Education is indeed basic to the creation of an atmosphere in which human beings can meet one another on a plane of friendship and equality. Azad's thundering lines "Every individual has a right to an education that will enable him to develop his faculties and live a full human life. Such education is the birth right of every citizen" which are excerpts from AIR Broadcast, New Delhi, September 30, 1953 continues to reverberate in everyone's heart. Azad had played a stellar role not only in establishing the UGC, IIT etc but also ICCR, Sahitya Academy, Lalit Kala Academy, Sangeet Natak Academy and CSIR.
As per UGC guidelines, the theme for 2013 National Education Day is Science and Society. In the words of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore "In Science, we go through the discipline of eliminating the personal limitations of our minds and thus reach the comprehension of truth which is in the minds of the universal man."
The whims of society may sometimes seem frivolous; yet, even such trivial changes may end up changing the course of science. Society shapes the path of science in many different ways. Society helps determine how its resources are deployed to fund scientific work, encouraging some sorts of research and discouraging others. Similarly, scientists are directly influenced by the interests and needs of society and often direct their research towards topics that will serve society. And at the most basic level, society shapes scientists' expectations, values, beliefs, and goals all of which factor into the questions they choose to pursue and how they investigate those questions.
Societies have changed over time, and consequently, so has science. Science is not static; it changes over time, reflecting shifts in the larger societies in which it is embedded. Without funding, science as a whole simply can't progress, and that funding ultimately comes from the societies that will reap its benefits. Funding no doubt can shape the course of science by spearheading it in particular directions but ultimately, funding cannot change the scientific conclusions reached by that research. Science responds to the needs and interests of the societies in which it takes place. Science is done by people, and those people are often sensitive to the needs and interests of the world around them, whether the desired impact is more altruistic, more economic, or a combination of the two.
Sharing the above details, Prof BR Natarajan President Vice Chancellor Sangam University invited Dr G Ravindra Kumar Professor from TIFR Mumbai who has done pioneering work for last two decades on UPHILL Ultrashort Pulse High Intensity Laser Laboratory to share his thoughts on the theme. Prof Kumar holds a coveted dual degree BE (Hons) Mechanical & MSc (Hons) Physics from BITS Pilani and PhD from IIT Kanpur. He is a Life Member of the Indian Laser Association, Plasma Science Society of India, Indian Society of Atomic and Molecular Physics and Indian Society for Mass Spectrometry. He is Member of the Optical Society of America and is currently on the International Committee on Ultra Intense Lasers.
Professor Kumar received the BM Birla Science Prize in Physics (2000), SS Bhatnagar Prize for Physics (2003), Salute Mumbai Award (2005) and the DAE-SRC Outstanding Research Investigator Award (2006-11). He was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences in 2004.
Prof Ravindra Kumar in his inspiring address reiterated that it is essential that youth of India today take up scientific thinking seriously for ushering in technological, cultural and economic transformation of India tomorrow.
From Sangam University, Prof Ojha pointed out that from Google search to weather prediction and cyber security to India’s MOM Mars Orbiter Mission Mangalyaan. Mathematics plays a key role in the modern-day world. Prof Anuj Nuwal highlighted the ethical conflict faced by atomic scientist Joseph Rotblat who resigned from the Manhattn project to develop an atomic bomb but later in 1995 won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts towards nuclear nonproliferation. Miss Rakhi Goyal spoke on gender bias issues in scientific research giving details of the astronomer Henrietta Leavitt at Harvard College Observatory for Edward Pickering being sidelined to carry out routine measurement work rather than the challenging study of variable stars phenomena discovered by her.
It is undeniable fact that everyone is influenced by the cultures in which they grew up and the societies in which they live and those cultures indeed shape their expectations, values, beliefs, and goals. Scientists, too, are shaped by their cultures and societies, which in turn, influence their work.
About Sangam University
The Institution supported by Sangam Group of Industries Bhilwara which is one among the top ranking corporates in India today with business interests spanning textiles, steel, infrastructure, power and energy has been established by Govt. of Rajasthan Act No. 14 of 2012 incorporated u/s 2(f) of UGC Act 1956. It’s a matter of pride that the one year young Sangam University has a ten year old legacy with ITM established in 2003 as its foundation.