National Science Day: History, Awards Bestowed, Importance

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Jan 7, 2022, 9:02

NSD or National Science Day is celebrated on 28th February to commemorate the discovery of the 'Raman effect' for which Sir C.V. Raman won the Nobel Prize.

C.V. Raman National Science Day Celebration

The National Science Day celebrations consist of public speaking, science films, science exhibitions, science-related events, and many other activities across India. In addition, the Government of India recognizes and congratulates scientists who have made significant contributions in the field of science. 

History of National Science Day 

In 1986, the National Council for Science, Technology, and Communications (NCSTC),  requested the central government to declare 28th February as the national science day date. This is not only to commemorate Sir C.V. Raman's achievements but also to recognize the achievements in the scientific field by other scientists. 

After the first National Science Day on 28th February 1987, the NCSTC announced the creation of the National Science Promotion Award, which recognizes individuals for their contributions to science and communication. 

Importance of National Science Day

NSD is celebrated by spreading the importance and improvement of science in the daily lives of the general public. This celebration also has the following goals in mind: 

  1. To recognize and appreciate all scientific activities, efforts, and achievements.
  2. To promote and nourish interest in science and technology. 
  3. The Department of Science and Technology established the National Awards in 1987 to encourage, stimulate and recognize outstanding efforts of scientists in the dissemination of science and the promotion of scientific disposition. 

Awards Bestowed on National Science Day

Many National Awards are conferred to prestigious scientists who made a difference in the field and who dedicated uncompromised time and effort in science:

  1. The National Science Popularization awards
  2. National S&T Communication Awards
  3. Augmenting Writing Skills for Articulating Research (AWSAR) Awards
  4. SERB Women Excellence Awards
  5. The Rajendra Prabhu Memorial Appreciation Shield
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FAQs about National Science Day

Q.1. What are the various themes of National Science Day in India since 1999?

These are the themes:

1999 - Our Changing Earth

2000 - Recreating Interest in Basic Science

2001 - Information Technology for Science Education

2002 - Wealth From Waste

2003 - 50 years of DNA & 25 years of IVF: The Blueprint of Life

2004 - Encouraging Scientific Awareness in Community

2005 - Celebrating Physics

2006 - Nurture Nature for our Future

2007 - More Crop Per Drop

2008 - Understanding the Planet Earth

2009 - Expanding Horizons of Science

2010 - Gender Equity, Science & Technology for Sustainable Development

2011 - Chemistry in Daily Life

2012 - Clean Energy Options and Nuclear Safety

2013 - Genetically Modified Crops and Food Security

2014 - Fostering Scientific Temper

2015 - Science for Nation Building

2016 - Scientific Issues for Development of the Nation

2017 - Science and Technology for Specially Abled Persons

2018 - Science and Technology for a Sustainable Future

2019 - Science for the People, and the People for Science

2020 - Women in Science

2021 - Future of STI: Impact on Education Skills and Work

Q.2. When was 28th February declared National Science Day? 

The NCSTC requested the Government of India to celebrate 28th February as National Science Day. India accepted and declared National Science Day in 1986. The first National Science Day was celebrated on 28th February 1987. 

Q.3. Who was C.V. Raman, and what is the Raman effect? 

Dr Chandrasekhar Venkata Raman was a well-known scientist and physicist with bachelor's and master's degrees from Presidency College in Madras. In addition to his government activities, he participated in many science contests and received a grant from the Government of India. 

While working in the laboratory of the Indian Science and Cultivation Association of Kolkata in 1928, he discovered a spectroscopic phenomenon which is now known as the Raman effect. He won the Nobel Prize for this amazing discovery in 1930. This was the first Indian Nobel Prize in the field of science. 

The Raman effect is the change in the wavelength of light that occurs when a light beam is deflected due to a molecule. When a beam of light passes through a clear, dust-free compound sample, a small portion of the light, with different wavelengths, exits in a different direction than the incident beam. Its existence is the byproduct of the Raman effect.