Home Dehradun Dr Archana Sharma, Dr S Nambi Narayanan interact with Doon Varsity students

Dr Archana Sharma, Dr S Nambi Narayanan interact with Doon Varsity students

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National Science Day

By Our Staff Reporter

Dehradun, 28 Feb: National Science Day 2023 was celebrated at Doon University, here, today. Padma Bhushan Awardee Dr S Nambi Narayanan and Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Awardee Dr Archana Sharma were the eminent speakers who interacted with faculty members, invited guests and students. Dr S Nambi Narayanan is a former aerospace scientist. In 2022, a movie Rocketry: The Nambi Effect has also been released on his life in ISRO. Dr Archana Sharma is a principal scientist at CERN, Geneva. She interacted with the students on a very interesting topic related to the origin of the Universe.

VC Prof Surekha Dangwal welcomed all the guests and introduced the theme of the National Science Day 2023. She reminded that National Science Day is celebrated in the honour of Sir Chandrashekhar Venkata Raman for his path breaking discovery that is popularly known as “Raman Effect”. For his work, Sir CV Raman received the Nobel Prize in 1930. She mentioned that the theme for National Science Day this year is ‘Global Science for Global Wellbeing’. This theme indicates India’s emerging global role and rising visibility in the international arena. She emphasised that India assumed the G20 Presidency on 1 December, 2022. India has acquired “global visibility” in the comity of nations under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the country is ready for outcome-oriented global collaboration to address the global challenges. India understands that the concerns, challenges and benchmarks have assumed global dimensions, nowadays, hence the correction should also be of global nature. This theme also highlights the need to provide opportunities to people and the scientific fraternity in India and abroad to come together, work together and experience the joy of conducting scientific research for the wellbeing of humankind. India is progressively marching towards becoming a global leader in industrialisation and technological development. She also underlined that the aim of India’s ‘Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2020’ is to promote science more effectively and make it expert-driven. She also mentioned India’s heritage of science and technology. India has been the land of many scientists, mathematicians, astronomers and medical experts like Aryabhatta, Kanada, Brahmaputra, Bhaskaracharya, Nagaruna and many more.

Dr Archana Sharma described how she became a scientist at CERN after completing her Ph.D. from BHU Varanasi. She enlightened the students on her internationally recognised experimental work on gaseous detectors. She described how the universe came into existence. She elaborated the future of research on high energy physics, simulations and experimentation on wire chambers, resistive plate chambers and micro-pattern gaseous detectors. Dr Archana also revealed that she has trained more than 600 Indian students at her research lab in CERN. She is the founder and leader of CMS GEM Collaboration, for exploiting one of the most sensitive detectors for trigger and tracking in the CMS Experiment at LHC, with the highest discovery potential.

Dr Nambi Narayanan motivated the students on the challenges and success stories of his own life. He was born on 12 December, 1941, in the house of Tamil Hindu parents in the Princely state of Travancore (present-day Kanyakumari District). After completing his graduate studies in mechanical engineering in Madurai, he started his career in 1966 at ISRO as a technical assistant. He was posted at the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station. In 1969, he went to Princeton University on deputation, and completed the master’s programme there in chemical rocket propulsion under supervision of Professor Luigi Crocco. Thereafter, he returned to India with expertise in liquid propulsion at a time when Indian rocketry was solely dependent on solid propellants. In 1974, Societe Europeenne de Propulsion agreed to transfer the Viking engine technology in return for 100 man-years of engineering work from ISRO. Three teams completed this transfer and he led the team of fifty-two engineers who worked on technology acquisition from French. The other two teams worked on indigenising the hardware in India and establishing the development facilities in Mahendragiri. The first engine named Vikas was tested successfully in 1985 under his scientific leadership. Briefly, he also mentioned that 30 November, 1994, was the most unfortunate day of his life when he was arrested by Kerala Police as part of an investigation of a fake and fabricated espionage case. He had to spend 50 days in jail, where he was tortured until he collapsed and was hospitalised. In April 1996, CBI submitted a closure report, saying that there was no espionage and that the testimonies of suspects were coerced by torture. On 26 January, 2019, he was conferred the Padma Bhushan award by the Government of India for developing the Vikas rocket engine.

The entire event was moderated by undergraduate student Iris Chauhan. Dean of School of Social Sciences Prof RP Mamgain, Prof HC Purohit, Prof Kusum Arunachalam, Prof Harsh Dobhal, Dr Arun Kumar, Dr Charu Dwivedi, Dr Himani Sharma, Dr Preeti Mishra, Dr Rajesh Bhatt, Dr Narendra Rawal and many other faculty members participated. Dr Vikas Sharma proposed the Vote of Thanks.