Climate change is a global, complex, and interconnected challenge. India is faced with the challenge of sustaining its rapid growth while also improving living standards and reducing vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. However, as a developing country, India also has a unique opportunity to avoid the errors of following a conventional, carbon-intensive path towards development.
Climate action is not just about mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, but also about adaptation and disaster resilience. India has a history of following a moderate lifestyle that relies on adapting to a changing climate. Because of these values, India’s national plan includes working toward an alternative development path that is less carbon intensive than that of developed countries. India is working with other nations to address this challenge in a positive, constructive, and forward- thinking manner. Education and awareness are essential drivers for climate action, so SECAS is an effort to raise awareness of climate change and actions that are being taken at local, national, and international levels. It inspires people to become a part of the solution by offering ideas on how to lessen the impact of climate change and contribute to climate resilience.
VASCSC’s team of qualified, trained, and motivated Science Communicators travels with the train to explain and interpret the exhibition, answer questions, and conduct activities. While the exhibition is open to all, it primarily targets students and teachers.
In order to broaden the reach of Science Express, activities are planned at every station to engage visitors across different age groups. An exciting and much sought-after activity—the Outreach Program—is conducted in local schools and institutions to reach students who are not able to visit the train. Depending on celestial events, astro-nights are conducted at some stations.
A series of activities taking place on the train platform are designed to engage students waiting to board the exhibition coaches. Important national and international days related to science, mathematics, and the environment, like World Ozone Day, World Environment Day, etc., are celebrated on the platform to generate awareness among students and the public.
The SECAS exhibition covers various aspects of climate change in a manner that is both interesting and easy to understand. The broad themes covered in each exhibition coach are as follows:
Coach 1: Understanding Climate Change—Insights into the climate as a system, the greenhouse gas effect, and the underlying reasons for climate change, with a key message that climate change is the result of human activities
Coach 2: Impacts of Climate Change—How temperature rise, monsoon variations, and sea level rise are predicted to affect vital sectors such as water, agriculture, forests, biodiversity, and human health
Coaches 3 & 4: Adaptation—Strategies for adapting to climate change with examples from everyday life, options for urban and rural contexts, and India’s adaptation actions
Coaches 5 & 6: Mitigation—Methods for reducing the impacts of climate change, with an emphasis on restoring balance, enhancing sinks, and reducing emission through renewable energy
Coach 7: International Negotiations for Climate Change—Introduction to UNFCCC, IPCC, Kyoto Protocol, COP, and internationally agreed-upon actions and targets; explanation of common but differential responsibility
Coach 8: Positive Actions—Recommendations for individual lifestyle changes with the key message of ‘Increase Your Handprint, Decrease Your Footprint’
Coaches 9 &10: Exhibition by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, covering Biotechnology for bio-resources and nature conservation, with emphasis on tiger conservation and chemical ecology
Coach 11: Exhibition by the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) showcasing select innovations in science and technology, science education, and technological solutions for societal development, including a project that uses augmented reality techniques
Coach 12: Kids Zone for children from Std. 5 (age 11 years) and below to participate in activities, games, and puzzles focused on science, mathematics, and the environment
Coach 13: Joy of Science (JOS) Hands-on Lab—A space for students from Std. 6-10 (Age 12 to 16 years) to perform experiments and activities that teach concepts in science, mathematics, and the environment in an interesting manner, as well as a training facility for teachers
Solar panels have been installed on the rooftops of three coaches in a collaborative effort of DST and CEL.
More information is available at: http://www.sciencexpress.in/