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01 March, 2021

5 Min Read

GS-III : S&T S&T
Raman Effect- National Science Day

Raman Effect- National Science Day

National Science Day

  • National Science Day, which fell on February 28, commemorates a path-breaking discovery of Raman Effect.
  • Three more physicists from Calcutta, namely Jagadish Chandra Bose, Satyendra Nath Bose and Meghnad Saha, had by then made major contributions that were globally acclaimed.
  • It seems very thoughtful and rational that our National Science Day celebrates a discovery (Raman Effect) and not the birthday of its discoverer.

What is Raman Effect?

  • Raman effect, change in the wavelength of light that occurs when a light beam is deflected by molecules. When a beam of light traverses a dust-free, transparent sample of a chemical compound, a small fraction of the light emerges in directions other than that of the incident (incoming) beam.
  • Most of this scattered light is of unchanged wavelength. A small part, however, has wavelengths different from that of the incident light; its presence is a result of the Raman effect.

Fig 1. Raman Effect

Objective assessment

  • Two books in particular, Nobel Laureate C.V. Raman’s Work on Light Scattering and C.V. Raman’s Laboratory and Discovery of the Raman Effect analyse the process, essence and significance of his work.
  • India has progressed a great deal in about a century after the major advances made by the Bose(s), Saha and Raman.
  • Even though none so far, working in India, has personally scaled those heights, our achievements, on the whole, on the application of science and technology in fields such as atomic energy, space research, agriculture and biotechnology have been impressive.
  • Two recent developments, namely the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP) and the draft National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2020 (draft STIP), despite having limitations that characterise any government publication, underscore some of the pathways to scientific research.
  • The importance of languages has been highlighted in the NEP.
  • S.N. Bose and others had been advocating from the 1940s for the use of the mother languages for science teaching and popularisation.
  • Setting up of the National Research Foundation, to encourage and fund research and development activities.

Fostering research

  • The draft STIP has also mooted substantial ideas in order to promote research and innovation and develop ‘a robust system for evidence and stakeholder-driven STI planning … and policy research in India’.
  • The proposal for a Research Excellence Framework for higher educational institutions, once reconciled with the relevant provisions of the NEP, can make a qualitative difference.
  • Likewise, fostering science and technology-enabled entrepreneurship and mainstreaming grassroot innovation and traditional knowledge systems (validated by modern scientific methods of evaluation and assessment) are proposals worth pursuing.
  • The draft STIP and facilitate India transforming itself to a forward-looking, science-enabled and science-respecting nation.

Keep the flame burning

  • The celebration of National Science Day with the basic objective of spreading the message of science and its importance in improving the lives of people, must be taken forward in the days ahead and should spur a national reawakening instead of being just a ritual.
  • India has a long history of secular enquiry and free thoughts. From Aryabhata, Var?hamihira and Bh?skar?c?rya to the great scientists of modern India, the tradition of illuminating the world of science continues.
  • Illustrious women like Janaki Ammal (botanist), Asima Chatterjee (chemist), Bibha Chowdhuri (physicist) and Gagandeep Kang (medical scientist) have kept this flame burning.
  • Collectively, we have to take forward the legacy instead of wasting our time indulging in obscurantism, unscientific and unsubstantiated claims.
  • It is only then that the purpose of observing the Day will be fulfilled and the spirit of Raman’s unswerving dedication to science be honoured.

Source: TH

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