Happy Science Day to all!
A proud day in the annual calendar of India dedicated to celebrating science. The day marks the discovery of the Raman effect by Indian physicist Chadrasekhara Venkata Raman on 28 February 1928. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for this path breaking discovery in 1930.
It was lovely to hear of celebrations in universities, institutions, colleges and schools from across the country (though many of them remained closed today in the national capital region on account of assembly polls).
The government’s science popularisation wing Vigya Prasar held public lectures at the National Science Centre in New Delhi with nuclear energy and environment experts talking about ‘Clean Energy Options and Nuclear Safety’ and ‘Scientific Attitude’. A workshop on low cost science teaching aids; quiz and essay writing competitions for youngsters were also part of the interactive programme. Along with the National Centre for Innovations in Distance Education (NCIDE), Vigyan Prasar also unveiled an innovative science popularisation programme through mobile phones, the first such in India.
In the western state of Gujarat, a five-day science carnival with the theme ‘Sparking Young Minds with Science’ was kicked off. Along with the usual competitions for students and lectures, it had some lively film shows, demonstration exhibitions and sky gazing fun.
Yesterday, we heard of protests on the eve of National Science Day at Pune’s Agharkar Research Institute. The protestors did not allow nuclear scientist Anil Kakodkar, a former chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Commision, to deliver a talk on the Jaitapur nuclear power plant. The plant, in Maharashtra, has been facing anti-nuclear protests since last year.
A national science day is a reminder of the country’s science legacy and a day for policy makers to spare a thought about the biggest malady affecting science — its education in schools and colleges. Hope there was some discussion in some corner of this country to address the issue.