SMVDU Katra: Dr. V. K. Saraswat, an eminent scientist and former Director DRDO, visited Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University and delivered a special talk to all faculty members on 8th March. He highlighted the path for transforming science for the growth of the nation. He emphasized that without upgrading the education as per the need and challenges of the future, the education is not worthwhile. This can be done by providing skills, technical knowledge and creating sets of people to find solution to the problems. Without upgrading the education for the 3.0 G (generation), we can’t bring our country to the forefront. Education for 3.0 G means student-centric education, field-centric education instead of classroom-centric education, problem solving-centric education, and project based teaching-learning leading to creation of sets of capable people. The economic growth of the nation depends upon putting the science and technology to the right direction. We need to take the demographic advantage of the country by training the youth and that can only be possible by a spirited teaching. A good teacher must not confine himself just to imparting information, but must equip himself for training students to meet the challenges. We have to relate our education to the emerging demands of service-centricity and e-centricity of market, economy or even education. We can’t educate students the same way we have been doing so far.
The education must be in tune with the 6th wave of innovation. He quoted Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam who talked about a nano-mission for the nation. What we need is to be able to translate our research into innovation. People in India still lag behind in applying research to problem-solving of real life, real experimentation, design and manufacturing. Where we lack is the technology-readiness. In the present era of convergence of technology, our education must ensure technology-readiness; otherwise we shall not be able to take advantage of the demography. He also emphasized the sustainability question in terms of economy, society and environment and proposed that reuse and recycle technologies be invented and the motto of education should be “Education for Sustainability” which will in turn be sustainable education.
The talk was followed by extensive interaction and questionnaire session. Dr. Vandhana Sharma, Dr. Swarkar Sharma, Dr. Pabitra Jena, Dr. Ashutosh Vashishta engaged in dialogue with Dr. Saraswat. In answer to a question Dr. Saraswat emphasized the special ability of India, i.e., doing engineering in a frugal way, with less cost involvement as compared to some developed countries like USA. We need to recognize this strength. He substantiated his claim with examples of several missile projects, and India’s Mars Mission. He also emphasized on living in close communication with nature, a shastra-way of living that leads to sensitivity for protection and appreciation of nature. The Vice Chancellor felicitated him by presenting a memento. Prof. V. K. Bhat, Registrar, Prof. V. Verma, Prof. D. Mukhopadhyaya and all faculty members of the university were present. Dr. V. K. Tripathi presented vote of thanks.