGISTS? I think, the part of problem lies with the attitude of the people. How can we expect students to take up studies in earth sciences passionately when they can find no inspiration around? How inspiring it would be for Indian school students to visit a Geological Museum, where they can see thousand different minerals and understand where they were found? There is so much of beauty in the minerals of earth… Unfortunately, Indian student gets to know about that beauty only when they reach the level of graduation. There are less than 10 public geological museums in India. Some Indian Geologists, especially the geology professors might argue saying, our geological department has museum, I ask them, how many visitors, especially school students, they had in last one year?

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