The International Day of Light (IDL) is celebrated every year on May 16 globally. The day marks the anniversary of the first successful operation of the laser in 1960 by physicist and engineer, Theodore Maiman. Maiman’s laser led to the subsequent development of many other types of laser.
i.About IDL: IDL was organized by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to strengthen scientific cooperation and harness its potential to foster peace and sustainable development.
ii.The IDL celebrates the role light plays in science, culture and art, education, and sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as medicine, communications, and energy.
iii.The celebration will allow many different sectors of society worldwide to participate in activities that demonstrate how science, technology, art and culture can help achieve the goals of UNESCO – building the foundation for peaceful societies.
iv.Mission: An International Day of Light will offer UNESCO an opportunity to fulfill its mission of promoting international cooperation in the basic sciences and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Education and also to render science, technology and innovation accessible to all.
v.Celebrate IDL 2020 from your home: Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the 2 exciting initiatives for IDL 2020 were announced ahead of the day- First was asking people to post pictures on social media using hashtags #IDL2020 and #SeeTheLight with images that capture how light influences our lives in the broadest sense.
vi.The second initiative was a call for a video, asking people to submit a video that showcases how they study, celebrate or enjoy the light.
Director-General– Audrey Azoulay.