Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
Theme for 2017 National Science Day 2017- Science and Technology for special abled people. Most of the people are unaware of the existence of national science day and why it is celebrated. It is being celebrated not to commemorate someone’s birthday but to commemorate an event which is extremely important to India: It was on 28th February 1928 that CV Raman discovered ‘the Raman effect’ which changed research in science tremendously. Hence National Science Day is celebrated. World science day is celebrated on 10th April.
Importance of practical science
CV Raman has been the first and last Indian to get a nobel prize in science. Though there are lot of scientists, technologies and innovations coming from India, yet another nobel is yet to come. This shows that there is a need to encourage students and increase the scope of research in science.
Science is not mastered from birth but has to be learnt throughout lifetime, especially childhood. Learning starts in school. Unfortunately, the current method of teaching in schools is not the ideal one. Science cannot be learnt just by reading books but need the provision of opportunities to handle apparatus, instruments and do experiments to gain the knowledge. Many schools have labs but students are not allowed to touch or handle the instruments. This is a big drawback which needs to be changed and students need to do hands-on experiment to do science. This the way through which excitement of doing science is generated and career in science can be thought of.
It is very important to give students an environment of experimenting along with good qualified teachers, resources to elaborate, invent and go into science. Till now, lot of students are hesitant with science and maths and avoid going to learn about it as it is technical in nature. However, it seems difficult because of is method of teaching. Maths and science are interesting and entertaining when taught in a particular way. The basic problem with teaching method is that students are not encouraged to handle apparatus to do experiments. This doesn’t get them attracted to science. Thus there is a need to improve the skills, teaching method and ability of teachers who can encourage children to take science.
No conventional career
There also exists a societal problem where parents think that if their children do science, the job opportunities will not be will paid at par with corporate sector. Though it is a true fact, it is unfortunate.
CV Raman was the deputy accountant general of GoI. He started working on science and doing experiments after office hours. Then in few months, he decided to quit the lucrative government job and became a lecturer at lesser salary. This was because he wanted to be with science.
This kind of mindset with today’s children is lacking. The students have to be taught that earning money should not be the only goal in life.
Increasing research efficiency
Research and development is time and money consuming. However, India is giving it less compared to western countries or neighbouring countries like China. The problem is quantum of money spent and the choice of problems. There are lot of IT companies, innovations and apps from India which has given it an edge in technology and communication. So, India has been in a strong position in the world as far as software development is concerned. But when it comes to basic researches in physics chemistry and life sciences, it has not yet delved into careful selection of problems and proportionate investments. Hence, what happens is that inspite of spending money on research and development, not many problems are solved due to non-selection of actual problems.
As per a report, India lags in submitting research papers. Another research says that only 140 researches per 10 lakh population as compared to US which has 4000 researches.
This is to happen due to high illiteracy in India. 30% of Indian population is illiterate and hence cannot be researchers. So comparatively, research done is fine. But the research is done in universities and national laboratories and very little research done by corporate sector. In US and UK, the best research is done by private sector. So this situation needs to be brought to India to see a significant change.
Even the PPP mode is not feasible. Government sector lacks accountability. In private sector, if somebody is assigned a task, he has to complete, the targets have to be achieved. But not so in government sector. There may be instructions and directives but hardly any actions are taken on time. This leads to laidback attitude because scientists in government sector know that they are not answerable if they are not delivering. This attitude is harming research. They don’t have the commitment to achieve something and show ‘I can do it’. This attitude is missing in India. It is not possible in corporate sector. But in corporate sector, if they are doing research and developing something, they get patents and make business out of it. Hence, the benefit of scientific research rarely reaches the masses or reaches very late.
Recently PM also said that India needs more scientists to harness technology for the common man. India has been creating sufficient number of science graduates and post graduates but the basic problem is their quality of knowledge. To address this problem, the easiest solution is to build a mindset from school days by encouraging the child to do hands-on activities, experiments etc. The chalk and talk method should not be medium of instruction anymore.
Connecting the dots:
‘To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform’. How is it possible in the present times in India? Discuss ways and means and challenges pertaining to it.