The golden jubilee celebration of our college started today. The celebration is indeed going to be a great event which is planned to be a one year program. A series of talks by eminent personalities is one of the key attractions.
The inauguration happened today and the chief guests were Dr M.S Ananth, Director IIT Madras and Dr. P.J. George (our former principal and DTE). After the welcome speech by our principal, Dr P.J. George made a talk on how the college was at his time and what it is now and what more the college can do for the society.
Right after that the lecture session by Mr M.S Ananth began which was mind blowing.
He mentioned briefly how the concept of education got transformed through the following phases.
Knowledge is power; it should be in the hands of exclusive few.
Knowledge is power; it should be in the hands of meritorious.
Knowledge is power; it should be in the hands of all.
(The “Knowledge is power” part remain the same through ages )
In ancient India the gurukula system prevailed; the students live with the guru in his home and there is no written manuscript of the knowledge the guru provides, everything remains within the brain of the few. Then later with monasteries like Nalanda, which had a collection of exclusive manuscripts started to admit thousands of pupils from all over the world in the basis of merit (he said that each student had to pass through a rigorous 45 minutes interview before getting admitted to the university). With the invention of printing, the copies of the information were available to a larger community and the advent of Internet made it available for all. (I haven’t heard a talk lately where they didn’t used the word ‘google’ :)) . He further said that the new role of the teachers would be designing environments for the students rather than teaching itself.
(We need to find a new term to be used instead of “teachers” then)
The way the education system had been influenced by the industrial revolution was the next thing he talked about; the concept of considering universities as sources to generate wealth. Then he talked about the intellectual property right. The big change in concept from “Publish and perish” to “Protect (patent) and prosper”.
He then made his comment on how the present education system is unconcerned about molding the character of a student. He reminds that there was a time when one won’t lie before the goddess, I mean the idol of the so said goddess (does that mean that if you can’t lie before someone you consider them as goddess (:P)). And the story he said about the robber being asked to swore before the goddess that he is not the culprit in the Panchayats was not so convincing.
“Chance meets the prepared minds is what that leads to innovation.” He further said that “In India we create prepared minds and they meet chance in US”. He talked about the need to stop brain drain and creating opportunities in India itself.
He talked a lot more but I could recollect only this much.