Article contributed by Parsi Khabar reader Percy Kavarana
The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) on Thursday celebrated Dr Homi Bhabha’s 99th birth anniversary amidst its Founder’s Day festivities and also marked the beginning of the Homi Bhabha Birth Centenary Year, which will be celebrated till October 30 next year.
The highlight of the function was a live telecast by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from New Delhi, which was beamed to all Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) institutions. The PM also inaugurated six new BARC facilities through video conferencing. These include the multi-stage flash desalination plant and the barge-mounted desalination plant — both in Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu; a new training school at Anushakti Nagar in Mumbai; the Critical Facility for Water Reactors and New Hot Cells Facility— both in Trombay and an Electron Radiation Facility in Khargar, Navi Mumbai.
“It gives me great pleasure to begin these celebrations to enter the centenary year celebrations of Homi Bhabha’s 99th birth anniversary,” said the Prime Minister. “These two sons (Jawaharlal Nehru and Homi Bhabha) were the fathers of our nuclear energy programme,” he added.
The PM also gave away four Lifetime Achievement awards in the national capital to Govind Swarup of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), S R Paranjpe of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), S L Kati of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and H S Kamath of the Nuclear Fuel Group. “I congratulate the four distinguished scientists who have been honoured with the Lifetime Achievement awards and wish them more success in the coming years,” said the PM, adding that the nation had come a long way since the inception of TIFR in 1945. “Our scientists and engineers have shown that they can compete with the best in the world,” he said.
The centenary celebrations are expected to continue throughout the year with the different institutions of the DAE holding various events in the year up to the 100th birth anniversary and the year that follows. “We have an apex committee which has a different convener every year to see to the Founder’s Day celebration itself,” said R S Bhalerao, who is the convener this year. “We plan to have a drawing competition for the entire DAE family at some time in January, as Homi Bhabha himself was an artist,” said J N Kayarkar, registrar, TIFR.