B M Birla Science Centre History
The B M Birla Science Centre is one of the most prestigious institutions in the country for the dissemination of science and has several innovative programmes for the popularization of science and formal and non formal education and research. It is recognized both as an Institute of Higher Education and for R&D.
Over the past 34 years the Science Centre has evolved into a reputed centre of excellence and has been propagating the cause of science and technology tirelessly, apart from inculcating scientific temper in the youth of the nation. This is evidenced by the fact that no less than thirty Nobel Laureates and several other equally Eminent Scientists, the President of India Dr. A.P.J Abdul kalam, three Prime Ministers of the day, Shri Rajiv Gandhi, Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao and Shri I.K. Gujral, Shri Krishna Kanth, the then Vice President and any number of important public dignitaries, Governors, Chief Ministers, Ambassadors…, have taken part in its multifarious activities.
The B M Birla Planetarium inaugurated in 1985 with spectacular cosmic sky shows is acclaimed to be the best in the world.
- The B.M. Birla Science Museum, inaugurated in 1990 has designed hands-on exhibits based on simple laws of physics, perception, mechanics, optical illusions through mathematical puzzles, optics, electricity and magnetism, vibrations and sound, energy and motors, electronics and Hi-tech to topics like Environment. Here the students can discover the magic of science!!
- The Archaeological Museum at BACRI exhibits a variety of unique archaeological objects, both excavated and collected. The galleries are arranged in chronological order to better showcase history as a coherent whole. The objects on display include excavated artefacts, items of pre-, early historic and megalithic periods, stone sculptures of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain culture and wood carvings. Bronze and temple ware, miniature paintings of historical schools of art, palm-leaf manuscripts and illustrated manuscripts are some of the other artefacts visitors can take in.
- The Nirmala Birla Art Gallery / Dolls Museum located next to the Archaeological Galleries exhibits a varied collection of art objects amassed and contributed by Mrs Nirmala Birla, Chairperson of BACRI, and other members of the Birla family. The art objects on display include porcelain, glass, plaster of Paris, jade, crystal, sterling silver, mother of pearl, wood carvings and ivory.
- The Room Royal of the Archaeological Museum houses a pre-Mutiny curtain dating to the time of poet king, Bahadur Shah Zafar. It is crafted in zardozi, a craft that was local to the Mughal capitals of Agra and Delhi. Zardozi is Persian embroidery usually done with gold wire and precious stones. This room also houses rare manuscripts, miniature paintings and a handwritten manuscript of Nobel laureate and Bengali poet, Rabindranath Tagore.
The one of its kind Dinosaurium, inaugurated in 2000 with 160 million years old best fossil specimens of a Dinosaur, anywhere in the world.
The Nirmala Birla Gallery of Modern Art, inaugurated in 2003. This has been the dream child of Smt Nirmala Birla who has taken so much effort in collecting these paintings and artefacts over the decades.
The NOBEL GALLERY inaugurated in 2007 displays brief write up and pictures of all the Nobel Laureates who have visited our Centre over the years.
- In memory of Late Shri Ganga Prasad Birla the G P Birla Centre was established in 2011. This building a tribute to one of the greatest visionaries and philanthropists of India, Padma Bhushan Late Shri G P Birla, is an iconic and prestigious landmark of Hyderabad.
- The roof houses the Astronomical Observatory. This is an Indo-French Collaborative effort and would be one of the few public observatories in India. Amateurs and interested persons could use the Observatory and see for themselves the marvels of the Universe.
- The lower floors of this imposing structure has an auditorium, classrooms for Research, Educational Courses.
- A world class library is located in the first floor of the G P Birla Centre with a vast collection of books on Art, Archeology, Architecture, Religion, Culture, Indology and other allied subjects. Apart from these there are Dictionaries and Encyclopedias. A rare collection of books on Ivory, Glass, Jade, Porcelain and interesting places of the world can also be browsed through by readers.
- We also have a Study Hall facility specially designed for working individuals and students preparing for competitive examinations and higher education.
- The basement houses the Nirmala Birla Gallery for Modern Art, to give an artistic touch to the elitists of Science.
The 3D theatre in 2016 which takes you on a dive into the ocean to explore the undersea world.
- The G P Birla Space Museum inaugurated in 2019 in collaboration with ISRO showcases models through exact replicas India’s progressive journey to outer space.
- The state-of-the-art digital projection system of the Plalnetarium inaugurated recently on October 14, 2019 is an upgradation from the original Goto Electromechanical projector to a hybrid projection system that includes both the Goto and the Digital projection system of Evans & Sutherland, USA. The digital Evans & Sutherland system works on a completely different principle, namely, through powerful projection systems. It projects full dome digital images of the cosmos and events in the cosmos. Thus its versatility increases. This brings the best of both worlds in a very exciting way to the viewer.
Some Salient Features
The Centre is amongst the busiest and best attended and best rated in the world.
- The Centre has one of the most prestigious ongoing Distinguished Visitorship Programmes anywhere. Lectures are delivered under four heads: The B M Birla Memorial Lecture, Frontiers of Science Forum Lecture Series, B M Birla Science Centre Lecture Series and the G P Birla Distinguished Lecture Series. The Distinguished Visitors include Sir Fred Hoyle, Sir Hermann Bondi, Prof. Philip Morrison, Prof. Yuval Ne’eman and Nobel Laureates Prof. Abdus Salam, Prof. William Fowler, Prof. Van Der Meer, Prof. Antony Hewish, Prof. Lord George Porter, Prof. Norman Ramsey, Prof. Werner Arber, Prof. Ilya Prigogine, Prof. De Gennes, Prof. Norman Borlaug, Sir Aaron Klug, Prof. James Watson, Prof. Roald hoffman, the Dalai Lama, Prof. Klaus Von Klitzing, Sir John Kendrew, Prof. Steven Chu, Prof. Gerard’t Hooft, Prof. Charles Townes, Sir Harold Kroto, Prof. Douglas Osheroff, Prof. Cohen Tannoudji, Prof. Robert Curl, Prof. William D. Phillips, Prof. Antony Leggett, Prof. Ei-ichi Negishi, Prof. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Prof. Serge Haroche, Prof. T Kajita, Prof. Martin Chalfie and others.
- The Centre has instituted several awards. These include the B M Birla Science Prizes, amongst the most prestigious awards for Indian Scientists and the Life Time Achievement in Sciences Awards given to a selection from amongst the greatest living scientists in the world. The Awardees include: Nobel Laureates Prof. Abdus Salam, Prof. Norman Borlaug, Sir Aaron Klug, Prof. James Watson, Prof. Ilya Prigogine, Prof. Roald Hoffman, Prof. Klaus Von Klitzing, Prof. Gerard’t Hooft,. Prof. Charles Townes, Prof. Douglas Osheroff, Prof. Cohen Tannoudji, Prof. Robert Curl, Prof. William D. Phillips, Prof. Antony Leggett and others.
- The G P Birla Distinguished Award has been given to Nobel Laureates Prof. Ei-ichi Negishi, Prof. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Prof. Serge Haroche, Prof. Kajita and Prof. Martin Chalfie.
- By 1995 the Centre had achieved a breakthrough, for the first time in the country, in the field of Natural Language Processing Software, by developing a grammar based translator, Birla Trans, which was presented to the Government.
- The Centre has carried out several nationally relevant and important research projects in fields ranging from Artificial Intelligence to Ancient Indian Science and Technology.
- The International Institute for Applicable Mathematics and Information Sciences for research programmes in Theoretical Physics, Astronomy and Computer Sciences. It is based in Hyderabad and in the University of Udine, Italy.
- The Science Projects Division has helped to establish several Science Centres in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and elsewhere.
- The Centre routinely organizes every year several Science Camps, Exhibitions, Activity Competitions etc., for students and teachers.
- The Centre organizes National and International Symposia every year on Science and Technology related topics and Ancient Indian Astronomy and Science.
- The Centre has undertaken prestigious multi year projects, with other European Institutes under the European Union Economic Cross Cultural Programme and other European Programmes. Under this a large number of Workshops on Science and Technology topics are organized both in India and in Europe.