New Delhi, Oct 30: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today flagged off an exhibition train ''Science Express'' that will travel through 57 cities across the country for over seven months.
The Science Express displays important challenges in science, the future of research and reach different target groups especially students and young researchers, Dr Singh said in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Lauding the scientists for conceiving and executing the novel idea of mounting an exhibition of a variety of interesting facets of modern science and its applications, the Prime Minister hoped that it would take the wonders of modern science to remote corners of the country and contribute to the propagation of scientific temper among the youth.
He said he was happy that the project was being launched by Dr Merkel who was not only a world leader of outstanding international repute but was also an accomplished scientist.
''Our collaboration with Germany in science and technology goes back several decades. We recall our partnership with Germany in setting up the Rourkela Steel Plant and Indian Institute of Technology at Chennai.'' Germany's achievements in the area of science, technology and research and development had made it an economic superpower in the world. ''As the world moves towards a knowledge economy, German organisation, precision and innovation will help it in maintaining its economic leadership.'' The Science Express would build new bridges of understanding and goodwill between India and Germany. It would symbolise the exciting partnership between scientists and showcase the cooperation in the popularisation of science and its importance to the bilateral relationship.
He said he would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank the Max Planck Society in Germany, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Indian Railways and the Department of Science and Technology for making this project possible.
''In conclusion, I wish to reaffirm the importance we attach to our partnership with Germany. It is my sincere and fondest hope that we will see further such projects between India and Germany in the years to come,'' Dr Singh said.