CELEBRATES NATIONAL SCIENCE DAY
National Science Day was celebrated all over the country on 28 February 2000 to
mark the discovery of Raman Effect by Prof CV Raman in 1928. DRDO HQrs and Delhi-based
DRDO labs/estts celebrated the National Science Day at the Laser Science & Technology
Centre (LASTEC), Delhi, on 28 February 2000 under the auspices of Defence Science Forum.
The Science Day session was conducted under the Chairmanship of Dr VK Aatre, SA to RM
& DG R&D, DRDO HQrs, New Delhi. Shri Amitav Mallik, Director, LASTEC,
Convenor of the Forum, delivered the welcome address.
Viswamitra, Professor Emeritus, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, who was the Chief
Guest, spoke on Crystallography in Biology which has led some of the finest
discoveries and turning points in the 20th century biology. He emphasised that
crystallography will remain a major subject in the times to come, as till now, only about
10,000 protein structures have been solved and 90,000 more remain to be solved. While
speaking on protein structures and crystallisation, he said that proteins have tremendous
implication in a disease process and the participation of only a few molecules is enough.
Single crystal studies of these molecules have thrown light on how some of these molecules
can be injurious resulting in a disease and can also help design drugs against such
diseases, he added.
Dr Aatre delivered the National Science Day address. In his address, in the background of
progress in science during ancient times, he mentioned some of the exciting events that
according to him can be achieved by the scientific community by 2050, some of them by
2150. These exciting events include: (i) unification of four fundamental forces of physics
to help generate energy sufficient for several millions of years to come; (ii)
finding answers to the origin of life; (iii) decoding of entire human genome that
might help not only to design predictive medicine for genetic or other disorders,
but also to develop entire model of living cell reaching a step closer towards fabrication
of synthetic life. However, he put a word of caution that by too much meddling with
nature, human being might bring disaster on the earth as is evident from the green house
effect which is one of many such effects already affecting the entire world.
Dr Aatre gave away the National Science Day Awards to the authors of the Science Day orations from the Delhi-based DRDO labs/estts. He also
gave mementos to the winners of the national level competition organised for S&T
staff on writing articles on Science Promotion. On the occasion, a book titled,
Reflections - Quips, Quotes and Antedotes compiled by Shri Harpal Singh, INMAS,
Delhi, was released by Dr Aatre.
Individually, each DRDO lab/estt in the country also celebrated the National Science Day
by organising various S&T programmes. As a part of such programmes, one scientist from
each DRDO lab/estt prepared and delivered a talk on the thrust area of his/her
respective lab/estt. A compendium titled, DRDO Spectrum--A Compendium of National
Science Day Orations covering all such presentations is being brought out