What is Science?
Science is a spirit of enquiry based on the process of logical reasoning. It is a way of training and developing the mind and whole life functioning according to the ways and methods of observation and experimentation. Science normally means the main branches of knowledge and study of physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, medicines, geology, geography, and astronomy etc with objective consideration of facts, observation, and validation of hypothesis to arrive at a conclusion of law of science.
Science era began from ancient period. There was little scientific knowledge and awareness in Stone Age. Renaissance in 15th century ushered in a new horizon in science through the work of Galileo and Copernicus by establishing the Helio-centric system that earth moved round the sun and vice – versa.
Then came industrial, modern, nuclear and the present era of knowledge age. Scientific awareness, innovation, invention, discoveries have touched every activities of our lives without which present way of life we lead would have been impossible.
Now knowledge powered person is born with capabilities to know the unknown.
Why Science Awareness?
- Scientific awareness gives us knowledge and knowledge results in societal- economic transformation for welfare of people at large.
- It encourages research scientists and creative mind for benefits of mankind.
- It makes us to question dogmas, superstition broadening our outlook and establishing progressive minds.
- Science awareness establishes scientific temper
- It enables us to become self reliant.
Major Areas of Concern
There are many areas of concerns. The major areas of concern are:
Water and Sanitation:
No fresh water No future. Now 31 countries of the world accounting for 8% of world’s population face a chronic water problem. About 1.5 billion people globally do not have access to improved water supply source whereas 2.5 billion people do not have access to any type of improved sanitation facility. About 2.5 million people die every year due to diarrhoeal diseases; most of them are children below 5 years of age.
Minimization and elimination of pollution and contamination of water is necessary to arrest water borne diseases which are more during summer and rainy seasons.
Fluoride, Arsenic, Salinity, Nitrite in excess of quantities cause dangerous diseases. Norms, regulation, and testing methods are necessary for safe drinking water. Water re-cycling methods, and waste water treatment are some of the steps we must adopt .Good sewage system, garbage disposal are helpful to establish clean micro environment.
Some of the important actions in this direction are:
- replenishment of ground water and reduction of water wastages,
- desalination technique of water as done in Rajasthan for supply of potable water,
- reverse osmosis process for drinking water,
- Swajal dhara programme for drinking water and sanitation in rural areas,
- Tube wells and dug/open wells should be kept away from sources of contamination and pollution within 30 to 40 meter circle.
Health and Nutrition
Health is wealth. Physical, social, and mental well being is our goal to establish health for all. Dual disease burden of communicable and life style diseases; malnutrition and pollution and contamination of food are the challenges today.
We must overcome big four nutritional deficiency of protein energy, vitamin ‘A’, iron, and iodine among children and women to reduce mortality rates .Health of child depends on health of mother . Our health care targets are girl child, lactating mother, infants, and young child feeding to reduce mortality rates.
Health security steps are online medical services, telemedicine consultation, mobile health clinic, health education, and health insurance schemes. Integration of traditional strength of Unnani, Sidha with modern medicine can provide affordable health care for the needy.
Environment and Bio-Diversity
The world is facing a serious dilemma on the choice between economic growth, sustainable growth and environment conservation. The conservation of all biological diversity is a common concern of humankind and it is vital to anticipate, preserve and tackle the causes of losses or reduction of biological resources. Biological diversity has impact on our every day life. The food, fibre, shelter, health and other needs of growing world population are dependent on bio diversity. Sustainable use of biodiversity at the national and international level is of critical importance.
Preservation of GREEN GOLD, prevention of environmental degradation, and ecological balance is necessary. To promote clean and green environment and biological diversity, Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) is an innovative approach for benefit of all.
Natural and man made disaster cause loss to life and property. There are 4 ways to face disasters.
- 1. Simple, accurate advance warning system
- 2. Pre disaster preparation
- 3. Activities during disaster
- 4. Post disaster management to save life and property.
For Floods quick warning system, information on likely flood points and evacuation of likely flood affected areas are vital.
In case of Cyclone, 48 to 72 hrs advance warning system, quick dissemination of information, and evacuation of likely affected areas and alternate shelter are very important.
Similarly for Earthquake, early signal on seismic activity, time and place, warning stations and spread of information will be helpful...
We can fight Drought by maintaining water table and avoiding excessive withdrawal of ground water. Cloud seeding, an innovative approach, as done in Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh, can be adopted in other states. Through soil management, we can maintain fertility of soil by supply of nutrients, crop rotation and soil conservation by terrace farming. Post disaster management saves life and property through rescue operation, relief provision and rehabilitation of affected lives.
Empowerment Through 'IT'
We can empower ourselves through IT in many ways;
- We get real time data for quick and correct decision making
- Digitizing land records, Telemedicine, Tele education, e- governance can help every one including rural mass
- IT enables the print disabled
- IT abolishes illiteracy
Creation of Scientific Awareness
Scientific awareness can be created through;
- Formal and non formal education
- Print and electronic media
- Folk dance and puppetry among rural mass and children
- Science model , science parks, science exhibition ,seminars are the life long learning process
- Pool of science communicators
- Different NGO
What should be Our Mission in the year of Scientific Awareness?
- We should take science to the people and people to science
- Make as many people scientifically aware as possible
- Make proper utilization of scientific knowledge and skills for benefit of mankind
To conclude, science awareness is a basic necessity in all aspects of our life, be it social, economic, political, educational and strategic matters to make our country prosperous and proud, and fulfill our president, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam's vision of developed India by 2020.