by Sadaket Ali Malik

From semiconductor manufacturing to space exploration, defence capabilities, telecommunications, and AI, India is not only keeping pace with global progress but is actively shaping the future of technology worldwide.

Each year on February 28, India and Kashmircommemorate National Science Day, celebrating the discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’ in 1928 by the distinguished Indian scientist Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman.

This discovery, which elucidated the scattering of photons, stands as a significant contribution to the scientific community, garnering Raman international recognition. National Science Day pays homage to his groundbreaking work and seeks to foster scientific curiosity and awareness among the populace.

The theme for National Science Day 2024, ‘Indigenous Technologies for Viksit Bharat‘ (Developed India), underscores the promotion of domestically developed scientific advancements and technological innovations.

National Science Day in India commemorates Raman’s scientific contribution and endeavours to cultivate a scientific ethos among the public. Festivities typically feature events, seminars, and exhibitions spotlighting the significance of science and technology in the nation’s advancement. The 2024 theme aligns with India’s commitment to nurturing indigenous technologies for national progress.

The day serves as a platform to underscore the integral role of science in everyday life and to display scientific endeavours aimed at enhancing human welfare. It facilitates discussions on pertinent issues and the adoption of new technologies to propel scientific advancement. Furthermore, National Science Day is dedicated to fostering public engagement with and appreciation for science and technology, promoting a scientific mindset crucial for the nation’s overall development.

Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920)

India has demonstrated a notable surge in scientific achievements in recent years, propelling it into the top five globally for scientific research publications. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Global Innovation Index 2023 rankings, India maintains the 40th position out of 132 economies.

In terms of food security, India’s 2023 Global Hunger Index (GHI) score stands at 28.7, categorized as ‘serious’ on the GHI Severity of Hunger Scale. This marks a slight improvement from its 2015 score of 29.2, also classified as ‘serious.’ It represents significant progress compared to its 2000 and 2008 scores of 38.4 and 35.5, respectively, both categorized as ‘alarming.’

India’s technological evolution in recent decades marks a significant journey, transitioning from a tech follower to a leading force shaping the global technology landscape. This transformation stems from strategic initiatives, educational investments, and a skilled workforce, positioning the nation at the forefront of the tech domain.

A pivotal aspect of India’s technological prowess is its emergence as a global IT outsourcing hub. Drawing upon a vast talent pool, the country has become a preferred destination for IT services, showcasing expertise in software development, maintenance, and support. This foundation has solidified India’s reputation as a dependable and cost-effective provider of IT solutions worldwide.

In recent years, India has shifted its focus from being primarily a service provider to nurturing a culture of innovation, evident in the proliferation of startups across diverse sectors. The startup ecosystem has experienced exponential growth, yielding innovative solutions in fintech, healthcare, agriculture, and more. Government support, incubators, and an entrepreneurial-friendly environment have all fuelled this vibrant startup culture.

India’s prowess in space technology is another notable facet of its technological advancement. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has achieved significant milestones, including successful satellite launches and the Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan). India’s participation in international space collaborations, exemplified by its signing of the Artemis Accords, underscores the nation’s dedication to space exploration and cooperation.

1930 Nobel Laurate for Physics, Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman (1888-1970) known for his work in the field of light scattering, later named as Raman Scattering

India’s semiconductor and electronics manufacturing capabilities have gained prominence through initiatives like the India Semiconductor Mission (ISM). The aim to establish India as a global chip manufacturing hub is supported by investments and collaborations with leading semiconductor companies. The construction of Micron’s semiconductor plant in Gujarat exemplifies India’s ambitions in this critical technology sector.

Advancements in defence capabilities are notable, particularly with the development of indigenous weapon systems such as the Akash Missile. Its capability to engage multiple targets simultaneously reflects India’s drive for self-sufficiency in defence. The commissioning of INS Vikrant, India’s first domestically built aircraft carrier, strengthens the nation’s naval capabilities and underscores its expertise in advanced naval technology.

In the telecommunications sector, India has made significant strides, achieving the fastest 5G rollout in history. The deployment of numerous 5G sites by major players like Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel underscores India’s commitment to leading global telecommunications advancements. Furthermore, aspirations for 6G technology highlight the nation’s forward-thinking approach.

Representational image of Artificial Intelligence (AI) – KL Illustration by Malik Kaisar

India has launched an AI Mission aimed at providing startups and innovators with enhanced computing power to address critical challenges in sectors like healthcare, agriculture, and education, fostering the development of AI applications and contributing to societal progress.

The technological advancements in India in 2023 underscore the nation’s dedication to innovation, self-reliance, and global leadership across various technological domains. From semiconductor manufacturing to space exploration, defence capabilities, telecommunications, and AI, India is not only keeping pace with global progress but is actively shaping the future of technology worldwide. As the nation continues to progress, it is evident that India is not merely embracing technology but is emerging as a significant force in defining the future of global technology.

This success is attributed to the strengthening of the Science and Technology (S&T) ecosystem, particularly in fields such as Artificial Intelligence, Astronomy, Solar & Wind Energy, Semiconductors, Climate Research, Space Research, and Biotechnology. India’s scientific achievements extend beyond Earth, highlighted by the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the moon’s south pole, a milestone that establishes India as the first country to achieve this feat.

Sadakat Ali Malik

National Science Day is celebrated through a variety of engaging activities. Students from schools and colleges actively participate, displaying diverse science projects. National and state science institutions present their latest research findings. The event includes public speeches, radio and TV talk shows, exhibitions featuring science movies, and science exhibitions focusing on specific themes and concepts.

Activities such as stargazing, live demonstrations of projects and research, debates, quiz competitions, lectures, and exhibitions of science models are also part of the event. This comprehensive approach aims to foster a scientific spirit, promote innovation, and raise awareness about the significance of science and technology among people of all ages.

(The author is a teacher in the School Education Department in Jammu. The ideas expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the ideology of Kashmir Life.)


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