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National Science Day

In an effort to popularise the benefits of scientific knowledge and pratical appropriation, 28th February is celebrated as National Science Day (NSD). Under the initiative of Rashtriya Vigyan Evam Prodoyogiki Sanchar Parishad (RVPSP) (National Council for Science & Technology Communication)of the Ministry of Science and Technology various programmes ranging from a day to a full month either beginning or culminating on February 28 are implemented. The activities include debates, quiz competitions, exhibitions, lectures, etc., involving college and school students and teachers. All programmes and activities revolve round a theme selected for focus every year. The theme for the 21st National Science Day 2007 is “More Crop Per Drop”.

Significance

The Day is observed to mark the novel discovery of Raman Effect by the great Indian Physicist Sir C. V. Raman on 28th February, 1928. Raman Effect is a phenomenon in spectroscopy discovered by the eminent physicist while working in the laboratory of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of science, Kolkata. After two years of this discovery, Sir C. V. Raman brought the first Nobel Award for the country in 1930. Hence the National Science Day is a great day for Indian Science and scientific community.

Besides, National Science Day offers an opportunity to bring issues of science on to centre stage. The activities organized on the occasion provide public with an occasion to personally attend various programmes and be aware of the emerging issues of immediate concern. Organizing activities with the involvement of large number of people results into purposeful interaction between the science fraternity and the common people for mutual benefit.

Basic objectives:

The basic objective of observation of National Science Day is to spread the message of importance of science and its application among the people. This is essential to accelerate the pace of development. Even in the 21st century and despite many significant achievements certain sections of our society are still guided by blind faith and beliefs, which is reflected in the quality of decision making on developmental issues.

Observation of NSD attempts at generating scientific minded citizens. Science has contributed a great deal to human welfare. Through the gospel of reason and experimental observation, by which it works, it has enabled man to acquire intellectual and mental excellence. From the materialistic point of view, ranging from environmental issues, disease eradication, space exploration, energy production, information highway to name a few, science and technology has broken barriers to bring peace and prosperity with a cleaner environment with sustainable use of resource for the benefit of mankind. Biotechnology is making a major impact on agriculture, health, environment, industry and pharmaceuticals. Communication at lower costs, with greater accessibility, is another product of technology.

It helps inculcate scientific temper among school children. Health and hygiene issues are prime concerns for the common people. The daily application of science like the use of clean drinking water, knowledge to eradicate contagious disease, the know how of various agricultural practices to increase crop production, the usefulness of biodiversity conservation, etc., should be disseminated to the future generation.

Building of science communicators is another component of the NSD celebrations.

Modus operation:

All the NSD activities are planned around a theme suggested by RVPSP. Some of the recent themes are as follows:

2000: Recreating Interest in Basic Science

2001: Information Technology for Science Education

2002: Wealth from Waste

2003: 50 years of DNA & 25 years of IVF – The blue print of Life

2004: Encouraging Scientific Awareness in Community

2005: Celebrating Physics

2006: Nurture Nature for our future

2007: More Crop Per Drop

The Theme’s focus is on efforts to build a eco-water-literate society that values water. It advocates the Optimum use of water in all aspects of human activity and water conservation by all means. It is expected to make common man understand and appreciate the value and importance of water. The awareness thus created will encourage judicious and optimum use of the liquid cautioning the dangers ahead arising out of diminishing water level and paucity of the life sustaining resource.

Source : Press Information Bureau
Date : February 27, 2007

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