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Indian legacy and developing Science and Technology in India

Source: The Hindu

Syllabus: GS-3 Science and Technology- developments and Achievements of Indians in science & technology

Synopsis: India is celebrating National Science Day. This day should be marked by commitments of promoting science, technology, and innovation in India.

Introduction:

National Science Day was celebrated on February 28 for the discovery of the Raman effect by Indian physicist Sir C. V. Raman on 28 February 1928. But the celebration has to move forward and Indians have the responsibility of taking forward our legacy of Science.

What is the Indians legacy in the field of Science?

  1. Indians have a long tradition of illuminating the world of science. This is evident right from Aryabhata, Bhaskaracarya and Varahamihira to the great scientists of modern India.
  2. The role of women in the field of science is also unforgettable. Women like Janaki Ammal (botanist), Bibha Chowdhuri (physicist), Asima Chatterjee (chemist), and Gagandeep Kang (medical scientist) have made India proud.
  3. The contribution of C.V Raman in the field of Physics made him the most visible face of Indian science. He became the first Asian to won a noble price in Physics.
    • Dr Rajinder Singh, a noted historian of science authored six books and 28 essays on Raman
  4. Apart from that, other major contributors like Jagadish Chandra Bose (C.V. Raman’s senior), Satyendra Nath Bose and Meghnad Saha, (both were Raman’s juniors) also made major contributions in science and being acclaimed globally.

How India is advancing in Science now?

After Independence, the application of science in fields such as space research, atomic energy, biotechnology, and agriculture has been impressive. Many scientists believe India has the potential to become a hub for world-class scientific and technological innovation.

The draft National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2020 (STIP 2020) and National Education Policy 2020 (NEP) were the two recent developments to promote science and research in India.

Few important provisions of National Education Policy 2020:

  1. The NEP underlines the importance of mother languages for science teaching and popularisation. S.N. Bose and others had also been advocating this from the 1940s.
  2. Likewise, the setting up of the National Research Foundation to encourage and fund R&D (Research and Development) activities is also a step in the right direction.
  3. Greater and intensive involvement of Indian universities in the R&D ecosystem will also improve science and technology among Indians.

Few important provisions of draft STIP 2020

  1. Draft STIP focus on developing a robust system for evidence and stakeholder-driven Science Technology and Innovation planning and policy research.
  2. The STIP draft also aims to promote science and technology-enabled entrepreneurship and mainstream innovation at the grassroots level.
  3. Further, the draft STIP also focuses on traditional knowledge systems (later it will be validated by modern scientific methods).

Conclusion:

The government has a key role to play in the development of science and technology. The government has to follow a liberal approach to promote science. But the government’s recent restriction on online conferences is not an encouraging one for science.

So, for creating a science-enabled and science-respecting nation the government and people have to be forward-looking. Then only the purpose of National Science Day will be fulfilled.

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