Science for Society
If you give a helicopter to a man who is stranded, a man who is isolated alone on an island, having no idea whatsoever of how to fly a helicopter, he will simply take it and use it as a warm place to sleep during the cold nights. In this modern era we live in, the quality of education that is given to our students is as valuable as a helicopter. However many times it so happens that this education f great quality is given to a person who has no understanding of how to make the best use of it. The man on the island, if only he had the knowledge of how to fly, he would have given the helicopter the greater purpose it was meant for. In other words this is the main reason why it is fundamental for the schools and universities, to firstly inculcate a sense of purpose within the students before the curricular education.
Being the principal of Applied Science in Parul University, upon receiving my science education, the main purpose that I had for my education, was aligned to my passion for the environment and sheltering the value of biodiversity. What I simply did was to identify a particular need that the world around me had, and that became my point of focus in education, this is a concept I call need based education. Promoting a need based education is the finest way to give education a direction. What do I mean by this? It simply means that what you call a purpose should come from the needs the society around you has, or the world at large. Every educational institution, every teacher, should partake in the delivery of this need based education, if that is done in its fullest capacity, surely all the world problems will be ridden of.
A sailor who is on a boat without a campus, has no complete idea of the direction he needs to go in order to reach his destination. The boat will be carried by the waves in any direction, to the extent that the boat will begin to move in circles. The field of science is one that is as wide as the ocean, the sense of purpose is what gives you the direction which you need to go. In other words, purpose acts as the campus that navigates your educational life as a student, or as a teacher. When this purpose is lost, the valuable education gets to be used in a very minute manner. For instance transgenic organisms on a tomatoes, becomes a waste of science when there is hundreds and thousands ofnatural tomatoes. However this process would be useful and becomes of best utility when it is done for scarce plants in places suffering from high levels of drought.
The loss of need based education in the field of science, is the highest cause of unethical usage of science education in the world today. Take for example prenatal diagnosis, something that was designed to simply predict the sex of child for medical purposes, now being used as a tool to further the acts of female feticides in society.Out of hundreds of thousands of uses for science, as the school of Applied Science under Parul University, the best ideology that we implant within the character of our students is that Science should be for Society.In other words science should never be used against society, and this is a noble cause that is instilled within the students from their starting point within the University.
We do not just teach science in isolation, the main reason why Parul University provides the best applied science education is because the curriculum within itself is interrelated with other disciplines that have a greater impact on social progress. This is evidenced by programs such as the national seminar on forensic science and Law, which we arranged hand in glove with Parul Institute of Law, a top institute focused on providing the best law education in India. A point to note is also how the institute goes on to initiate various industrial visits to esteemed companies within Gujarat and across India at large. This gives the students and the faculties a clear understanding of the kind of needs society has and to figure out the best and most efficient manner to offer a solution.
The education we deliver as Parul Institute of applied science, is one that abides by the true nature of science. A kind of education whereby the student is not dependant on his career, but is dependent on society, the forms of scientific innovation he comes up with, or the cure she makes, all need to be directed towards a particular need society has. Let us mould our students in such a way that they develop an understanding of the education they receive, and use it in its fullest potential to solve the needs of society, this is a kind of education I like to call need based education, a kind of science for society.
Dr. Ritesh Vaidya