National Science Day, quite an unpopular event at VJTI

VJTI students made a portrait of Sir CV Raman using 1,800 Rubik cubes

Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI), Mumbai, organised a two-day event, ‘Catalyst’, to honour Sir CV Raman, the man behind the Raman Effect. February 28 is marked as the National Science Day (NSD) in India, to commemorate Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman for his invention in the field of Science. However, VJTI celebrated it a day before, on February 26 and 27, 2016. The celebrations started with a guest lecture from Dr Rajagopala Chidambaran. Surprisingly, many students and some staff members were unaware of the event. 

“Catalyst is a substance that causes a chemical reaction to occur but is not itself involved in the reaction, it is the prime agent in any change,” said a second-year student at VJTI. The student surely knows about chemical reactions, but when asked about ‘Catalyst’ the event, he laughed and said, “I don’t know anything about that Catalyst, but when is Dr Chidambaram coming?”

The organising committee of Catalyst said, “We used all marketing tips to promote the event. We even wrote the details of this two-day event on blackboards of every classroom.”

A group of third-year students at VJTI, said, “Some students are unaware about the event since this is the first time we are celebrating NSD. Besides, the lecture is organised especially for the first-year students. Hence the lack of awareness among other students.” 

Another misunderstanding that came to light was that this year, VJTI is celebrating NSD two times. One is Catalyst, organised by the students committee of VJTI, and the second is a felicitation event organised by the scholarship department of the institute. When an official from the management was asked about Catalyst, he said, “But we are celebrating NSD on March 2, 2016, by felicitating some of our staff members and students.”

To know more about Catalyst, PaGaLGuY spoke to Prof S Gangopadhyaya. She said, “We are where we are today, because of Science and this is why VJTI has always celebrated NSD.” It was quite a confusion when students said that this is the first time VJTI is celebrating NSD, but for staff members, it is already a tradition.

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