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New Delhi : The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) joined the India@75 or Bharat ki Azadi ki Amirt Varshcelebrations with two events on  March 22, 2021.  Along with Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA), the CSIR and its Delhi-based CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL) organised an event, “From Many to One: The Saga of the Indian Calendar“. The event was held at the CSIR-NPL auditorium and was also live-streamed on digital platforms.

Welcoming the gathering, Dr Shekhar C Mande, Director General, CSIR, said that March 22 is a special day which, as per the Saka Calendar, is Indian New Year Day.  Dr Mande highlighted how the many calendar systems in India required to be unified, and this task was assigned to the CSIR in the early 1950s. CSIR constituted a review committee under the chairmanship of Dr Meghnad Saha. The Committee submitted its report to the Indian parliament in 1956, and on March 22, 1957, the country adopted the new unified Indian calendar, according to a PIB release .

Jayant Sahasrabudhe, National Organising Secretary, VIBHA, said that as India celebrates its 75th year of Independence, it is essential to recognise the contributions of Indian science and scientists during the independence movement. Sahasrabudhe highlighted how scientists and science leaders of the pre-independent era braved the many challenges that existed then and focused on furthering science by setting up important scientific institutions. The Indian calendar is among the many contributions of Indian science and scientists in India’s Independence’s early years, noted Sahasrabudhe.

Dr Arvind C Ranade, Scientist F atVigyan Prasar, presented a detailed account of the various calendar systems and traced the Calendar Reform Committee’s contributions under Dr Saha’s chairmanship. Dr Ranade called for more effective implementation of the Indian National Calendar. While the Gregorian calendar may be used for international references and transactions, the Indian national calendar can be used as an icon for regional integration and national unity as it is independent of any religion, he said.