The Government of India designated 2004 as the Year of Scientific Awareness (YSA), citing the need to inculcate in the people the habit of putting their scientific awareness to practical use. But the larger aim was to make them participate in the scientific endeavor to build a modern India.

The idea of observing 2004 as Year of Scientific Awareness was conceptualized in a meeting of representatives of State Science & Technology (S & T) Councils held in Technology Bhavan, New Delhi, while discussing plans of science popularization activities for 10th Five Year Plan. The first announcement to this effect was made by the then Hon’ble Minister for S & T at the inaugural function of 10th National Children’s Science Congress held at Mysore during December 27th – 31st, 2002.

The then Hon’ble Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee  released Science & Technology Policy in January, 2003 with the objective of ensuring the fullest use of developments in science & technology for the well being of the people. The policy objectives specifically stated “To ensure that the message of science reaches every citizen of lndia, man and woman, young and old, so that we advance scientific temper, emerge as a progressive and enlightened society, and make it possible for all our people to participate fully in the development of science and technology and its application for human welfare. Indeed, science and technology will be fully integrated with all spheres of national activity”.

The YSA was formally launched on 3rd January’ 2004 by Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, the then Honorable Union Minister for Science & Technology , New Delhi during Indian Science Congress, at Chandigarh.

YSA’ 2004 was launched in the state with release of YSA logo on 21st – 23rd February’ 2004 during inauguration of Vigyan Rail (Exhibition on Wheels) by Shri Deo Nukhu, the then Hon’ble Minister for Higher & Technical Education, Science & Technology & Information Technology, Nagaland at Dimapur Railway station.

The YSA-2004 has been conceived of as a campaign of one full year of multiple level activities to be conducted across the length and breadth of the country. These activities were of both Jatha and non-Jatha types targeting to reach crores of people directly and many more through the mass media. Jatha, a word generally used for a ‘march’ or a ‘rally’ consisting of a group of people that moves from place to place. Traditionally Jathas have been used for entertainment as well as general awareness generation. Here, too, Jatha aimed to provide educational and motivational entertainment. The programmes were conducted at pre-planned ‘halts’ of the Jatha troupes. All the activities were built around selected issues of major concern and involved two-way interaction with audiences.

YSA was a terrific boost to sustainable development and the major areas of concern was simplified approach to life. YSA was a calling bell to rejuvenate the science in us lying dormant. Jatha was to interact so as to give and receive variety of minds and practices. YSA was an eye opener to all of us. Constraints in funding could not constrain the enthusiasm. That’s the prelude to scientifically awakened mind and attitude.

The Jatha movement was a roaring success and a happening event in the state. It was one of the first such mass movements in the history of the state. The Jatha team was divided into two teams namely Chief Minister’s Jatha team and Governor’s Jatha team. Each Jatha team consisted of 25 active participants of students and SOC members. The Jatha teams were flagged off by Shri Shyamal Datta, His Excellency the former Governor of Nagaland on 9th April’ 05 at DDSC Stadium, Dimapur. The two Jatha teams were divided as such that the Governor’s Jatha team covered North-West part of the state and Chief Minister’s Jatha team covered the South-East part of the state. The Jatha teams covered all the length and breadth of the state during the ten days Jatha tour. The Jatha teams performed songs and skits on scientific subjects, demonstration on food adulteration, soil and water testing and showing of scientific movies were conducted in all the Jatha halts. Public debates, question and answer hours and open interaction were also done. The Jatha culmination was held on 19th April’ 05 at Kohima local ground where Shri Neiphiu Rio, the then Hon’ble Chief Minister, Nagaland was the chief guest. The programme was marked by various activities and demonstrations by various school children and departments of the state.

The YSA program was quite popular and was a grand success in the state, the SCA felt that the scientific awareness program should not end with the end of YSA. As it was just a calling bell, we should try to conduct various awareness programmes in future in a more extensive manner. The people of the country are in the bondage of age-old beliefs and superstitions for long, therefore it is necessary that their old habits and attitudes are changed. Once the people of the country acquires the right knowledge and information, become scientifically aware and participate in the decision making of the country, then the dream of a developed modern India will come true scientifically.

Transit of Venus observation.

Science Express Train which was flagged off by the then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Chancellor of Germany Dr. Angela Merkel at Dimapur.




YSA was proposed to achieve the following objectives:

1. To make as many people scientifically aware as possible.

2. To make more and more people habitual of keeping themselves scientifically    aware by acquiring the required knowledge and information and seeking    satisfactory answers to questions that arise in their minds.

3. To Help create an atmosphere and conditions conducive to more and more    people readily and easily becoming scientifically aware.

4. To encourage more and more people to make practical use of their scientific    awareness in day-to-day life, in arriving at decisions concerning    issues/subjects of concern to them, in overcoming superstitions and tackling    blind beliefs, and in handling situations arising out of age-old practices and    traditions which actually hinder progress, harmony, or even may harm others.