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Current Affairs 28 February 2024

  1. Odisha requests NTCA for introduction of tigers from other landscapes
  2. Assam Rifles deployed in violence-hit areas of Manipur
  3. Disqualification of MLAs from Assembly
  4. Human genomes sequencing in India
  5. Lokpal
  6. National Science Day


Context:

The Odisha Government wrote to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), requesting it to consider introducing female tigers in Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) from other landscapes.

  • The State Government is concerned over the presence of a sizeable number of pseudo-melanistic tigers in its Similipal Tiger Reserve largely due to inbreeding.
  • Though, this is not the main concern, there is a need to increase the genetic diversity in Similipal.
  • As per the All Odisha Tiger Estimation (AOTE-2023-24),  a total of 30 tigers were found in the State’s forests

Relevance:

GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR)
  2. What are Melanistic animals?
  3. Why Tiger Conservation Is Essential?
  4. Threats To Tiger Conservation?
  5. National Tiger Conservation Authority(NTCA):
  6. Other Major Protected Areas in Odisha

About Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR)

  • Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) is a protected area located in the Mayurbhanj District in the Northernmost part of Odisha.
  • It was declared a ‘Tiger Reserve’ in 1956 and is included in the national conservation programme ‘Project Tiger’ since 1973.

Location and Terrain:

  • STR is surrounded by high plateaus and hills, with the highest peak being the twin peaks of Khairiburu and Meghashini (1515m above mean sea level).
  • The terrain is mostly undulating and hilly, interspersed with open grasslands and wooded areas.

Vegetation:

  • A mix of different forest types and habitats dominate, with Northern tropical moist deciduous dominating some semi-evergreen patches.
  • Sal is the dominant tree species here.
  • There are a staggering 1078 species of plants, including 94 species of orchids, found in STR.

Fauna:

  •  STR is home to a variety of wildlife, including the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger, Leopard, Gaur, Elephant, Langur, Barking and Spotted Deer, Sloth Bear, Mongoose, Flying Squirrel, Porcupine, Turtle, Monitor Lizard, Python, Sambar, and Pangolin.
  • The region around STR is home to a variety of tribes, including Kolha, Santhala, Bhumija, Bhatudi, Gondas, Khadia, Mankadia, and Sahara.

Other Facts:

  • The STR, along with a ‘transitional area’ of 2250 sq. km, has been included as a part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO in 2009.
  • It is the only landscape in the world that is home to melanistic tigers.

What are Melanistic animals?

  • Melanism is a genetic trait that causes an animal to have an unusually high amount of dark pigmentation, resulting in a black or very dark coloration of their fur, skin, or feathers.
  • Melanistic animals can occur in a variety of species, including big cats, such as tigers and leopards, as well as birds, reptiles, and rodents.
  • In some cases, melanistic animals may have a survival advantage in certain environments, such as in heavily forested areas where their dark coloration can provide better camouflage.

Why Tiger Conservation Is Essential?

  • The tiger is not just a charismatic species or just another wild animal living in some faraway forest. It is a top predator/Umbrella species that is at the apex of the food chain and keeps the population of wild ungulates in check, thereby maintaining the balance between prey herbivores and the vegetation upon which they feed. They prevent over-grazing by limiting herbivore numbers and maintain ecological integrity.
  • Therefore, the presence of tigers in the forest is an indicator of the well-being of the ecosystem. The extinction of this top predator is an indication that its ecosystem is not sufficiently protected, and neither would it exist for long thereafter.
  • Another reason why we need to save the tiger is that our forests are water catchment areas. Most tiger habitats are watershed areas of rivers and streams and in turn, improve soil fertility. Thus conserving tigers help conserve freshwater resources, regulate droughts or heavy rains, and benefits the downstream communities.
  • Tigers attracting tourists, which provide income for local communities.
  • Also, there is a tremendous decline in the tiger population as compared to the past 100 years, and to prevent the deteriorating condition of tigers, it’s important to conserve them. Three tiger reserves of India: Mizoram’s Dampa reserve, West Bengal’s Buxa reserve, and Jharkhand’s Palamau reserve have no tigers left.

By conserving and saving tigers the entire wilderness ecosystem is conserved. It is crucial to maintain the life support system. So saving the tiger amounts to saving the ecosystem which is crucial for man’s survival.

Global Tiger Day also called International Tiger Day is an annual event marked to raise awareness for tiger conservation. It is observed every year on July 29. It was started in 2010 with an aim to promote a global system to protect the Natural Habitats of Tigers and raise awareness among people to support the conservation plan and their need to support it. 

Threats To Tiger Conservation?

Threats include habitat loss, poaching, and man-animal conflict.

  1. Habitat loss: There are more tiger reserves in India but their connectivity is less. These isolated population can hinder their survival in the long run.
  2. Tiger Poaching: This has seriously impacted the probability of survival of Tigers in India. Tigers are mainly poached for their bones and other body parts which are in great demand for traditional Chinese medicines.

Tigers in the wild are killed illegally to fuel the demand for Tiger products such as Tiger skins and Tiger Bone Wine. Thus every part of tiger has a market value and there is a huge demand for tiger skins, parts & derivatives drive an increasingly sophisticated network of illegal wildlife trade across all tiger range countries.

As a result, demand is driving wild tigers to the brink of extinction, with 97% of the world’s wild tiger population wiped out over the last century. It has become a pride to possess a tiger’s parts namely its skin, nail, bones, and so on.

  • Man-animal conflict: Fragmentation of their habitats has increased tigers moving to nearby human habitations and this, in turn, has increased man-animal conflict.

There was a political commitment at the central level in the 1970s to conserve Tigers and this led to a law called Wildlife Protection Act in 1972 and subsequently, it created National Parks and Wildlife sanctuaries which paid special attention to Tiger Conservation. 

National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA):

  • The NTCA was launched in 2005, is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change constituted following the recommendations of the Tiger Task Force. It was given statutory status by the 2006 amendment of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 for strengthening tiger conservation, through advisories/normative guidelines
  • Composition: The authority consists of the Minister in charge of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (as Chairperson), the Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment and Forests (as Vice-Chairperson), three members of Parliament, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests and other members.
  • Objectives: Objectives include 
  • Fostering accountability of Centre-State in management of Tiger Reserves
  • Addressing man-animal conflicts
  • Addressing livelihood interests of local people in areas surrounding Tiger Reserves
  • Provide information on protection measures including future conservation plan, estimation of population of tiger and its natural prey species, the status of habitats, disease surveillance, mortality survey, patrolling, approve, co-ordinate research and monitoring on tiger 
  • Ensure critical support including scientific, information technology, and legal support.
  • NTCA provides technical and financial support to Tiger Reserves.

Other Major Protected Areas in Odisha

  • Bhitarkanika National Park
  • Badrama WLS
  • Chilika (Nalaban island) WLS
  • Hadgarh WLS
  • Baisipalli WLS
  • Kotagarh WLS
  • Nandankanan WLS
  • Lakhari Valley WLS
  • Gahirmatha (Marine) WLS

-Source: The Hindu



Context:

The Army has been deployed in Manipur after a senior police officer was abducted allegedly by cadres of the Arambai Tenggol, a Meitei organisation.

Relevance:

GS Paper-3: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Background
  2. Manipur is divided into two regions:
  3. Meitei community wants scheduled tribe status
  4. Concerns and Implications
  5. About Assam Rifles

Background:

  • The Meitei community has historically been categorised as an Other Backward Class (OBC) under the Indian government’s reservation policy because they mostly live in the valley regions of Manipur.However, a number of indigenous tribal groups that live in Manipur’s hill country have been designated as Scheduled Tribes (ST).
  • Different sociocultural, historical, and geographical factors form the basis of this classification. However, the Meitei community asserts that they have historically been marginalised and requests ST status in order to benefit from the advantages and protections afforded to STs.

Manipur is divided into two regions:

  • The Imphal Valley and surrounding hills. The valley, which makes up about 10% of the state’s landmass, is dominated by the non-tribal Meitei, who produce 40 of the state’s 60 MLAs and account for more than 64% of the population.
  • The hills, which make up 90% of the area, are home to more than 35% recognised tribes but only send 20 MLAs to the Assembly.

Meitei community wants scheduled tribe status

  • The Meitei community has requested Scheduled Tribe status, and the Manipur High Court ordered the state government to follow a 10-year-old recommendation to do so.
  • The Meiteis were acknowledged as a tribe prior to Manipur’s merger with the Union of India in 1949. The ST status would offer constitutional protections against outsiders and restrict non-tribal land ownership in the Imphal Valley.
  • The ST Demand Committee of Manipur has been requesting ST status for the Meiteis since 2012, citing the need to “preserve” the community’s culture, language, and ancestral land.

Concerns and Implications

  • The tribal groups worry that giving Meiteis ST status will cause them to lose their employment opportunities and give them the opportunity to buy land in the hills, driving the tribals out.
  • The Meitei people have access to benefits associated with the SC, OBC, or EWS status, and their language is already listed in the Constitution’s Eighth Schedule.It is believed that the demand for ST status is a ruse to soften the political demands of the Kukis and Nagas as well as a covert plan by the dominant valley dwellers to expand into the hill regions.
  • Benefits Could Be Diluted: According to the tribal communities, granting ST status to the Meitei community might reduce the advantages and chances currently available to the tribal groups. They worry that the already divided reservations and scarce resources will have an impact on their representation in and eligibility for government programmes.
  • Land and Identity Concerns: Due to the tribal communities’ traditional rights and control over specific territories, there are worries that the inclusion of the Meitei community as STs may result in conflicts over land and resources. The tribal groups also worry that the dominant Meitei culture may obscure or erode their unique cultural identities.
  • Political Representation: Giving the Meitei community ST status might change the way politics are currently played out in Manipur. It might affect how tribal communities are represented in legislative bodies and local governance structures, potentially lowering their influence and voice.

About Assam Rifles:

Background:

  • The Assam Rifles is a central armed police force and the primary counter-insurgency force in the Northeast region of India.
  • It holds the distinction of being the oldest paramilitary force in the country.
  • The lineage of the force can be traced back to the formation of Cachar Levy, a paramilitary police force established by the British in 1835.
  • Over the years, the force underwent several name changes, including the Assam Frontier Police (1883), the Assam Military Police (1891), Eastern Bengal and Assam Military Police (1913), and finally becoming the Assam Rifles in 1917.

Role:

  • The Assam Rifles is responsible for maintaining law and order in the Northeast region, in collaboration with the Indian Army.
  • It plays a crucial role in guarding the Indo-Myanmar border in the region.
  • The force is often referred to as the “Sentinels of the Northeast.”

Headquarters and Motto:

  • The headquarters of the Assam Rifles is located in Shillong, Meghalaya.
  • The force operates under the motto “Friends of the Hill People.”

Control:

  • The Assam Rifles is unique among paramilitary forces as it has a dual control structure.
  • While the Ministry of Home Affairs has administrative control over the force, its operational control lies with the Indian Army, which operates under the Ministry of Defence.

-Source: The Hindu



Context:

Recently, the Speaker of Andhra Pradesh Assembly disqualified eight sitting MLAs following complaints from the respective parties.

Relevance:

GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. When does conviction attract disqualification?
  2. Legal protection for legislators against disqualification
  3. Can the disqualification be removed?
  4. Origin and Evolution of the Office of the Speaker
  5. The powers and functions of the Speaker

When does conviction attract disqualification?

  • Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act (RPA), 1951, contains provisions aimed at decriminalising electoral politics.
  • There are two categories of criminal cases that attract disqualification upon conviction.
  • In the first category are offences that entail disqualification for a period of six years upon any conviction.
  • If the punishment is a fine, the six-year period will run from the date of conviction, but if there is a prison sentence, the disqualification will begin on the date of conviction, and will continue up to the completion of six years after the date of release from jail.
    • Major IPC offences are included under this head: making speeches that cause enmity between groups (Sec.153A) and doing so in a place of worship (Sec.505), bribery and personation during elections and other electoral offences, offences relating to rape and cruelty to women by husband and latter’s relatives.
    • Besides, serious provisions of special laws such as the Protection of Civil Rights Act, Customs Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act etc are among the category of offences that entail disqualification regardless of the quantum of punishment.
    • Laws for prevention of Sati, corruption, terrorism and insult to national flag and national anthem etc are also part of this group.
  • All other criminal provisions form a separate category under which mere conviction will not entail disqualification.
  • A sentence of at least two years in prison is needed to incur such disqualification.

Legal protection for legislators against disqualification

  • Under Section 8(4) of the RPA, legislators could avoid immediate disqualification until 2013.
  • The provision said that with respect to a Member of Parliament or a State legislator the disqualification will not take effect for three months.
  • If within that period, the convicted legislator files an appeal or revision application, it will not take effect until the disposal of the appeal or application.
    • In other words, the mere filing of an appeal against conviction will operate as a stay against disqualification.
    • In Lily Thomas vs. Union of India, the Supreme Court struck down clause (4) as unconstitutional, thus removing the protection enjoyed by lawmakers.

Can the disqualification be removed?

  • The Supreme Court has the power to stay not only the sentence, but also the conviction of a person.
  • In some rare cases, conviction has been stayed to enable the appellant to contest an election.
  • However, the SC has made it clear that such a stay should be very rare and for special reasons.
  • The RPA itself provides a remedy through the Election Commission.
    • Under Sec. 11 of the Act, the EC may record reasons and either remove, or reduce the period of, a person’s disqualification.

Origin and Evolution of the Office of the Speaker:

  • The Speaker’s office originated in medieval Britain when the House of Commons required a representative in dealings with the King.
  • Until the 17th century, the Speaker was often seen as a representative of the Crown.
  • However, since the mid-19th century, the Speaker has been considered an impartial Chairman of the House of Commons, responsible for safeguarding the House’s rights, privileges, and those of its members.

The powers and functions of the Speaker in the Indian context and the challenges therein:

Powers and FunctionsTheir misuse
In India, the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies elect a Speaker and Deputy Speaker, respectively, and these individuals play vital roles in certifying Money Bills and deciding on disqualifications due to defection.The rules of these bodies also allow for member suspension for misconduct, a provision that is sometimes misused, particularly against opposition members. Recent incidents highlight the selective application of these rules, such as the unconstitutional suspension of 12 BJP MLAs in the Maharashtra Assembly in July 2021, later overturned by the Supreme Court.  
Furthermore, Speakers have the authority to refer Bills to Parliamentary Standing Committees.This power is not consistently exercised, impacting the effectiveness of parliamentary processes.
The power to determine defections is vested in the Speaker, who is expected to act impartially.Some legal experts argue that this power should be given to an independent tribunal led by judges, as suggested in the Keisham Meghachandra Singh vs. The Honble Speaker Manipur (2020) case. The Maharashtra Assembly Speaker’s indictment also results from inaction in deciding disqualification petitions, despite court directives, and challenges have arisen regarding the certification of Bills as Money Bills by the Lok Sabha Speaker.  
In Britain, once elected, the Speaker resigns from their political party to maintain impartiality while presiding over the House of Commons.In India, the Tenth Schedule allows the Speaker to resign from their political party upon election, but this practice has never been followed.

-Source: The Indian Express, The Hindu          



Context:

The Government of India has completed sequencing 10,000 healthy genomes from different regions of the country.

Relevance:

GS III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key points
  2. About Genome
  3. Genome India Project
  4. Significance of the Genome India Project
  5. Challenges of the Genome India Project

Key points:

  • As a significant step towards achieving the objectives of Genome India initiative, the researchers have completed sequencing 10,000 healthy genomes from different regions of the country, representing 99 distinct populations.
  • This has been culminated in the creation of a comprehensive genetic map of India.
  • This has immense potential for clinicians and researchers and thus, help drive the biology sector in the country
    • There is a need for India-specific database because mutations found here might not be present globally.
    • India’s bio-economy has grown 13 folds in the last 10 years from $10 billion in 2014 to over $130 billion in 2024.
    • This achievement will spearhead India’s future growth.

About Genome:

  • It refers to the complete set of genetic instructions or information that an organism possesses.
  • It is made up of DNA, which carries the instructions for the development, functioning, growth, and reproduction of all living organisms.
  • The study of genomics involves the analysis of genomes and has led to many breakthroughs in various fields, including medicine and biotechnology.

Genome Sequencing

  • Genome sequencing is figuring out the order of DNA nucleotides, or bases, in a genome—the order of adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C), and guanine (G), that make up an organism’s DNA.

Genome India Project

  • India’s population consists of over 4,600 diverse population groups, many of which are endogamous.
  • These groups have unique genetic variations and disease-causing mutations that cannot be compared to other populations.
  • The Genome India Project aims to create a database of Indian genomes to learn about these unique genetic variants and use the information to create personalized drugs and therapies.
  • The project was started in 2020 and is inspired by the successful decoding of the entire human genome in the Human Genome Project (HGP).
  • The project seeks to better understand the genetic variations and disease-causing mutations specific to the Indian population, which is one of the most genetically diverse in the world.
  • By sequencing and analyzing these genomes, researchers hope to gain insights into the underlying genetic causes of diseases and develop more effective personalized therapies.
  • The project involves the collaboration of 20 institutions across India and is being led by the Centre for Brain Research at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.
  • Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, China, and the United States, also have similar programs to sequence their genomes.

Significance of the Genome India Project:

The Genome India Project (GIP) has significant implications in various fields, including healthcare, agriculture, and global science. Here are the key points of its significance:

  • Personalized Medicine: The GIP aims to develop personalized medicine based on patients’ genomes to anticipate and modulate diseases. By mapping disease propensities to genetic variations, interventions can be targeted more effectively, and diseases can be anticipated before they develop.
  • Understanding Disease Propensities: GIP can help understand the genetic basis of disease propensities in different populations. For example, variations across genomes may explain why cardiovascular disease leads to heart attacks in South Asians but to strokes in most parts of Africa.
  • Agriculture: The GIP can benefit agriculture by understanding the genetic basis of the susceptibility of plants to pests, insects, and other issues hampering productivity. This can reduce dependence on chemicals.
  • Global Science: The project is said to be among the most significant of its kind in the world because of its scale and the diversity it would bring to genetic studies. Global science will also benefit from a mapping project in one of the world’s most diverse gene pools.

Challenges of the Genome India Project

Potential for scientific racism and reinforcement of stereotypes: There are concerns that genetic mapping could be used to promote ideas of racial purity and justify discrimination.

  • Deepening of social divisions: In a country already divided by identity politics, genetic mapping may further deepen existing social divisions.
  • Data privacy and storage concerns: In the absence of a comprehensive data privacy bill in India, there are concerns about the possible misuse of genetic information collected by the GIP.
  • Ethical questions about gene modification and selective breeding: The project raises ethical questions about the potential for doctors to privately perform gene modification or selective breeding, which have always been controversial.
  • Risk of misuse of genetic information: There is a risk that genetic information collected by the GIP could be misused, either intentionally or unintentionally. The 2018 sentencing of a Chinese scientist who created the world’s first gene-edited babies highlights the seriousness of these concerns.

-Source: The Indian Express, The Hindu          



Context:

Justice AM Khanwilkar has been appointed as the new Lokpal of the country by the President of India.

Relevance:

GS-II: Polity and Governance (Constitutional and Non-Constitutional Bodies, Policies and Interventions on Transparency and Accountability in governance)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Lokpal
  2. Other Important Points regarding the Lokpal
  3. Lokpal (Complaint) Rules, 2020
  4. Exception for Prime Minister
  5. Other Provisions for Fighting Corruption

About Lokpal

  • The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013 establishes Lokpal for the Union and Lokayukta for States (Statutory Bodies) to inquire into allegations of corruption against certain public functionaries.
  • Composition: Lokpal will consist of a chairperson and a maximum of eight members, of which 50% shall be judicial members and 50% shall be from SC/ST/OBCs, minorities and women.
  • Appointment process: It is a two-stage process.
    1. A search committee which recommends a panel of names to the high-power selection committee.
    2. The selection committee comprises the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the Leader of the Opposition, the Chief Justice of India (or his nominee) and an eminent jurist (nominated by President based on the recommendation of other members of the panel).
  • President will appoint the recommended names.
  • The jurisdiction of Lokpal extends to:
    1. Anyone who is or has been Prime Minister, or a Minister in the Union government, or a Member of Parliament, as well as officials of the Union government under Groups A, B, C and D.
    2. The chairpersons, members, officers and directors of any board, corporation, society, trust or autonomous body either established by an Act of Parliament or wholly or partly funded by the Centre.
    3. Any society or trust or body that receives foreign contribution above Rs. 10 lakhs.

Other Important Points regarding the Lokpal

  1. Salaries, allowances and service conditions: Salaries, allowances and other perks of the Lokpal chairperson will be the same as those for the Chief Justice of India; those for other members will be the same as those for a judge of the Supreme Court.
  2. Inquiry wing and prosecution wing: Inquiry Wing for conducting preliminary inquiry and Prosecution Wing for the purpose of prosecution of public servants in relation to any complaint by the Lokpal under this Act.
  3. Power with respect to CBI: Power of superintendence and direction over any investigation agency including CBI for cases referred to them by Lokpal. Transfer of officers of CBI investigating cases referred by Lokpal would need approval of Lokpal.
  4. Timelines for enquiry, investigation: Act specifies a time limit of 60 days for completion of inquiry and 6 months for completion of investigation by the CBI. This period of 6 months can be extended by the Lokpal on a written request from CBI.
  5. Suspension, removal of Chairperson and member of Lokpal: The Chairperson or any Member shall be removed from his office by order of the President on grounds of misbehaviour after the Supreme Court report. For that a petition has to be signed by at least one hundred Members of Parliament. Special Court shall be setup to hear and decide the cases referred by the Lokpal.

Lokpal (Complaint) Rules, 2020

  • Complaint can be filed with the Lokpal against the sitting Prime Minister, Union Ministers, MPs, bureaucrats, among others.
  • A complaint filed against a sitting or former prime minister shall be decided by full bench of Lokpal comprising of its Chairman and all members in admission stage.
  • If such complaint is dismissed by the full bench, records of enquiry are not to be published.
  • A complaint against Union Minister/ MP is to be looked into by bench of not less than three members.

Exception for Prime Minister

  • The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013 does not allow a Lokpal inquiry if the allegation against the PM relates to international relations, external and internal security, public order, atomic energy and space.
  • Complaints against the PM are not to be probed unless the full Lokpal bench considers the initiation of inquiry and at least 2/3rds of the members approve it.
  • Such an inquiry against the PM (if conducted) is to be held in camera and if the Lokpal comes to the conclusion that the complaint deserves to be dismissed, the records of the inquiry are not to be published or made available to anyone.

Other Provisions for Fighting Corruption

  1. Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 provides for penalties in relation to corruption by public servants and also for those who are involved in the abetment of an act of corruption.
  2. The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 aims to prevent instances of money laundering and prohibits use of the ‘proceeds of crime’ in India.
  3. The Companies Act, 2013 provides for corporate governance and prevention of corruption and fraud in the corporate sector.
  4. The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 regulates the acceptance and use of foreign contributions and hospitality by individuals and corporations.

Along with the above legal frameworks, the Indian Penal Code, 1860 sets out provisions which can be interpreted to cover bribery and fraud matters, including offences relating to criminal breach of trust and cheating.

-Source: The Hindu, AIR       



Context:

National Science Day will be celebrated across the country on 28th February.

Relevance:

Facts for Prelims

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About National Science Day
  2. What is Raman Effect?
  3. About Sir C.V. Raman

About National Science Day:

  • National Science Day is celebrated to commemorate the discovery of the Raman Effect.
    • For this discovery, Indian physicist Sir C.V. Raman got the highest global award Nobel Prize in the year 1930.
  • It is observed on February 28 every year across the country to mark and celebrate the contributions of scientists towards the development of India.
  • Theme:
    • The theme of this year’s Science day is Indigenous Technologies for Viksit Bharat.
    • This signifies the importance of home-grown Technologies in shaping the future of India.
  • History:
    • The initiative to designate February 28 as National Science Day originated in 1986 when the National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) proposed the idea to the Government of India.
    • Following acceptance, the government officially declared February 28 as National Science Day.
    • The inaugural celebration took place on February 28, 1987.

What is Raman Effect?

  • Raman Effect is a phenomenon in spectroscopy discovered by the eminent physicist Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman in 1928.
  • After two years in 1930, he got Nobel Prize for this remarkable discovery and this was the first Nobel Prize for India in the field of Science.
  • Raman Effect is a change in the wavelength of light that occurs when a light beam is deflected by molecules.
  • When a beam of light traverses a dust-free, transparent sample of a chemical compound, a small fraction of the light emerges in directions other than that of the incident (incoming) beam.
  • Most of this scattered light is of unchanged wavelength.
  • A small part, however, has wavelengths different from that of the incident light; its presence is a result of the Raman Effect.

About Sir C.V. Raman:

  • Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman was born at Tiruchirappalli in Southern India on November 7th, 1888.
  • His father was a lecturer in mathematics and physics so that from the first he was immersed in an academic atmosphere.
  • He became Professor at the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore (1933-1948), and since 1948 he is Director of the Raman Institute of Research at Bangalore, established and endowed by himself.
  • He also founded the Indian Journal of Physics in 1926, of which he is the Editor.
  • He sponsored the establishment of the Indian Academy of Sciences and has served as President since its inception.
  • In 1922 he published his work on the “Molecular Diffraction of Light”, the first of a series of investigations with his collaborators which ultimately led to the discovery of Raman Effect.
  • Raman has been honoured with a large number of honorary doctorates and memberships of scientific societies.
  • He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society early in his career (1924), and was knighted in 1929.
  • He died on November 21, 1970.

-Source: The Indian Express, The Hindu, AIR        


 

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