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National Science Day

Today is the National Science Day. It is a day of immense national importance celebrated to commemorate the invention of the famous Raman Effect by Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman (CV Raman). It was on the 28th of February 1928 that the great Indian physicist Sir CV Raman discovered Raman Effect while working in the laboratory of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata.

He discovered that when light energy called photons bombard the molecules of a solution the change in energy of the photons take place resulting in the emission of the series of colors called Raman lines. These Raman lines could furnish detailed information regarding the internal structure of the substance present in the solution. He was successful to explain the spectral effect of sunlight on the molecules constituting sea water, atmosphere, solid objects, liquids and gases. These molecules absorb certain color of sunlight and scatter the remaining colors.

The object will appear in the color of the scattered light. His discovery was of immense importance to the advancement of science and technology in the global scenario. Within a decade of his discovery, the internal structures of more than 2000 chemical compounds were determined. It was a great achievement and for that he received the Nobel Prize in Physics, 1930. He was the first Indian to win a Nobel Prize in science. It was a moment of pride for India. Hence, the day is the turning point in the history of scientific research of India.

 

In 1986, the National Council of Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC) proposed to the Government of India to designate February 28 as the National Science Day. The first National Science Day was observed on February 28 in the next year. The first prestigious National Science Popularization Awards were instituted in that year. The National objectives of celebrating the event are:-

i) To give opportunities to bring issues of science on centre stage;

ii) To highlight contributions of science to mankind in the domains disease eradication, energy production, space exploration, environmental issues, information technology, etc.

iii) To emphasize bio-technology’s impact on agriculture, environment, health, industry and pharmaceuticals;

iv) To give the space of exchange of thoughts on the cultivation of science and scientific temper;

v) To provide information on applications of science in daily life;

vi) To motivate by inculcating the scientific temper among the school children towards the scientific research and

vii) To list the initiative steps taken up by the scientific community to disseminate the knowledge of science to the future generations.

The day is celebrated throughout the country with much funfair and great enthusiasm. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will be celebrating the day with more spectacular mega events in the beautiful city of Bangalore. ISRO will have live-display of meteorological and oceanographic satellite data. It will also host many displays, models exhibit on 3-D images of the Moon and the display panel of thermal blanket of the satellite and so on. The screening of video on satellite launch concepts including the recent Chandrayan – I will also be conducted.

At Ahmedabad, 3 mega science events as a part of Science Utsav 2011 are being organized by the Gujarat Science Society to commemorate the day. The special attraction of the event is the Night sky observation where visitors will be introduced to amazing scenario of the Universe. The general public and the young science students in particular will be thrilled when they see the famous stars, galaxies and constellations. The news is pouring in regarding the celebration of the day from all over the country.

In our State, Manipur Association for the Promotion of Science (MAPS) is organizing the observance of National Science Day today at the Senate Hall, Manipur University. The program includes speeches on the National Science Day and release of the book “Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman—a life in science” published by the Manipur Association for Promotion of Science.

In view of the new perspectives of the policy of science education in India and the great enthusiasm for the development of the scientific temper throughout the country, the concerned departments in the State should take initiatives to organize this celebration so as to motivate our younger generation to yearn for learning the peerless knowledge of science.

*The article is written by M Bidyasagar

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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