Knowledge knows no bounds

One day a rich father went on a road trip with his young son. They were travelling to the farm lands where a number of poor farmers lived. After spending a long time there, the father and the young son on their final day sat on a hill and the father asked the son, “what have you learnt from this trip?”. The son with so much confidence stood up and said “ Beloved father,  back home we only have space for one dog, but the people here have dogs everywhere; back home we have a tiny swimming pool, but the people here have rivers and ponds and dams which are never ending; our house is surrounded by a fence while here they have open farms” and the boy , with a smile on his face, said “father,  the one thing I have learnt here is how poor we are”.

This story shows us how rich we are is not measured by how much we have, but it is measured by how much we make use of what we have. Before the trip, the son thought that since they had money, they were very rich but afterwards he finally realized that his life was poor because it had a lot of limits while the farmers lived a more vibrant life simply because they made use of every single blessing life had to offer. Therefore, when we limit ourselves to one particular field we are indeed poor.

I believe this life idea also relates to the education in Universities. What do I mean by this?

For example a student sitting in a class room from the day of his enrolment till the day of his graduation, he/she will definitely acquire knowledge but the knowledge that he has acquired will be so limited that it only allows him to pass the final exam conducted by the university but when it comes to the daily exam life poses before us, he will definitely fail. No,  the question is, why would he fail? And the answer to this is very simple. Life gives us a wide range of lessons to learn from, our surroundings are not made up of grey concrete walls like those of the classrooms, but they are made up of culture, they are made up of morals, ethics, values and above the beauty of creativity and colour that lies within each and every one of us.

Even though we have the best of the books, even though we may sit in the best of the classrooms, the knowledge that we get from these sources is very much limited as compared to the endless lessons our surroundings have to teach. We should not limit our capabilities, for deep within each and every one of us a lies a specific talent, a talent that hungers to be let out in the world. Now the only way to fully express this talent is by exposing ourselves more to our surroundings. A man by the name of Jean Piaget once said, “The goal of education is not to increase the amount of knowledge but to create the possibilities for a child to invent and to discover, to create man who is capable of doing new things”. In other words, education is supposed to make us understand our surroundings better and above all, real education is supposed to make us understand ourselves best. 

I normally take time to walk around and observe classroom sessions, each and every time I look through the window, I do not see black and white, but rather I see a rainbow, I see red, green, yellow, blue, all these representing a particular personality that lies within the students. During my school days, my science teacher, while teaching about catalysts, added some powder in a jar full of chemicals and  immediately bubbles started coming out. We were so young then that the entire class started clapping hands and laughing. The teacher filled with anger asked why we were laughing and clapping instead of taking notes and one small girl raised her hand and she said “Sir, we thought you had performed a magic trick”. Education is very much like a catalyst.  It speeds up the reactions of knowledge between our talents and our surroundings.

During the recently held Dhoom festival here in Parul University, I saw Engineers become dancers, I saw doctors become fashion icons. I looked once again and I saw pharmacy students singing the most beautiful songs which touched hearts. This is what education has to archive. It should teach the  individuals adapt easily to different conditions of life. A week later, I was even more amazed during an Annual Technical Festival called Projections where an engineering student developed an amazing Water Purifier Machine out of the cheapest materials and I came to know that there is no engineering text book in the world that will tell you that poor farmers in the villages are suffering from shortage of clean drinking water. This is something that you only learn when the education from the classroom makes you understand and relate to your society better and above all, world around you.

A friend of mine had a wedding, and on this wedding, the food was served in a buffet. It was filled with different kinds of dishes, some spicy, some sweet, and some simply mild. Looking at such varieties of dishes served, a man who stood just in front of me in the line turned towards me and said, “How ironic it is that the plates which are provided to carry these numerous food items are so small. ”

In simple words, the classroom is like the tiny plate we are holding in our hands when we go through the buffet of education. We should not limit ourselves to little things and should always strive to cultivate an inquiring attitude  and learn from each and every incident we come across during our student life and shall always try not to make a mistake of limiting our education to classrooms and should always endeavour to learn from our participation in extra-curricular and co-curricular activities during our tenure in the university.

We need to make sure that we are not holding tiny vessels when education offers us a sumptuous meal. We need to overcome challenges  and always challenge our self-imposed limitations in order to archive the highest level of success.

 

By Dr Devanshu J Patel
President, Parul University

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Dr.Devanshu Patel, a dynamic, visionary and proactive leader, is President of Parul University. His unflinching commitment to the cause of education and whose continuous efforts for spreading the cause of education not only in Gujarat but also in different states of India and also in 49 different countries have resulted in more than 25,000 students pursuing their under graduate, post graduate and doctoral degree programmes in 32 academic institutions offering more than 150 degree programmes.

Dr.Devanshu Patel, after successful completion of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery and Doctor of Medicine (Pharmacology) from the world renowned Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, decided to concentrate his efforts in establishing state-of-the-art educational institutions offering technical professional and medical courses in the State of Gujarat as he felt there was no dearth of talented individuals in Gujarat and such talented individuals, if provided a quality education and skill building programmes, could be transformed into dynamic leaders and thinkers of 21st century.

From 2008 to 2013, prior to establishment of Parul University, was instrumental in starting Parul Institute of Management & Research (2008), Parul Institute of Physiotherapy (2009), Ahmedabad Physiotherapy College (2009), Parul Institute of Business Administration (2010), Parul Institute of Technology (2010), Parul Institute of Architecture & Research (2012), Parul Institute of Computer Application (2013), which were affiliated to Gujarat University, Gujarat Technological University, Saurashtra University and Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University respectively. Moreover, he also took up the responsibility of starting of post graduate courses in these institutions.

He also played pivotal role in establishment of Parul University under an Act of State Legislature viz., Gujarat Private Universities Act, 2009 and Gujarat Private Universities (Second Amendment) Act, 2015 which led to incorporation of 14 institutions of engineering & technology, management, pharmacy, nursing, homoeopathy, physiotherapy, architecture and computer applications into Parul University. Being a Doctor himself, his dream of establishing a medical college came true when Medical Council of India accorded its approval to Parul University to establish Parul Institute of Medical Sciences & Research offering Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery with an intake capacity of 150 seats. Since Parul University is located in rural area of Vadodara District, he saw the need for starting a Hospital which would provide medical facilties and treatment to underprivileged people in a surrounding area at competitive charges. This led to starting of Parul Sevashram Hospital, a 400 bedded multispecialty hospital. At present, owing to dedicated and concentrated efforts, have established a 300 bedded Parul Ayurveda Hospital offering Ayurved treatment and Jawaharlal Nehru Homoeopathic Medical College Hospital offering Ayurved and Homoeopathy treatment to needy and downtrodden respectively.

In order to prepare the students can meet challenges of the professional world effectively, he set up a Career Development Cell in the University under which a highly qualified team of 55 teachers train students of the University for Competitive Examinations, English Language Proficiency, Entrance Examinations for admission to prestigious institutions such as CAT/GRE/GMAT/IELTS/GATE etc…, Foreign Languages i.e. French and German.

He believes that the world today is more in need of job creators and not job givers. Hence, he brought together a team of Mentors under Entrepreneurship Development Cell of the University who could guide students towards becoming Entrepreneurs. Owing to continuous guidance of experienced faculties at Entrepreneurship Development Cell and constant support from Dr.Devanshu Patel, students have initiated and successfully implemented their innovative ideas into a functioning Start Ups.

He has been lauded for his efforts and support in encouraging researchers from the University to take up, publish and promote their research work through starting of Research & Development Cell at Parul University. Faculty members, with the support from Research & Development Cell, have filed 141 patent applications during the last three years. Owing to encouragement and guidance received from Research & Development Cell, the engineering and technology and pharmacy institutions have succeeded in obtaining several Minor Research Projects from the Government Funding Agencies such as GUJCOST.

Taking the cause of education abroad, he has also developed close ties and signed an MOU with international universities of repute such as Poznan University of Technology, Poland; Kansas State University, USA; Lambton College, Canada; University of Transport Technology, Vietnam; Humber College, Canada; University of Applied Sciences, Bielefeld, Germany; Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland; University of Applied Sciences, Aschaffenburg, Germany etc…Till date, more than 500 students from Parul University and international students from these Universities have participated in International Student Exchange Programme. Further, the University has also received a monetary grant from European Union and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) through which regular International Student/ Faculty Exchange Programme is conducted.

8 Responses

  1. Explicitly highlighted the role of identifying, nurturing and recreating the opportunities life has to offer through education. I’m sure it will motivate each student who reads this, while also on faculties to rethink on the impact a teacher has on the students!

  2. Education doesn’t mean to passig the exams or achieving degrees . It means to “TEACH SELF”, it means to explore your inner sense of creativity to be more comprehensive to surroundings to uplift for needy people, to create a opportunities to be unprejudiced observer, to be self deciplined in life, inspire to by heart dedicated action for our Nation

  3. Crystal clear thoughts on what an educationists should aim for and how to overcome those life challenging situations by imparting critical and rational thinking to students who can face life fearlessly

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