National Science Day

Discovery of Raman Effect

National Science Day is observed annually on 28th February, the day Dr. C.V. Raman discovered the ‘Phenomenon of the Scattering of Light’ which has now come to be called, ‘The Raman Effect’. This day was constituted by the Government of India in 1986, on the recommendation of National Council of Science and Technology.


The Raman Effect is defined as the change of wavelength exhibited by some of the radiation scattered in a medium.


Raman Effect Illustration

Dr. C V Raman

Dr. C. V Raman wins Nobel Prize

Dr. C.V. Raman performed his experiment on scattering of lights while working at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science in Kolkata (IACS). For this discovery of his, he became the first Asian to get a Nobel Prize in the field of science in 1930.


Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science in Kolkata (IACS)

Dr. K.S. Krishnan

Dr. Raman’s colleague, Dr. K. S Krishnan worked along with him. On February 28th  1928 evening, Raman had to go out of the laboratory on some pressing work. Dr. Krishnan who was researching in the laboratory, fortuitously observed for the first time the ‘Phenomenon of Scattering of Light’. An elated Dr. Krishnan recorded it in his worksheet. Dr. K.S. Krishnan thus became the first person to observe the ‘Raman Effect’.


Dr. K. S. Krishnan


Before the discovery of Raman Effect, the prevalent concept was that of the English physicist Rayleig who in the 1870s tried to explain the blue colour of the sea and the sky.


English Physicist Rayleig

Rayleig had expressed that the blue sky was the reflection of blue sea.

Dr. C.V Raman’s Research

Dr. C.V. Raman was not satisfied with this explanation. His fascination for the colours and their reasoning was further accentuated during sea voyage in 1921. He studied the scattering of the sun light by the air molecules to explain the blur colour of the sky. He also studied the scattering of light by the water molecules. This study led to his findings being termed the Raman Effect.


Dr. C.V. Raman in his laboratory

Why the Sky and Sea appear blue?

When the sunlight hits the particles, the blue light is scattered the most and the red light the least. Due to this, both the sea and the sky appear blue.

He expressed how the water particles selectively absorb the red light and reflect the blue because of which we see water as blue.

Further Research

Dr. C.V. Raman continued his research in the phenomenon of light scattering, in other liquids and solids as well. This persistent research revealed the newer aspects of the behaviour of light.

Rigour and Diligence, not costly equipment

The apparatus with which Raman Effect was discovered cost less than Rs. 200 then. It consisted of a pocket spectroscope, a pair of complementary glass filters, a mirror, a condensing lens, and some liquid samples. It shows that even with simple instruments, it is possible to do path breaking research in pure sciences. What is needed is rigour and diligence and not just costly equipment.

National Science Day

This discovery of the ‘phenomenon of scattering of lights’, is regarded as one of the great achievements of modern science in India and is commemorated every year as National Science Day.


Sir C V Raman pointing to information on a large blackboard as he gives a lecture, 5 August 1958. (Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Sir C V Raman pointing to information on a large blackboard as he gives a lecture, 

5 August 1958


Why February has only 28 Days?

February comes from Februus

The name February comes from the Roman God Februus.  Februa in Roman language also signifies the festival of purification that was celebrated in Rome during this month.


Why does February have only 28 days?


Julian Caesar

Julius Caesar who ruled Rome around 40 CE introduced the Julian Calendar.

Julius Caesar wanted to make his name not just popular but eternal.

Towards this purpose, he included his name Julius as a month in the calendar and thus came July, bearing his name. He also ensured that the month with his name had the maximum days and hence July has 31 days.


Julius Caesar

Augustus Caesar

His successor Augustus Caesar, not wanting to be left behind, also wanted his name in history. He added his name to the following month and called it August. As he did not want his month August to be inferior to Julius in any way, he ensured that his month too had 31 days.


Augustus Caesar

February to pluck

From where did Julius and Augustus pick their additional day from?

The month of February was there for them to pluck out the days from and add to their months.

World Banana Day

Banana, Native Fruit

Banana is a fruit that is native to India, known as Kadhali Phalam in Samskrt. It is looked up to as one of the 3 important fruits in this land, the other two being mango and jackfruit.


The origins of the fruit can be traced to the Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats of southern India, and also to the North Eastern hills of India. The traditional variety of banana in the slopes of Eastern and Western Ghats hills is locally known as Malai Vazai, meaning ‘Hill Banana’.

A speciality of Banana

The speciality of banana plant gives forth fruit, flower and small black seeds, the offspring of the banana plant does not come from its seed, but from the side root of shoots, which give birth to sapling banana plants.

There are many variants in banana, each with its unique taste and specific nutrient.


A Banana Farm

In India, banana has been widely consumed from time immemorial, be it in ritual prayers or in daily food. Every part of the banana plant is used by the community.

Sanctity of Banana

For any auspicious function, a full grown banana plant is tied in front of the function hall.

In Ayudha Puja and Sarasvati Puja functions, it is the tying of banana sapling that brings in a sense of auspiciousness to the puja mantap.

In any auspicious occasion, when lunch is served, a full native banana is served first for the auspicious beginning of the meal.

As a Plate

There is a padathi, practice, to serve food on a banana leaf. The banana leaf is used as a plate for serving food. It is considered a healthy and auspicious way of eating. Serving food to guest, on a banana leaf is regarded as being second best, after a gold plate. That is the exalted status given to serving food on a banana leaf.


Food served on Banana Leaf


Banana stem sheath layer used as a plate in Assam

Food items, Delicacies

The inside stem of a banana is a delicious food item. In South India, Vazha Thandu is a delicious food item.

Many Indian delicacies sweets are made with banana fruit.

The banana flower is also a delicacy, a vegetable used to make vada and other delicacies.

Raw banana is a delicious vegetable.

Palani Panchamritham

Palani Panchamritham is a temple prasad of the famous Palani Karthikeya temple in west Tamil Nadu. This fruit salad from jaggery fruit dish has innate capacity to stay fresh for many days. This is attributed to Sirumalai Banana which has got preservative and curavative properties. Siru means small, Malai means hill.


Palani Panchamritham

Like this, with each variety of banana, a different delicacy is made. In Kerala, many delicacies are made with Nendram Banana.

All over India, different varieties of kheer, payasam is made from banana base.

Kesari, a sweet dish is also made with banana.

Like this, the dishes that can be made with banana are endless.

String for flowers

The bark of a banana stem is used for packing. It is also used as a string for stringing flowers.

Potassium rich

One of the essentials for all creatures is the potassium level which the Bananas provide us in abundance.

When we serve hot food, especially hot boiled rice on a fresh washed banana leaf, the steaming boiled rice takes in the potassium on the surface of the banana leaf.

The intake of this fruit is naturally nutritious.

Water Purifier

The root of a banana plant attracts micro-organisms which act on dirty water and cleanse the water.

This natural process of cleansing the water is now given the term Root Zone Treatment (RTZ).

Which is why, banana plants are traditionally planted in the backyard of houses, so that waste water is streamed to the roots of the banana plants, to be naturally cleansed.

An environment friendly practice of understanding Nature and putting this understanding into practice!

Bio friendly Packing material

Banana leaves have been also traditionally used as a packing material for packing fruits, flowers and other items.

It is a bio-degradeable environment friendly packing material as opposed to plastics which are littered all over the ground. They add manure to soil when decomposed. In contrast, today’s packing materials add poison to the soil when they decompose.

Thus, we see that every part of the banana plant has been used by the locals through the ages.

Banana Republics

In equatorial America and Africa, many small republics were dependent upon banana productions and exports were controlled by banana mafia because of which frequent regime changes happened. They came to be derisively referred to as banana republics.

Banana in West

In the western countries, in Europe and USA, where banana was not a native brand, this fruit had to be advertised to be made popular, after which farmlands were created in equatorial Africa and America, to feed the consumption pattern.


Banana Advertisement in Panama

Banana Advertisements


Tropical Banana Company Calendar

World Banana Day is observed every year on February 21st to promote the popularity of banana.

Natural Product in India

In stark contrast, we don’t find advertisements of banana in India, for, it has been a natural product and every part of the plant is consumed and used in this land.

Everyday is a Banana Day in this land!


Gopala Krishna Gokhale

Gopala Krishna Gokhale was one of the freedom fighters during the Indian Freedom Movement. He was one of the earlier leaders, who sought and fought to bring greater representation of Indians within the British administration. He was a political mentor to both Mahatma Gandhi and Mohammed Ali Jinnah.


Gopala Krishna Gokhale

Birth and Education

Gokhale was born on 9th May, 1866, in the Ratnagiri district of present day Maharashtra. Inspite of hailing from a poor family, Gokhale was able to pursue his education in English, with assistance from his family members. He went to complete his graduation from Elphinstone College.

Joining Indian National Congress

Gokhale joined the Indian National Congress in 1889, where he met the other contemporary leaders like Dadabhai Naoroji, Bipin Chandra Pal, Lala Lajpat Rai and Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Gokhale was moderate in his view and tried to convince the British about Indian right and capability to rule, through dialogue and discussion. Gokhale became the president of the Indian National Congress in 1905.

Promoted Education

In the same year 1905, he founded the Servants of India Society, to further education in India, as he felt that education would promote human development, and economic progress, among Indians, which will eventually help throw the British out of India. This society also sought to fight social evils like poverty, untouchability, alcoholism and domestic abuse.

In Gokhale’s own words, “the Servants of Indian Society will train men prepared to devote their lives to the cause of the country in a religious spirit, and will seek to promote, by all constitutional means, the national interests of the Indian people.

Today, it has its centers in many Indian states.


Servants of India Society Logo

Gokhale also gave many speeches among the Indian masses, to bring awareness among people, about the ground realities in the country, and as to how they could prosper.

Worked for Indian cause

Gokhale worked with the British, for the Indian cause, all through his life, and occupied various positions during his career. Some of them being,

  • Elected to Bombay Legislative Council in 1889
  • Elected to the Imperial Council of the Governor General of India in 1901
  • A member representing Bombay Province in 1903
  • Appointed Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire in 1904
  • A member of Imperial Legislative Council in 1909

Even while occupying such positions in the British administration, Gokhale worked for the Indian cause, by persuading the British to bring in necessary reforms for the welfare of Indians. He forced the British to accept the capabilities of Indians.

Mentor to Mahatma Gandhi

Gokhale guided Mahatma Gandhi in his early days of the freedom movement, on the issue facing the common Indians, and gave him an understanding of the political situation in the country.


Mahatma Gandhi with Gopala Krishna Gokhale

In those days, Gandhi was living in South Africa. Gokhale and Gandhi first met in 1896. The two again came together in 1901, at the Calcutta Congress, and spent more than two months together. It was here that Gokhale for the first time, persuaded Gandhi to return to India.  But, Gandhi couldn’t return to India until 1915, when Gokhale was towards his end.

When Gandhiji eventually returned from South Africa on January 8th, 2015, Gokhale asked him to undertake an all India tour, to properly understand the situation in the country, and also to build a connect with the people. He also funded this tour for Gandhi.

In his autobiography, “My Experiments with Truth,” Gandhi refers to Gokhale as his political Guru. He describes Gokhale as being, “pure as a crystal, gentle as a lamb, brave as a lion and chivalrous to a fault, and the most perfect man in the political field.”

The role that he played in molding Gandhi has been brought out by Govind Talwalkar in his book, “Gopala Krishna Gokhale, Gandhi’s Mentor”.


Mentor of Jinnah

Gokhale was also the political mentor of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, who in his own words wanted to be a “Muslim Gokhale”.


Gokhale passed away on 19th February, 1915.It was an end of an era. It was also the beginning of the Gandhian era, where Mahatma Gandhi would take up a more prominent role in the Freedom Movement on the footsteps of his political Guru, Gopala Krishna Gokhale.

Today Gokhale’s legacy finds expression in the many educational institutions in his name, in the country.

  • The Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics in Pune
  • Gokhale Memorial College in Kolkata
  • Gokhale Hall in Chennai
  • Gokhale Centenary College in Ankola
  • Gopala Krishna Gokhale College in Kolhapur
  • Gokhale Institute of Public Affairs in Bangalore


The Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune

The Gokhale Education Society today runs more than 50 educational institutions in Maharashtra.

A stamp has been issued in his name by the government of India.


A life truly lived for the cause of Indian Freedom. In Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s words, “This diamond of India, this jewel of Maharashtra, this prince of workers is taking eternal rest on funeral ground. Look at him and try to emulate him.”