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Nation has made significant strides in science and technology: Guv Kataria

National Science Day celebrations with emphasis on indigenous technologies

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, Feb 28: Governor Gulab Chand Kataria emphasised the great significance of National Science Day, stating that it not only commemorates a landmark discovery in the field of science but also serves as a platform to highlight the importance of scientific research and innovation for the socio-economic development of the nation.

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Addressing an assembly of the scientific community on the occasion of National Science Day at Assam Administrative Staff College here on Wednesday, Governor Kataria remarked that though National Science Day is celebrated throughout the nation to commemorate the discovery of the Raman Effect by Sir CV Raman, the day holds great significance for the present generation. He highlighted that the celebration of the day is aimed at increasing the interest of the younger generation in science.

Highlighting the significance of National Science Day, the Governor mentioned that the celebration reflects India’s journey toward becoming a global scientific superpower. By honouring the past, celebrating the present, and envisioning the future, the occasion plays a significant role in shaping India’s scientific progress. It provides an opportunity to encourage people to build a developed nation by exploring and innovating in the field of science and technology for a better tomorrow.

Governor Kataria also noted, “The nation has made significant progress in the field of science and technology. The successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the south pole of the moon and India’s strong vaccine development capability during the Covid-19 pandemic are notable achievements.” Speaking about Aditya L-1, the Governor mentioned that it has created a new history in space by reaching closer to the sun. “India is making significant contributions to human welfare in various fields such as astronomy, space research, biotechnology, renewable energy, and artificial intelligence,” the Governor added.

Speaking about the theme of this year’s National Science Day, which is ‘Indigenous Technologies for Viksit Bharat’, Governor Kataria stated that under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is achieving new success in the field of science, technology, and technology. To strengthen the foundation of Atmanirbhar Bharat, the government has promoted innovation, entrepreneurship, and startups. Emphasis is also being laid on making the country self-reliant through science and technology.

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The Governor further stated that the nation has a rich history of scientific innovations and discoveries. The world has recognised the country’s progress in indigenous technologies. INS Vikrant, the pride of the Indian Navy, is the country’s first indigenously developed aircraft carrier. Besides, the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed many aeronautical systems, missiles, and electronic technologies.

The Governor also emphasised the need to popularise science among the public and inspire students toward scientific discoveries. He urged educational institutions to give more emphasis on organising science exhibitions, workshops, lectures, etc. The New Education Policy 2020 also stresses research and development.

The Governor commended the government for initiating a separate university for science and technology.

It may be mentioned that the Governor also conferred State Science Awards and Parivesh Mitra Sanman to eminent personalities in recognition of their contribution to science and environmental conservation. He conferred the State Science Awards 2022 to Prof Kamalendu Deb Krori (Lifetime Achievement Award, 2022) and Young Scientist Awards 2022 to Dr Moon Moon Devi, State Science Awards 2023 to Prof Kishori Mohan Pathak Lifetime Achievement Award, 2023 (Posthumous), and Young Scientist Award to Dr Debanga Raj Neog. Akash Science & Environment Education Centre Biswanath Chariali also received an award for Promoting Science & Technology, 2023. Additionally, five distinguished individuals were awarded Parivesh Mitra Samman 2023 for their excellent contribution to environmental protection.

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Minister of Science, Technology, and Climate Change Department Keshab Mahanta, secretary Science, Technology, and Climate Change Department Laya Madduri, director, ASTEC Dr Jaideep Baruah, former director of the Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology Dr Joyanti Chutiya, along with a host of other dignitaries, were present at the program.

 

Our Tezpur correspondent adds: On the occasion of National Science Day 2024, a popular talk linking the theme of National Science Day 2024, ‘Indigenous Technologies for Viksit Bharat’, was jointly organised on Wednesday by the Tezpur branch of the Assam Science Society in collaboration with the Institution’s Innovation Council (IIC), Darrang College, the department of Zoology, and the ZSA Darrang College Unit aiming at making young students aware of indigenous technologies, raising awareness among students, and encouraging students to explore innovative ideas.

Prof Debendra Chandra Baruah, director of IQAC and professor in the department of Energy at Tezpur University, delivered a talk on the topic ‘Indigenous Technologies for Viksit Assam’. During his talk, Dr Baruah emphasised certain key issues, including disparities and economic development, which must be addressed first in Viksit Bharat. “As technology plays a fundamental role in wealth creation, improvement of the quality of life, and real economic growth and transformation in any society, we should keep in mind the accessibility of all people while developing indigenous technology. The conversion of bio-waste into energy and organic fertiliser is a proven practice to promote compressed biogas in northeast India,” Dr Baruah said.

The program commenced with a briefing on the purpose and importance of the talk by Dr Rabindra Hazarika, followed by a welcome address by Purnananda Pawe, vice principal of Darrang College, and a brief introduction of the resource person by Dr Juli Bairagi. It was attended by students and faculty members of Darrang College, as well as participants from outside the college, including members of the Assam Science Society.

The program concluded with a vote of thanks by Dr Chittaranjan Baruah, secretary of the Society’s Tezpur branch and convener of the Institution’s Innovation Council (IIC) at Darrang College.

The winners of the essay competition organised on the occasion of National Science Day 2024 on the topic ‘Viksit Bharat @ 2047: Indigenous skills and technologies to promote indigenous occupations’ were awarded during the program. The essay competition was jointly organised by the Institution’s Innovation Council in collaboration with the Assam Science Society, Tezpur Branch, and IQAC-Darrang College, Tezpur.

Simultaneously, DRL Tezpur, the only DRDO laboratory in the NE region, celebrated NSD 2024 with great enthusiasm. The program commenced with an address by the director, DRL, Dr Dev Vrat Kamboj, who described the significance of NSD. Prof (Dr) Karuna Hazarika, principal cum chief superintendent of Tezpur Medical College & Hospital, graced the occasion as the chief guest and delivered a highly inspiring and thought-provoking talk focusing on the connection between philosophy and science in life.

In the program, an oration on a popular science topic was delivered by Dr Vanlalhmuaka, scientist at DRL, Tezpur. He deliberated on the various aspects of horizontal environmental genetic alteration agents (HEGAA) technology and its applications in dual (human welfare as well as nefarious) purposes. For his oration, Dr Vanlalhmuaka was conferred with a commendation certificate & medal by the secretary, department of Defence R&D and chairman, DRDO.

It is to be mentioned here that National Science Day (NSD) is celebrated every year on February 28 to commemorate the discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’ by the great Indian Physicist, Bharat Ratna, Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, for his groundbreaking research work on the scattering of light. He was also awarded the most prestigious Nobel Prize in Physics in the year 1930 for the ‘Raman Effect’. This year’s theme of NSD is ‘Indigenous Technologies for Viksit Bharat’, which emphasises the importance of self-reliance in science and technology, encouraging the nation to rely on its own capabilities for sustainable growth and progress.

 

Our Jorhat correspondent adds: CSIR-North East Institute of Science & Technology celebrated National Science Day on Wednesday with a day-long program on its premises. This year, the event was organised jointly with the Assam Science Society, Jorhat branch. The day started with a science quiz competition among school students and face-to-face student-scientist interaction. Fifteen students from five different schools in Jorhat participated in the quiz competition with great zeal and enthusiasm, while the student-scientist interaction was open to all. Altogether, more than 80 students & teachers from six schools in Jorhat attended the science day event.

The Science Day function was held at Dr J N Baruah Auditorium, where Dr R K Talukdar, principal of Jorhat Medical College & Hospital, graced the function as chief guest and Vishal Shastri, executive director of A&AA Basin, ONGC, Jorhat, was present as the guest of honour.

Dr Archanamoni Das, president of the Organising Committee, delivered the welcome address wherein she highlighted the significance of Science Day in India. She said that the day is celebrated to commemorate the discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’ by Indian physicist Sir C V Raman on February 28, 1928. She also briefed on significant achievements of CSIR which have immensely contributed to the growth of science & technology such as indelible ink, Amul milk powder, Swaraj tractor, etc.

Delivering the Science Day lecture, Dr R K Talukdar spoke about the importance and role of science in our daily lives. He shared various scientific advancements which have contributed to human civilisation, such as from farming tools to genetically modified foods. He said that life expectancy in India today is about 70.8 years as compared to 30 during the late 1940s, which he attributed to science.

In his speech on the topic, ‘Hydrocarbons- Past, Present & Future’, Vishal Sastry, gave a comprehensive overview of hydrocarbons and their contribution in transitioning the world from horse-driven carriages to oil & gas-driven automobiles. He delved deeper into the application of hydrocarbons in various sectors such as energy, healthcare, agriculture, etc., and basically all the products used in our daily lives. He highlighted the history of oil & gas exploration in India and its future challenges, mentioning oil prices and environmental challenges of the oil industry.

Addressing the event, Dr V M Tiwari, director of CSIR-NEIST, urged the scientists and students to inculcate independent thinking and expressed the example of the invention of the ‘Raman Effect’ by Sir C V Raman, which he said symbolises the very theme of this year’s Science Day, i.e., ‘Indigenous Technologies for Viksit Bharat’. He emphasised on solution-driven science with a goal to develop local solutions for local problems.

In his speech, Dr. R C Boruah, president of Assam Science Society, Jorhat Branch, encouraged the scientists and students to take inspiration from the life of Sir C V Raman and work indigenously in all their scientific endeavours.

On the occasion, Umesh Chandra Borah, chief scientist (retd.) of CSIR-NEIST, and Bhaba Chetia, former employee of HRH Prince of Wales Institute of Science & Technology, Jorhat, and also life members of Assam Science Society were felicitated in recognition of their immense contribution to science & technology.

Later on, winners of the science quiz competition were suitably awarded with prizes and certificates. Balya Bhavan, Jorhat, bagged first prize while Dahotia Higher Secondary School, Jorhat, and Kendriya Vidyalaya, NEIST, received second and third prizes respectively.

The program concluded with a vote of thanks offered by Romen Gogoi, secretary of Assam Science Society, Jorhat branch.

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