Akash Ganga: Centre for Astronomy (AGCA) has evolved from the needs of several amateur astronomers’ groups, planet aria, and astronomical institutes in the country. Basic observational astronomy has taken a back seat. Astronomy is taught at very preliminary level at school level, though thereafter there is no formal teaching in astronomy education using the observation as learning tool.
AGCA is an open platform for its members from any subject be it arts, science, medicine, engineering or any other faculty. The basic criteria for admission are 10+2. The members would be initiated in different branches of science to use the modern technology for the subject. Many of the concepts in the subject need self motivation and most important is there keen interest.
AGCA stands for all round development in the subject and are governed by the bye-laws of the Trust.
AGCA has developed its own observatory with its own telescope and its accessories. Similarly AGCA encourages membership to take up newer areas in astronomy, like astronomical instrumentation, telescope making, astro-chemistry, astro-biology, and radio astronomy for planets, solar and interplanetary scintillation programs.
AGCA has developed its own Library with over 400 books, journals and magazines in astronomy and astrophysics. It has plans to bring connectivity with other astronomy institute in and around (PRL-Ahmedabad, AGCA-Badlapur, IIA-Bangalore, TIFR-Mumbai and IUCAA-Pune. The Library will cater to the interest of its members,
AGCA plans outreach program to cover rural schools, colleges, and Space & Astronomy Park in their premises.
To sustain present level of activity and for the development activity AGCA is in need of funds. Donations to AGCA are exempt under section 80G of the IT Act 1961 in the hands of the donors subject to the limits prescribed there in as per letter No. DIT(E)/80G/627/W-2-03-04 dated 24.03.2004 of the Commissioner of Income Tax.
Figure 1: Akash Ganga Observatory (AGO)