Pune: The very essence of this city is to spread knowledge. And this fact is underlined by just going through the list of premier institutes the city has. Jyotrividya Parisanstha (JVP) is one such institute which will be celebrating its 75th foundation day on Wednesday.
“The institute has helped us in many ways besides popularisation of science, it has also contributed in reducing the blind faith among the citizens,” said vice-president, JVP, Aniruddha Deshpande. He said, “Earlier we had to collect people to make them observe the solar or lunar eclipse. Now, we have to depute people to manage the rising crowd for such events.
“This makes us happy as the institute which was formed on August 22, 1944, with an aim of having an association to study astronomy and creating facilities for the citizens to make astronomical observations has been successful in its journey so far,” Deshpande said.
Nowadays, because of the Internet, there has been a rise in the awareness and interest has been encouraging. Today, people come and ask relevant questions. Earlier, people had to rely on the books and magazines or on the scientific events. But now, with a click you get so much of information which helps in the popularisation,” he said.
JVP is an association of amateur astronomers and a non-profit organisation. Primarily established to spread the knowledge of astronomy among the public and also to make their own contribution as far as possible, it was the first association of its kind and remained so far for a few decades.
“Right from conception, JVP has been actively working for the propagation of astronomy in purely scientific temperament,” said Deshpande.
Deshpande added, “We are trying to become a bridge between amateur astronomers and the professional astronomers by providing them various facilities. We encourage many amateur astronomers for observations. Once the interest is developed, people take it up professionally, but what next. So we will be sending their observations to various national and international astronomical institutes for further course of action.”
He also said that the institute besides working for popularisation of science will also work towards making serious observations for professionals. “And for that, we are upgrading the facilities at the institute,” he added.
Timeline of the prestigious institute
The founder members: NC Kelkar, Prof DD Kapadia, KR Kanitkar, JS Karandikar (Editor, Kesari), Datto Vaman Potdar, JR Gharpure, Ranglor GS Mahajani, Prof GL Chandratreya, Prof ML Chandratreya, TG Dhavale, Prof Sakharampant Apte, Prof LV Gurjar, Prof NV Kinkar, Pt Raghunathshastri Patwardhan, Babasaheb Patwardhan, VD Goreshastri, DG Kale, BG Walinbe, DG Dhavale, SN Harip, Prof KV Kelkar, Prof RP Shintre, VV Apte, TB Hardikar.
1946: Prof. MG Sathe donated 3.5” refractor telescope to JVP
1952: Third lecture series on cosmology: Tarakanagari. Lecture series was inaugurated by Dr Nanasaheb Parulekar, Editor, Sakal.
1969-70: Silver Jubilee year – Prof NM Athavale donated a self-made 4” refractor telescope
1992: Nobel Laureate S Chandrashekhar visited JVP.
1994: Fred Hoyle visited JVP.
2004: JVP procured 10” Celestron Newtonian Telescope.
2011-12: JVP procured EQ 6-Pro equatorial mount for 10” Celestron Newtonian Telescope. This setup was made fully computerised along with Canon 7D DSLR camera. This setup facilitated advanced observational programs for JVP members.
2011-12: Telescope library started at JVP.
2012-13: 10” Celestron Newtonian Telescope along with Skywatcher EQ 6-Pro mount was stationed permanently at Kesariwada to carry out observations like Variable Star Observations.
2016: Occultation of Star: TYC 2430-01124-1 by Asteroid, 22 Calliope was recorded by JVP members from 16 stations and size and shape of the asteroid was calculated using these observations. Observations were presented to IOTA.
2018: Variable star observations submitted to AAVSO: count of observations reached to 10,000.