Science brings about solutions for everyday problems and provides answers to the greatest mysteries of the universe. Science is thus one of the most important channels of knowledge. It has a specific role, yet has various functions, for our society’s benefit, i.e. improving knowledge and education, and enhancing the quality of life. A country can evolve thanks to scientists who find new approaches to problems and prove new scientific laws. In this regard, National Science Day (NSD) is observed on February 28 every year in India, to honour the revered physicist Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman’s contributions.
From this special day’s origins to how to celebrate it, here’s everything you need to know about National Science Day. National Science Day commemorates the discovery of the Raman Effect by CV Raman, for which he won the Nobel Prize in Physics. Every year, on this particular day, the Government of India felicitates scientists from various fields for their valuable contribution to science.
National Science Day’s main objective is to increase awareness among people about the importance of science and technology in their lives. CV Raman officially declared on February 28, 1928 that he had invented the Raman Effect. He was then awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930 for his findings. The National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) put forward a proposal for the National Science Day to be celebrated on February 28 every year to pay tribute to this achievement. Following this, the Government of India accepted the proposal, and the first-ever National Science Day was celebrated on February 28, 1987.
The Raman Effect states that when a light wave emerges out of a liquid, a portion of this light wave is distributed in a direction that’s different from the direction of the incoming light wave. Most of this scattered light is of an unchanged wavelength. This research by Dr CV Raman thus explains certain phenomena like why seawater looks blue in colour. The Raman Effect is all about the flexible distribution of photon particles. In fact it is an inelastic collision of a photon with molecules, which means that there is an exchange of energy and a change in light direction. This effect was named Raman scattering or Raman Effect. This phenomenon is also known as “Raman Spectroscopy”, which is used by chemists and physicists to analyze materials.
National Science Day’s primary objective is to ignite an interest in science, inspire people, especially students, to perform new experiments, and make them aware of the latest developments in science and technology. Several scientific activities and programs are organised on this day.
Every year, National Science Day is celebrated with a concept or theme that focuses on the importance of science, and the Department of Science and Technology selects the theme. This year’s theme is ‘Global Science for Global Wellbeing’. The motive of the year’s theme is to encourage talented Indian minds to come out from silos working culture and take part in theme-based projects.
Today, National Science Day gives people an opportunity to learn more about how science affects their everyday lives and contributes to societal development. Many scientific centres and institutions organise scientific debates, competitions, lectures, and public speaking events to mark the occasion.
Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman was born on November 7, 1888 in the city of Trichinopoly, Madras Presidency, British India. Today the city is known as Tiruchirappalli and sits in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.Raman’s father was Chandrasekaran Ramanathan Iyer, a teacher of mathematics and physics. His mother was Parvathi Ammal, who was taught to read and write by her husband.
Lokasundari Ammal was his spouse and Vikram Sarabhai, Venkataraman Radhakrishna and Chandrasekhar Raman were his children. He was the uncle of Subramanyam Chandrasekhar who won the 1983 Nobel Prize for Physics. At the time of Raman’s birth, the family lived on a low income. Raman was the second of eight children. Raman’s families were Brahmins, the Hindu caste of priests and scholars. His father, however, paid little attention to religious matters: Raman grew up to share his father’s casual attitude to religion, but he did observe some Hindu rituals culturally and respected traditions such as vegetarianism.
When Raman was four years old his father got a better job, becoming a college lecturer, and the family moved to Waltair (now Visakhapatnam). From a very young age Raman was interested in science, reading the books his father had used as a student. As he grew older, he started borrowing mathematics and physics books from his father’s college library. Entering his teenage years, he began learning from books his father had bought when he had intended to get a master’s degree in physics.
Chandrasekhara aka CV Raman was exceptional in studies, he cleared his matriculation exam at the early age of 11. Two years later he passed the intermediate-level exam and later joined the Presidency College in 1902. In the year 1904, Raman got his bachelor’s degree. He was the first rank holder and a gold medalist in Physics.
After three years, he completed his Master’s Degree as well. He was also selected for the government service job in the Finance Department of Colonial government which he later quit after he got his hands on the position as the Palit Professor of Physics at the University of Calcutta in the year 1917. While carrying out experiments on the scattering of light which later ended up in discovering the Raman Effect in the year 1928. CV Raman won the Knight Bachelor award a year later discovering the scattering of light and became a Fellow of the Royal Society.
In the year 1932, Raman and Suri Bhagavantam discovered the quantum photon spin which further confirmed the light’s quantum nature. Raman was also interested in Music so became the first person to study the harmonic nature of mridangam and tabla. CV Raman was honoured and appointed as the first Indian director of Indian Institute of Science (IIS) in 1933. After India got independence in 1947, Raman became the first National Professor of the Country. This day commemorates the achievements and efforts that have brought science to its current state, as well as highlights its importance in our daily lives.
National Science Day is observed as an opportunity to discuss important issues in science. It emphasizes how important it is to be informed on scientific issues and debates that affect our daily lives. It is an opportunity to celebrate the many ways that science advances human progress, and it’s important for people of all ages to be aware of how scientific discoveries can improve our lives. It is celebrated for discussing all the issues and implementing new technologies for the development of science in India. It gives an opportunity to scientific-minded citizens, encourages people as well as popularizes science and technology.CV Raman died on November 21, 1970 at Bangalore.
The Department of Science and Technology in India presented the National Award for Science and Communication to five institutions on February 28, 2009. These awards are presented to recognize the efforts of government and non-government bodies, as well as individuals who make science popular in the country.
In 2009, the Vikram Sarabhai Community Science Center was awarded the highest award for its contribution to science-related learning material and training programs that promote science education. This event celebrates CV Raman’s outstanding contributions to research and discovery, inspiring future generations. To not stop after making one breakthrough in any area, but to continue seeking the nation’s credit in every possible way. We celebrate National Science Day to recognise science’s greatness, intending to eliminate taboos and accept that the environment is mostly about science—as scientific research is mostly about environmental factors, no matter what shape they take on.