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International Day of Light 2021 – May 16

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International Day of Light 2021The International Day of Light(IDL) is annually observed across the globe on 16th May to celebrate the role of lights in science, culture and art, education and sustainable development, medicine, communications, and energy. The day also marks the anniversary of the first successful operations of the laser in 1960 by Physicist and Engineer Theodore Maiman. 


i.The resolution on International Day of Light was prepared and adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) Executive Board at its 200th session on 19th September 2016.

ii.The UNESCO Executive Board resolution was endorsed by the UNESCO General Conference at its 39th session on 7 November 2017.

iii.The first IDL was observed on 16th May 2018.

Objectives of IDL:

  • To improve the understanding on the importance of light and light based technologies.
  • To highlight the connection between light and art and culture and enhance the role of optical technology towards preserving cultural heritage.
  • To highlight the importance of basic research in fundamental science of light and to promote careers in science and engineering in the field of light based technology.

About Light:

i.Various studies on light have led to alternative energy sources and medical advances in diagnostics technology and treatments, light-speed internet and other discoveries.

ii.Some of the light-based technologies are solar panels, LED Lightings, Computer monitors or telephone screens, cameras, projectors magnetic resonance imaging and X-ray machines.