Every year we celebrate National Science Day on 28th February to honour our Nobel laureate Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman for his invention of the Raman effect through his experiments on the scattering of light.
Nation pays tribute and expresses gratitude to Sir CV Raman and to all the scientists on this day for their genius and dedication. It is a day, which attracts many young minds to take up science as their career and a day to see novel scientific achievements. The celebrations of this day include showcasing the country’s competence in the field of science. The day has become significant as it reminds us the importance of science in societal transformation. Series of science-related events are also held on this day in the country to inspire people of all ages to work in the field of science, engineering and technology.
Sir CV Raman was born into a Hindu Brahmin family in Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu. Fortunately, he proved his academic excellence at a very young age. Raman passed his secondary school education at a tender age of eleven and entered Mrs. AVN College, where his father served as a professor in mathematics.
Two years later, he went to the prestigious Presidency College in Madras, and completed his B.Sc at the age of fifteen, topping the class with a gold medal in Physics. Barely at seventeen, he had finished his M.Sc obtaining the highest distinctions. Then, he joined the Indian Finance Department as Assistant Accountant General. But, he resigned from government service in 1917 and became professor in Physics at the University of Calcutta.
On February 28th, 1928, he announced the discovery of the Raman effect at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, and was awarded the 1930 Noble Prize in physics for his work. Raman was the first Asian and first non-White to get any Nobel Prize in science. He was elected to the Royal Society of London in 1924 and knighted by the British Empire in 1929.
In 1954, Raman was awarded the Bharat Ratna and honoured with the Lenin Peace Prize in 1957. He became the director of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in 1934 where he served as a professor in physics two years later. In 1947, Government appointed him as the first National Professor. He left the Indian Institute of Science in 1948 and set up the Raman Research Institute in Bangalore, serving as its director and remained active there until his death in 1970 at the age of 82.
Science in contemporary India!
Life is unimaginable without the application of science. Science has transported civilization from the era of cave dwellers to the time of robots.
Our scientists have achieved brilliant feats in recent years. The launching of Chandrayaan I, India’s first mission to the moon by the Indian Space Research Organization on 22nd October 2008 from Satish Dhawan Space centre, Sriharikota, is an achievement to be proud of.
Besides, the ISRO is confident of landing a motorized rover on the moon in 2012, as part of its second moon mission named Chandrayaan-II.
Science in the global economy
In wake of the current global economic downturn there are chances that science and technology may suffer a setback. As a lot of fund is needed in research and experiments, it is but natural that the poor condition of global economy may dry up funds going to this field. But the government should ensure that lack of opportunity and provisions should not discourage our scientists because the solution to most of the world’ woes lies in their hands.
First Published: Friday, February 27, 2009, 00:00