BIRLA INDUSTRIAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL MUSEUM

19a, Gurusaday Road, Beck Bagan, Ballygunge, Kolkata, West Bengal 700019, India

Website

9477345291

10.00-18.00 week days - Sunday closed

Established on 2nd May 1959 under the administrative control of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), Birla Industrial & Technological Museum in Kolkata is widely regarded as the mother of science museum movement in India. The idea behind this pioneering initiative came from Dr. B C Roy, the then Chief Minister of West Bengal who after visiting the Deutsches Museum in Munich was inspired to create a similar institution in India for public engagement with science & technology. His vision and efforts in this regard found instant support and patronage from the likes of PanditJawharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India, and industrialist Shri G D Birla.The latter donated the Birla Park, his sprawling bungalow and the adjoining plot of land in the upscale Ballygunge area of Calcutta, to CSIR for setting up an Industrial and Technological Museum. Pandit Nehru received this magnanimous gift from Shri G D Birla in 1956.

Starting with the taking over of the Birla Park in 1956 by the Govt. of India to the Museum’s inauguration in 1959, the journey was quite eventful and challenging. Careful planning and painstaking efforts by the museum’s planning committee that was headed by Dr. B C Roy himself and included a host of renowned scientists, educationists and industrialists ultimately resulted in the formation of India’s first science museum under the ambit of the central government.

The Birla Industrial & Technological Museum, popular by its acronym BITM, was opened to the public on 2nd May, 1959 by Prof.HumayunKabir, the then union minister for scientific research and cultural affairs in the presence of Dr. B C Roy, Prof. M S Thacker, the then Director General of CSIR, and Shri. A Bose, Planning Officer of BITM.

To start with, BITM had galleries on Electricity, Petroleum, Nuclear Physics, Metallurgy of Iron, Steel & Copper, Optics, Electronics and Television. Subsequently, many new galleries came up one by one, namely, Motive Power (1962), Communication (1963), Mining (1964), Popular Science (1965), Transport (1973), Underground Mock-up Coal Mine (1983), Atom (1984). But with the passing of time, many of these old galleries have either been thoroughly renovated or replaced with new galleries in keeping with the changing public expectation from BITM.

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