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National Science Day: Ruminating Sir CV Raman’s contribution to science

National leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on February 28, 2018, paid rich tributes to Sir CV Raman and wished the nation on National Science Day.

“Greetings on #NationalScienceDay. I salute all science lovers and wish them the very best as they enhance their scientific zeal. India is extremely proud of our scientists, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet.

“Science plays an important role in our daily lives and the benefits of science must reach the common man. #NationalScienceDay #CVRaman #Science,” Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said in a message on the micriblogging site Twitter.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Union IB Minister Smriti Irani too took to Twitter to pay tribute to Sir CV Raman and greet the nation on this occasion.

“Today is National Science Day, celebrated to mark the discovery of the Raman Effect by Sir CV Raman. My best wishes to all the scientists in India. Let us strive to inculcate the scientific temper among our younger generation,” Mamata Banerjee said in a tweet.

“On National Science Day, we remember Sir C V Raman’s contribution to science and celebrate excellence of our scientists. My best wishes to all science enthusiasts in their quest to invent, innovate and contribute towards nation building,” Smriti Irani said in a tweet.

A number of activities including public speeches, radio-TV talk shows, science movies, science exhibitions, debates and quiz competitions and lectures are being organized to commemorate this day. The Department of Science & Technology (DST) too is organizing an event to commemorate this day. As part of the programme, National Awards will also be conferred on scientists for their outstanding contribution in the field of science and technology. The DST had in 1987 instituted the National Awards to stimulate, encourage and recognize outstanding efforts in the area of science popularization and communication.

The National Science Day is celebrated every year on February 28 to venerate the discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’ led by Sir CV Raman which won him the Noble Prize. This year, it is being celebrated with the theme ‘Science and Technology for a sustainable future’. He discovered that when light traverses a transparent material, some of the deflected light changes wavelength. This phenomenon was later known as the Raman effect. In 1954, he was honoured with highest civilian award the Bharat Ratna for his immense contribution in the field of science.

This day is also celebrated to spread the message of importance of science and its application in the day-to-day lives of people.

Born on November 7, 1888 in Tamil Nadu, Sir CV Raman had immense enthusiasm in science. He got admission into Presidency College, Madras, in 1902 and passed his B.A. examination in 1904. He got his M.A. degree in 1907 with highest distinctions.

While he was a student, he had done researches in optics and acoustics. Apart from this, his other areas of interest were the optics of colloids, electrical and magnetic anisotropy and the physiology of human vision.

A number of scholarships for science students such as Raman – Charpak Fellowship and Raman Fellowship for Post Doctoral Research in US were also launched to honour this great scientist.

Manmath Nayak

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