NEHRU MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Hijli Shaheed Bhavan

Hijli Shaheed Bhavan in 1990

NEHRU MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Established in 1990

The museum was established in this building in 1990 with the objective of providing a historical perspective

NEHRU MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Hijli Shahid Bhavan

On 16th September, 1997, it was renamed as Hijli Shahid Bhavan

NEHRU MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

A Historic Building

Infamous Hijli Detention Camp of the pre-Independence era

NEHRU MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

A Great place

Located in the old building of IIT Kharagpur

A Great place

Located in the old building of IIT Kharagpur

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A Historic Building

Infamous Hijli Detention Camp of the pre-Independence era

Know More

Hijli Shahid Bhavan

On 16th September, 1997, it was renamed as Hijli Shahid Bhavan

Know More

Established in 1990

The museum was established in this building in 1990 with the objective of providing a historical perspective

Know More

Established in 1990

The museum was established in this building in 1990 with the objective of providing a historical perspective

Know More

Image Gallery of NMST

Background

 

Nehru Museum of Science & Technology is located at the Hijli Detention camp building, now named as Hijli Saheed Bhavan. According to history, this building was constructed almost a century ago to house the district headquarters of proposed Hijli district but never used for that purpose. In early 1930-s, this building was converted to a detention camp for the Indian political prisoners. Thereafter in 1942 the US air force, as a part of the allied forces, took over the building for use as their headquarter and radio control unit for their air squadron. Soon after, the ideas for the establishment of a Higher Technical Institute germinated with the creation of the first of the Indian Institutes of Technology in 1951 at the same premises.

Considering the historical importance of the "Old Hijli Detention Camp", Prof K. L. Chopra, Director of I.I.T. Kharagpur from 1987 to 1997, took the initiative to house in it a museum to preserve the history of the building and for the popularisation of science and technology. A task force to look after the museum establishment was constituted under the chairmanship of Prof. G.L. Sinha in 1989. Members of this committee included dedicated teachers of the institute like Prof. S. T. H. Abidi and Prof. (Smt.) Mandakini Majumdar, who took major initiatives in establishing and development of the museum in its initial years. In tune with the Nehru centenary celebrations in 1990, the museum was named after Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. On 1st July 1990 the Board of Governors, I.I.T. Kharagpur gave approval of the Management Committee to run the museum. The doors of the Museum were formally opened to the public by Mr. Russi Modi (the then Chairman, BOG) on August 3, 1990. The Nehru Museum of Science & Technology is the only museum of its kind in the entire IIT System. Located in the historic Hijli Shaheed Bhavan building, it preserves the rich heritage of its association with the Indian freedom struggle movement and subsequently the journey of IIT Kharagpur from its inception in 1951. With the financial assistance from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, a part of the museum has been renovated thoroughly in 2014 while the other part is under renovation and will be reopened soon.

Moving ahead with the times...

The Nehru Museum of Science & Technology completed 25 years of its existence in 2016. In keeping with the spirit, a museum development fund received from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, was utilized to renovate some of the galleries of the Museum. Though this work is still ongoing, a section of the museum has been attractively renovated with the help of the National Council of Science Museums and is drawing a large crowd of visitors each day since its opening in September 2014. The main attractions of these galleries are as follows:

  • Gallery 1: Mathematics
  • Gallery 2: Machine, motion, light, and sounds
  • Gallery 3: Laws and principles of Physics
  • Gallery 4: Electricity and magnetism
  • Gallery 5: Railway transportation in India
  • Gallery 6: Water transportation in India
  • Gallery 7: Aviation and Indian space research
  • Gallery 8: Genesis of computing machines at IIT Kharagpur
  • Gallery 9: Inflatable Planetarium /  Exhibition Space
  • Gallery 10: Study/ Library 
  • Audio-Visual Room

Museum Resources and Activities

Apart from the science galleries of the museum, it also houses several other resources and artifacts which have their own significance, such as:

  • The "Prison Cells" for men and the "Ladies Jail" for women, which were constructed in the 1930's for political prisoners.
  • A gallery on important landmarks in the journey of India's freedom struggle titled "From Bondage to Freedom- The Nation's Journey"
  • A gallery located at the prison cells to showcase the role of Midnapore district in the freedom struggle movement of India.
  • Special outdoor exhibits like "Hunter Plane", an attack jet donated by the Indian Air Force, a medium gauge steam engine donated by the Indian Railways, a field radar donated by Indian Army and a plaque, with the encryption of the presence of American Airforce here at Kharagpur during World War-II.
  • A recent value addition to the museum has been the 'Exploration Hub', intended mainly for school children. The facility contains mechanical, electrical, electronics, chemistry, and basic physics and mathematics setups for hands-on experiments. 
  • The museum has published several books on science and technology and historical facts related to the freedom struggle of India, especially on the history of Hijli Detention Camp and the history of IIT Kharagpur's inception and growth.
  • A documentary movie on the history of the IIT Old Building, screened regularly in the audio-visual room of the museum.
  • The museum is also actively engaged in different activities, among the foremost of which are as follows:
    • Organisation of Science Camps, seminars, lectures and workshops for the student community
    • Observation of Hijli Martyrs' Day to commemorate the martyrs and inmates of the Hijli Detention Camp
    • Publication of thematic calendar and books
    • Conduct of Planetarium shows for the school children 

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