Why India celebrates National Science Day on February 28?

National Science Day is celebrated on February 28 to commemorate the 'Raman Effect'

In the post-truth Trump era, science and scientific research have been pushed to the sidelines. While the Trump administration is working on full throttle to decrease spending on science programs, in India, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley raised the spending on science programs by around 10 percent. And that’s what makes National Science Day today even more special.

Twitter today is buzzing with details about the momentous scientific discoveries made by Indian scientists and visionaries. Tweeps are sharing quite a few images of noted Indian researchers and technologists who not only brought laurels to the country but also shaped science as we know it today.

Check out some of the tweets here:

CV Raman

CV Raman (Photo: Twitter/Vijay Goel)

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Why is February 28 celebrated as the National Science Day?
February 28 is celebrated as the National Science Day to commemorate the ‘Raman Effect‘, which was discovered by the noted Indian physicist Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman on February 28, 1928. He was awarded the Nobel prize in physics for his discovery in 1930.

In 1986, the National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) asked the Indian government to designate February 28 as National Science Day. The government accepted this proposal and India celebrated its first National Science Day in 1987.

However, the day is not only used to commemorate Raman’s discovery but also to spread the importance of science and technology and its modern applications. This year’s theme is ‘science and technology for a sustainable future’.

CV Raman

CV Raman (Photo: Twitter/Rakesh Kumar)

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What is the ‘Raman Effect’ and why is it important?
Ready for a textbook lesson? Here we go: When a beam of light interacts with a material, most of the scattered wavelength has the same frequency as the incident light beam. However, a small part of the scattered light has a different wavelength. This difference in wavelength of scattered light depends on the properties of the material. And this phenomenon is called the Raman effect.

Raman effect led to the development of a new branch of spectroscopy — Raman spectroscopy. It is used for a wide variety of purpose including:
– Developing anti-corrosive materials
– Analysing the purity of food and drugs
– Identification of minerals in gemstones
– Identification of contaminants in drugs and semiconductors
– Testing the quality of diamond etc.

Happy National Science Day folks!