Dialogue with knowledge residing in people can be deeply enriching and can lead to new understanding. Every tradition has its own way of discovering and codifying knowledge. People’s technological knowledge is often embedded deeply with their lifestyles and socio-cultural milieu. The traditional practice of making iron by the Agariyasis an example.
Dr. Kale believes that it is important for Doctors to remain updated of the learnings of Medicine, & have a holistic approach when treating patients. She shares her experience of how these twin beliefs has helped her to focus on understanding the root cause of a disease, while treating her patients; and when faced by treatment approach dilemma – to focus on improving the quality of life of her patients.
Chandni shares the story of how getting to know a blind person at her workplace changed the way she looked at smartphones, and discovered surprising ways in which tech enhances and empowers the lives of people with disabilities. Since then, her work has often centred around visual impairment and designing digital products that serve unconventional, uncommon purposes. In a broader sense, it's a reflection of how exposure to diverse kinds of people enhances our work, thinking process, and capacity to be more creative.
Prof. Sohoni explores the connection between the questions of development, i.e., sadak, bijli, pani and the ways of doing science. He looks at the frontier model of scientific knowledge and the recent emergence of "Big Science". He argues that Big Science has a "delivery problem"- It is not clear how Big Science will impact positively the problems of the bottom 80%. He then proposes "Vernacular Science", i.e., a science which begins not at the frontiers of science, but at the people most needing it, and of understanding the material reality, of subjects of science, its implementation by government or private agencies and the problems which need solution. He then argues that such an interdisciplinary and accessible methodology of science is the way to a more sustainable world.
Menstrual hygiene crisis in India is widespread with more than 70% women in India contracting reproductive tract infections. Around 3 years ago, a new concept was explored - looking a decentralized manufacturing using high-tech automatic and smart machines to improve unit economics for local production and increase last mile access. Can this concept of manufacturing of products aimed towards bottom of the pyramid yet making them profitable and sustainable?
With almost five years of experience as an undergraduate student, Tejas hopes to offer his perspective on the current teaching system for technical institutes in India. What was the main objective behind setting up these technical institutes – are we achieving that goal? Does our current academic system need a revamp? Do students have the right attitude toward learning, for this cause? Do they end up becoming actual engineers - moreover, do they enjoy their field?
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