N  E  W  S   L  E  T  T  E  R


The National Science Day was celebrated all over the country on 28 February 2000Dr VK Aatre delivering the National Science Day address 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.

Shri Amitav Mallik delivering the welcome addressProf MA 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 Dr Aatre releasing the bookDay 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 separately.