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'Textbooks need to rewritten to present science properly'
Monday December 16, 2013 0:02 AM, IANS

Stressing the need to rewrite text books so as to impart a deep knowledge of science, technology and society in the proper perspective, IIT-Kharagpur director Partha Pratim Chakrabarty Sunday said it was the only way to keep pace with the changing times.

"Our education system has not been able to keep pace with the double exponential growth of technology and rate of knowledge generation. Knowledge and education has become compartmentalised in most institutions.

"As a result people have deep knowledge of certain things but have very little knowledge of connected things," Chakrabarty said delivering the "The L.N. Birla Memorial Lecture" at the Calcutta Business School here.

He regretted that "almost all text books" have become backdated in the wake of the high growth of knowledge generation and rate of requirement and changes in the industry and the world.

"There is a need to rewrite the text books so that deep knowledge of science, technology and society are presented in proper perspective.

"Earlier content was in classroom but with technology, it is everywhere. Technology development has forced education to change in a wrong way," he said.

Commenting on the topic of sustainability, Chakrabarty called for convergence of knowledge.

"We are not aware of global problems because we are busy solving only local problems. Today we have the power given by knowledge to play with nature and we have all messed it up due to lack of convergence of knowledge.

"Most of the disasters that are occurring today are man made. The kind of scientific research that we have done has been focused for the few and the elite. This trend has only recently begun to change and the reason is the recognition of the fact that there is inevitable science of danger of unsustainable growth. "

In his speech, CBS chairman S.K. Birla said: "In spite of the earlier radical differences within societies the trend today is veering slowly towards the thought processes of various countries to meld together and we can no longer afford to think and act in isolation."

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