AIR spotlight summary on “National Science Day”.
- February 28th is celebrated as National Science Day. The theme for this year is “Science and Technology for specially abled persons”. Most of the people are still unaware about Science Day and why is it celebrated. The World Science Day is observed on 10 November across the world to raise awareness of benefits of science in our daily life.
- The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India needs more scientists to harness technology for the benefits of the common man. There are sufficient number of science graduates and post graduates. The basic problem is the quality.
Importance of National Science Day
- This day is celebrated not to commemorate anyone’s birthday but to commemorate an event which is very important for India. On 28th Feb 1928 C.V Raman discovered an effect named after him that is Raman Effect which has changed research in science tremendously. C.V Raman was the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize. This was the last one India got in scientific segment. There are many scientists, lot of innovations and technology coming from India, yet we have not received another Nobel Prize in science.
Promoting Science Education
- The learning of science has to start at the school level. The current method of teaching in schools is not the ideal one. Science cannot be learnt just by reading books. Unless the students have an opportunity to handle apparatus and do the experiments themselves there can’t be any learning. This facility does not exist in most of our schools. This is big drawback which needs to be changed. Only when these habits are inculcated at the school level the students will pursue science at higher levels.
- It is important to provide right environment, good qualified teachers and laboratory for the students. Science and mathematics are considered difficult because of the way it is taught. There is need of improving the ability of our teachers. We have to change the method of teaching science so that it inculcates some interest and thrill in studying science.
- Many parents think that if their children pursue science, they may not earn as much as they do in the corporate sector. This mind set has to be changed and students must think that earning money is not the only goal in life and their work should have a higher cause.
- There are many schemes from the government side like Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) which provides several fellowships and scholarships to students.
Research and Development in Science
- China and many western countries are spending huge amount on scientific Research and Development. There is a need for India to increase the quantum of investment and also to decide on what areas we need to Invest in.
- At present lot of money is spent on research. But research on problems which are of no relevance is the major concern which needs to be looked at.
- India is in a very strong position in the world in the software development. Indian software developers are the world’s best. Today research is done by universities, national laboratories and very little research is done by the corporate sector. In US most of the best research is done by the private sector and corporate sector. Many of the Nobel Prize is won by the researchers of the private sector which is not happening in India.
- India is lagging behind many developed countries in publishing research papers. We have only 140 researchers per 10 lakh population compared to US which has 4651 researchers per 10 lakh populations. This is because of the high illiteracy in our country.
- In India one problem with the government sector is the issue of accountability. In private sector if a task is assigned to them, they have to meet the target. This is not the case in government sector. If someone does not follow the instructions there are hardly any action taken. Scientists in the government sector are not answerable if they do not deliver any results. This attitude is harming our research.