National Science Day 2024: A Tribute to India’s Scientific Achievements

National Science Day 2024: A Tribute to India’s Scientific Achievements

National Science Day is celebrated every year on February 28 to mark the anniversary of the discovery of the Raman Effect by Indian physicist Sir C.V. Raman in 1928. The day also aims to honor the contributions of Indian scientists and researchers to the advancement of science and technology in the country and the world. The theme for National Science Day 2024 is “Indigenous Technologies for Viksit Bharat”, which focuses on the importance of developing and promoting homegrown innovations for the progress and prosperity of India.

The Raman Effect is the phenomenon of scattering of light by molecules of a medium, which results in a change in the wavelength and intensity of the scattered light. Sir C.V. Raman discovered this effect on February 28, 1928, while working at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science in Kolkata. He used a monochromatic beam of sunlight to pass through a transparent liquid and observed the spectrum of the scattered light using a spectroscope. He noticed that some of the scattered light had a different wavelength than the incident light, indicating that the molecules of the liquid had absorbed some of the energy of the light and emitted it at a lower frequency. He named this phenomenon as the Raman Effect and published his findings in the journal Nature.

The discovery of the Raman Effect was a landmark achievement in the field of spectroscopy, as it opened new avenues for studying the structure and properties of matter using light. The Raman Effect also proved the quantum nature of light, as it showed that light could behave as both a wave and a particle. Sir C.V. Raman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930 for his discovery, becoming the first Asian and the first Indian to win the prestigious award in any branch of science.

Indigenous Technologies for Viksit Bharat: The Theme for National Science Day 2024

The theme for National Science Day 2024 is “Indigenous Technologies for Viksit Bharat”, which emphasizes the need and significance of developing and promoting homegrown innovations in various domains of science and technology. The theme reflects the vision of the Government of India to make India a self-reliant and resilient nation, capable of meeting its own needs and challenges, as well as contributing to the global welfare and development.

Some of the examples of indigenous technologies that have been developed and deployed by Indian scientists and researchers in recent years are:

  • Chandrayaan-3: India’s third lunar mission, which aims to land a rover on the south pole of the moon and explore its topography, mineralogy, and water-ice distribution. The mission is expected to be launched in 2024 and will demonstrate India’s prowess and innovation in space science and technology.
  • COVAXIN: India’s first indigenous COVID-19 vaccine, which was developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV). The vaccine is based on an inactivated virus platform and has shown an efficacy of 81% in phase 3 trials. The vaccine has been approved for emergency use in India and several other countries, and has been hailed as a major achievement for India’s biotechnology sector.
  • NavIC: India’s own regional navigation satellite system, which provides accurate and reliable positioning and timing services to users in India and its vicinity. The system consists of seven satellites in geosynchronous and geostationary orbits, and covers an area of 1500 km around India. The system is designed to provide services such as terrestrial, aerial, and maritime navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking, and mapping.
  • Tejas: India’s indigenous light combat aircraft, which is designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The aircraft is a single-engine, multi-role, supersonic fighter jet, which can perform various missions such as air-to-air combat, air-to-ground attack, reconnaissance, and interception. The aircraft is equipped with advanced avionics, radar, weapons, and electronic warfare systems, and has been inducted into the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy.

Celebrating National Science Day 2024: Events and Activities

National Science Day 2024 will be celebrated across the country with various events and activities to showcase and appreciate the achievements of Indian scientists and researchers, and to inspire and encourage the young generation to pursue science as a career and a passion. Some of the events and activities that will be organized on this occasion are:

  • The Department of Science and Technology (DST), the nodal agency for the celebration of National Science Day, will organize a national function at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, where the President of India will confer the National Science and Technology and Communication Awards to the eminent scientists and communicators for their outstanding contributions to science and society.
  • The National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC), a wing of DST, will coordinate and support various programs and activities at the state and district levels, such as seminars, workshops, exhibitions, lectures, quizzes, competitions, rallies, and camps, to disseminate scientific knowledge and awareness among the masses.
  • The Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), the institute where Sir C.V. Raman discovered the Raman Effect, will organize a special function to pay tribute to the Nobel laureate and his discovery. The function will include a lecture by a distinguished scientist, a demonstration of the Raman Effect, and a visit to the Raman Museum.
  • The National Science Centre (NSC), a unit of the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), will host a series of events and activities for the students and the general public, such as science shows, demonstrations, experiments, games, puzzles, and contests, to promote scientific curiosity and creativity.

National Science Day 2024 is a day to celebrate the scientific spirit and achievements of India, and to acknowledge the role of science and technology in the development and well-being of the nation and the world. It is also a day to inspire and motivate the future scientists and innovators, who will carry forward the legacy of Sir C.V. Raman and his discovery.