Integrated Approach in S&T for Sustainable Future
Science and technology are everywhere. Training the students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) is emphasised in the New Education Policy. Nurturing the new generation to have an analytical yet creative bent of mind and preparing them to deal with real-life situations is the focus of the new education policy. Curiosity building is crucial to learning. It is the endeavour of the human spirit of seeking answers is that led to scientific advancements. India has nurtured some of the greatest minds, whose work and thought processes have been phenomenal. The mathematician, Aryabhata, or the Ayurveda, was based on the “science of life”. The emphasis and focus of health care are moving towards personalised medicine and treatment. The foundations of the same can be found the systems like Ayurveda. CV Raman said, “In the History of Science, we often find that the study of some natural phenomenon has been the Starting Point in the Development of a New Branch of Knowledge.” How appropriate and relevant is what Raman said is?
India celebrates National Science Day on February 28 every year. It was on this day in 1928 the discovery of Raman was announced. The National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) initiative in 1986 led to the Government of India designating February 28 as National Science Day. The day is being celebrated as National Science Day to commemorate Raman Effect.
Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman discovered that when light traverses a transparent material, some deflected light changes wavelength and amplitude. This phenomenon was a new type of scattering of light that came to be known and referred to as the Raman effect. This work led to Raman winning the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930. The first Asian person to receive a Nobel Prize in any branch of science. His students K S Krishnan and S C Sirkar closely worked with Raman that led to the discovery, though not many talked about them.
It is seen that National Science Day observation focuses more on CV Raman, which may be natural. Few aspects of CV Raman’s journey in research are very impactful. Since at that time, a scientific career did not offer the best-earning possibilities (applicable even today!), Raman joined the Indian Finance Department in 1907. Though his office’s duties took most of his time, Raman found opportunities to carry on experimental research in the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science laboratory at Calcutta. When India is reinventing the importance of transdisciplinary research, the life of CV Raman is an example of how people can pursue careers in multiple domains. Medical advice to him that if he were to go to England, he would likely be affected by TB. A life-threatening possibility made him stay back in India. Had he migrated to the UK, India would have missed the only Noble Laureate in Science.
CV Raman is so much associated with wearing a turban and attributed it to his recognition. There was a mention that it caught the attention of stalwarts like J. J. Thomson and Rutherford. One of Raman’s interests was understanding the physics of musical sounds. His analyses of the harmonic nature of the sound of tabla and mridangam were the first scientific studies on Indian percussion. Along with Suri Bhagavantam, Raman discovered quantum photon spin, further confirming light’s quantum nature.
It is all about enhancing understanding of the importance of science in the day-to-day life of the people, efforts, and achievements in science for human welfare. The celebration is also to discuss all the issues and implement new technologies for development in science. The journey of Raman is also a lesson that should inspire many aspiring researchers. One must find ways to pursue what one likes. Most of the research done by Raman was in addition to the administrative work he has done for earning the bread. When faced with the challenge of choosing between what you like and what gives you good financial packages, the life and journey of Raman should inspire. The government should quickly address the issue of providing reasonable remuneration for those interested in pursuing research.
The unprecedented health crisis caused by the COVID pandemic highlighted the importance of research, more importantly creating an ecosystem that would find solutions for unforeseen problems. The vaccine hesitancy seen even in the advanced and educated societies emphasises the need to bring science closer to society. The same is the need for enhancing international scientific collaborations. Public trust in science is vital for successful science-based policies. It also brings to the fore the role researchers play in broadening the understanding of mother earth and making the world a sustainable place to live. The brilliance of people like
CV Raman deserves more than celebrating his success, motivating people to find solutions societies face through science and technology advancements.
The only thing that is true is that a man is born, he lives, and he dies. Therefore, he should live his life properly.CV Raman
Toonlogs posted on the same topic can be accessed at: