Showing posts with label Choicet Essay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Choicet Essay. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


What Is Wrong With Our Education?

Education implies cultivation of mind to make life tolerable with the acquisition of skills. It has been a part and parcel of human life since antiquity. Education has become the basic human necessity and that is why everyone is keen to learn and educate himself as education equips him with the knowledge necessary to face the challenges of life. There is an increasing realization all the worlds over that only through the right type of education can human beings be make good citizens and a better order of society be built. The real and effective education must be based on the actual environment and the experiences and it must fir the student for the type of work he is expected to do in life.
There has been, currently, a general feeling among the leaders, educationists and thinkers of various disciplines that there is something wrong in the current system of education. No doubt, a plethora of education commissions and committees have been set-up from time to time to look into the problems of the system and suggest measures for improvements. And a great number of experimentation in the processes of education have been undertaken or some of them are underway, but he real needs of the people and the country have not been fulfilled so far.
India is a big country with only two-thirds of her population literate in spite of all the efforts made by the independent India so far. The concept of universalisation of education was introduced only in recent years. Our expenditure on education is less than three per cent of our Gross Domestic Product as against the generally excepted norm of six per cent or even above in the developed world. Developing countries like India cannot afford to spend much on education owing to financial constraints. The Government finds it difficult to sustain its education program to owing to a rapid increase in population. Moreover, the Government itself, preoccupied as it generally is, with political issues and the problems of survival in seats of office, do not seem to have the requisite will and inclination to concentrate on this vital problem of the nation, which offers solution to many national and other problems. The Constitution of India lays down specific provisions for universal education and even mentions a deadline, but inadequate expenditures have always been incurred on this important activity in this country. The adult education and mass-education programmes have suffered set-backs just because of the lack of sincere efforts by the implementing machinery or lack of sufficient funds.
It is true that the present crisis in education is also because of the social growth. More and more people now have access to the modern techniques of acquiring knowledge and education. The necessary facilities of education cannot keep pace with the demand. The masses are creating an ever-widening gap between the opportunities and seekers. The trend of increasing population is unlikely to be modified despite the highly publicized family limitation drives. Obviously there is a need for a far more extensive development in the proper balance. It is very difficult to maintain the quality of education when the stress is given more on the quantity. There has been a mushroom growth of technical training institutes throughout the country which carter to the needs of the growing population of aspiring youth but there has been tremendous deterioration in the quality of training and education as less attention is given to this aspect in these institutions because they are more commercial in spirit. This is a glaring ill-effect arising out of the involvement of the Private Sector in advanced education and training. Private sector needs to be encouraged to play a vital role in the higher education but we need a clear and transparent government policy, both at the Center and in the States because education comes under the Concurrent List in the Constitution of India. The regulatory bodies like All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) and the University Grants Commission (UGC) should be more independent and free form the impact of the Government machinery. Only the institutes with full infrastructure required for the course conforming to the national standards should be granted recognition for the course so that it can produce professionals who can compete well in the world market.
Quite relevant to the problems of present system of education in this county is the defective curricula, the syllabi and the pattern of examinations. All of them do suit neither the students nor the society for which they are going to be prepared. The hue and cry about the curricula and pattern of examinations is so great that some people consider it the real bane of the system and every time when there is a revision of text books and the curricula, the changes worsen the position and do not solve the main problem. It is generally felt that the authorities pay inadequate attention to the problem and are not able to see through the psychologies of the students and the environment for which they are going to be trained and this general carelessness has cost the country heavily. In part, it is the symptom of, the general state of confused society in which very few take their duties seriously and everyone thinks only of cash rewards and, therefore, hurries through his assignments. This state of affairs is, in reality, also the result of poor educational standards which has resulted into diminished social and moral values, among not only the general masses, but also the highly educated and trained professionals.
There is a general tendency with the school authorities to prescribe more and more books for various types of study to the young students. Everyone comments adversely on the sight of young school-going boys and girls carrying bulky loads of books on their backs and usually their back bent by the load. How can we expect to expedite the process of gaining knowledge by prescribing lots of books for study with no time for these growing children for any inadequate thinking? We cannot hope to reform the system of education in such erroneous manner. The process of learning should be a pleasant experience, not a horrible happening which the students today are forced to undergo and which ultimately become the reasons for many youths falling prey to evil ways or resort to strikes and agitations.
The present education policy only ensures that students attend classes regularly, more and more children get admitted and there be less drop-out.  In order to ensure regular attendances, the government has introduced several measures such as the mid-day meals and no failures up to class VII. Here also the stress is on the quantity of students in school, not the quality. Many schools, especially in the rural areas do not have good buildings, teachers and proper teaching aids. The government run schools in urban areas, which cater to the needs of lower class people generally, also present a bad picture. The buildings are not well-maintained; the staff is not properly trained for the job and there is a common lack of interest in the teaching-leaning process in these schools. The government is taking measures for regular refresher courses for the teachers and releasing funds for improvement of the infrastructure of these institutions but enough is not being done on the ground. There is clear demarcation found between the rich and poor in respect of education in big cities. The children of the rich read in private-schools, with good infrastructure and teaching environment, big buildings, laboratories, libraries, playgrounds etc, and the poor send their children to ill-equipped government schools. Obliviously the children belonging to the high-clan get a good quality education and the poor have to be contented with the poor standards all their life. This trend of twin quality education has crept into the small towns and villages also, where small privately run schools are coming with good arrangements and the affluent people prefer to send their children to these schools. Thus the quality of education is becoming expensive day by day as the private schools, even at the basic level, are run by big business tycoons and it produces enormous dividends for them and inaccessible for the common man.
Some people are of the view that education should be completely privatized so that good quality education is available and inefficiency and under-utilization of competent teachers is removed from the education institutions. But there is negative side to the privatization of education. Elitist schools charge exorbitant fees which are beyond the reach of millions of Indians. They create a wedge between the have and have-nots and widen the disparities between the rich and the poor to the betterment of upper classes of society. As such, the solution to problem is, that all basic education should be nationalized and the government should ensure that all schools are equipped well with all facilities so that even the children of the upper crust of the society are to depend on these institutions only. This will naturally improve the standard of these schools as all high-ups in the society including high officials of the government and in business will be interested improving the condition of schools at this level and make all efforts to weed out the system of all the bottle-necks responsible for their poor performance. Along with the nationalization of basic education, the higher education can be fully privatized to generate funds which can be used to manage the basic educations also. The government can easily manage to withdraw itself from the field of higher education and save crores of rupees which are presently spent in the management of big institutions in the field of science, technology and medicine besides management studies and high-technological degrees. The money thus saved can be purposefully used to improve primary and secondary education by making the institutions of government at this level, better places for teaching-learning process. After putting in such a healthy mechanism in place, there will be a simultaneous change in the curricula or syllabi to suit the interest of the common man.
Education is becoming highly specialized today and the interested students can take the advantage of better facilities provided by the better equipped institutions in the private sector. A poor country like



Ecological Considerations And Development Must Go Together

Developmental processes of the world today are often blamed for the destruction of ecology, as it causes pollution through the smoke being belched out by chimneys in the various factories etc., and through effluents being constantly dumped into the rivers and underground. The result is, no doubt, disastrous. The big cities have become dens of pollution, despite all the facilities of modern civilized societies available there and the life is still almost impossible there on the global level the development has damaged the biological and physical quality of the globe as a whole, as the pollutants have spread beyond the limits of safer limits of emission.
No doubt, industrial growth has long been considered desirable because of its contribution to health and happiness, for the creation of wealth or simply for its own sake. Until recent times, progress was indeed identified with such quantitative growth. In contrast, modern societies have begun to question the desirability of certain innovations that are technologically feasible and economically profitable, but that have undesirable social aspects. The evaluation of potential, long-range dangers for human being and for the environment is becoming one of the crucial factors in the formation of technological policies.
During all period of history, there have been people who believed that their time was out of joint, that all coherence was gone. Contemporary pessimism, however, goes far beyond this traditional worry about the state of affairs. Its new aspect is the assumption that our descendants will be even worse off than we are, because the world will have become too complex for comprehension by the human brain. These developments, together with the recklessly wasteful use of world’s limited resources by the advanced market economies, even at the cost of damaging the eco-system and denying the poor countries the succor they need desperately, and the disconcerting experience of half-baked modernization plans, which have distorted both priorities of development and living mores in large parts of the Third world, have many intellectuals lose heart. Somehow poor countries can save their soul. A few have been provoked into looking far more critically at the whole course of development and feel that the Gandhian legacy offers the best hope. Mahatma Gandhi’s saying that the future of India is not a mass production but in production by the masses may definitely have meaning for Western world as well. The human tragedies resulting from unemployment may lead industrial societies to reconsider that, except for the dullest, most repetitive and painful tasks, human beings are better than machines --- and certainly more creative.
Pure environment, no doubt, means long-time survival, but the fact is that the humanity has travelled a long way towards development. Our day to day life has become smoother, more comfortable and more efficient. The world has shrunk into a small entity owing to efficient communication system. The whole life is very specialized today. Things quite unimaginable a few decades ago, have become the fact of daily life. For all this, the humanity has to pay a price. It is put to some amount of risk which is bound to be borne with. Unless some precautions and cars are taken, that which is good for humanity can sound a death knell for it. Industries so vital for the health and well-being of man also posses the potential of causing irretrievable damage to our greatest assets land, air and water. The millions of vehicles and automobiles travelling on roads and the aero planes travelling through air, are making conveyance convenient, but along with that, a few accidents that happen day in and day out, cannot stop people using these modes of transport. As such, there can be no reason that the development goals and environment must consequently go hand in hand. 
There is a sweeping statement that “All development is destructive”. It seeks to convey that ecology cannot be maintained unless the development is turned down. Biosphere is in chemical terms the cover of water and air that ensures our earth, besides the green cover and the wild life, which sustain life on this planet. Man cannot take for granted these bounties of nature as he has been taking so far. These resources are not inexhaustible and do not get renewed automatically. So the attempts are required to be accelerated for their preservation and adequate renewal. The reckless destruction of our precious environment has to be checked. The present situation has reached because the human being was not generally aware about the implications of the developments that have been talking place briskly for the last couple of centuries.
The economists stress upon the fact that the process of modernization cannot be slowed down because of the increasing population and the consequent increasing employment. The scientific development and expansion of urban areas has become a must to cater to the increasing needs of increasing number of people capable to be benefitted by the modern standards of living. The atmosphere has to be affected more and more by the productions of more and more consumer goods along with the capital goods. The other infrastructure like roads, buildings, railroads and the like are to be made available despite the hazards these are creating for the environment. More and more trees are to be cut and the forests cleared to make roads through them, to make the remote areas approachable and to carry developmental process for the people living there. These people cannot be denied the fruits of development on the plea that it would harm the ecological considerations. As such, there is none to agree to this argument of the environmentalists that the development process has to be stopped to save this Earth. This is no answer to the problem. But that does not mean that we will go on ignoring the fact that if the present state of affairs goes on and no caution and care is taken, and we continue with our reckless destruction of our environment until we return to the dreaded Ice-age, as is warned by the scientists. This state of affairs is bound to come if proper measures are not taken by the humanity on priority basis. The genius of man is capable enough to stop this disaster to come, but such means cannot be in the form of a discovery or a scientific invention. It has to be in the form of a discovery or a scientific invention. It has to be in the form of a mass-movement world-wide involving everyone, big and small high and low. Alongside the developmental process, a general awareness needs to be grown that the environmental consecrations are equally important. Stringent laws and regulations need to be formulated worldwide to make sure that each damage to the environment in any case is more that equally compensated by the new actions and steps. If we are to cut ten trees to make a road, it should be imperative to raise twenty around to compensate the loss. Regarding the expansion of urban areas equally comprehensive planning needs to be adopted. Sufficient number of trees and green belts should be developed to give enough good look and compensate for the damage in environment. The industrial areas should never be unplanned and no factory should be allowed to set up without sufficient arrangement of proper disposal of the factory wastes and smokes coming out. Sufficient number of recycling plants for factory and human wastes should be set up outside cities to cope us with the problem of pollution created by the expansion of factories. There is also need for a uniform civil code to look after the violation of rules and regulations and any discrepancy is to be severely dealt with.
The main and essential step towards making globe a safer place for our future generations also, is to make our people aware about the hazards of neglecting the ecological considerations. The people cannot afford to be selfish in this regard, just to make way for their own lives and not to think about the aftereffects of the activities of the present generation. The electronic and print media has to play an important role in making people aware about the impending dangers of neglecting this aspect of our life. The modern educational system should make our children aware about the safety norms towards a better and safer future.
The present Indian Society presents a very dismal picture in this regard. Reckless urbanization is causing havoc in the areas around them. Industrialization, procurement of wood and other produce, harnessing of water resources are disturbing the ecological balance. The ultimate beneficiaries of this activity are not the masses but the affluent few living in posh localities where the ecological considerations have been looked after properly. The suffers are the poor masses, the villagers, factory workers, farmers and the life, who have to bear the brunt of the poor environmental conditions, created by the industrialization and urbanization. The poor inhabitants of the areas living around there are left with no life-support systems which are being destroyed in the name of developmental process, the conditions and policies need to be improved very immediately otherwise we will have to pay a heavy price as the day will not be far when the immediate drastic effects in the shape of change of atmospheric conditions, increase in heat and scarcity of pure water and damage of crops will be seen and then more and more aftereffects are bound to follow the show sharper teeth of environment degradation.



Internet Based Distance Education
Or 
e-Education in India

The information and communication technology witnessed a remarkable growth in the second half of the past century and in recent years the delivery of educations has see a rapid transformation on impact of this technology. Higher learning used to be a field reserved for a few who got access to the high towers. These have been gradually thrown open with unlimited possibilities and immense potential for imparting uniform and high quality education for everyone. The teachers as well as the taught have gained access to a wide range of media---print, radio, television, audio, video, audio/ video conferencing and the tools like---computers CD-ROMs, e-mail and internet. It expanded the reach of teaching/learning process to such an extent that education at a distance became not only possible but enriching too. The University of South pacific, through its Satellite Tutorials, manages to reach it learners even on an isolated atoll in the cast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. The Indira Gandhi National Open University has reached the people in remote districts in India with a great success. In fact, it has facilitated the transfer of focus from the teacher to the learner and the institution of instruction to the study room of the learner. Education, being an accepted resource for social and economic development, has become an easier and simple prospect, is really a significant development. The revolutionary developments in information technology has now enables the practitioners of learning to take the classroom and campus initiatives on the cyberspace. The teacher-learner interaction, which is essential for effective learning process, has become possible at a distance, through distance education.  The capacity to adopt flexible teaching-learning strategies, providing high quality education and ensuring equity in educational opportunities, particularly for the befit of physically changed, remotely placed and SC/ST students has become a reality. Enough has happened during a brief history of Open University system. It seems to be the “wave of the future”. Everyone is expected to side this wave and benefit from this omnipresent educational system. With the cyber network expanding throughout the length and breadth of country, this dream can be a reality in near future, to create informed and educated citizens.
With the advent of information technology and the internet the concept of distance has been significantly modified. A learner anywhere, at any far off place in a distant island in a vast ocean or a next-door neighbor, can be taught in equal terms through the internet, provided he has, of course, an access to it. Then there is a range of tele-communication media, like computer conferencing, audio-graphics, video conferencing which are provided to the distance education. Besides, the communication media like computer-based text, interactive video and CD-ROM can be used in which the learner interacts with textual information.
Media can be synchronous and asynchronous. In an asynchronous medium like computer conferencing, both learners and tutors get time to think over their respective responses and prepare messages to be put into their machine at their convenience, rather than set at time. Further, messages go on filing up every day from various corners and one gets time to read, reflect upon and respond. The conferencing remains alive through this process, though anyone individual member may not have contributed to this for days together. However, asynchronous communication, especially for distance learning, has at times been boring since issues take much longer period of discussion to be finally resolved. In synchronous communication, on the other hand, there is use of voice and vision, and both learners and teachers need to respond there and then. Those who like to think it over or lack command over language or do not feel comfortable with spontaneous communication, and would like to read more references before formulating an opinion, find it hard to come up with this form of communication.
As such, the use of telecommunications media in the Distance Education has created a new world in teaching/learning process. The learner is free to connect himself to the system anytime through his telephone and computer or from a shared machine and a telephone line at any workplace. Through distance education, a wide variety of higher level courses, professional courses and the course on IT are being offered through telecommunications.
Since a great variety of resource materials are available on the net and the discourses and learning experiences have greatly enriched by the contributions of the leaner’s throughout the world, the learning has, as such, become much more universal and according to needs of latest standards. The handicapped and physically challenged learners have been greatly benefited by the system as the can easily respond and interact with their tutors and others students making use of their own language through their own PCs.
There is, unfortunately, some rigidity, in times of admission and contact due to the usage of the media within the traditional campuses and its has limited the practice of open learning. However, there is no doubt, that the use of these technologies has opened enormous vistas of learning and the delivering quality education. The quality of campus education has also improved by the use of their technologies. The students on campus use computer conferencing for greater interaction with tutors and students and for global experiences through the use of internet. The concept of isolated studentship, depending on printed texts and postal communications, in distance education has been removed and these technologies have increased the level and extent of communication far ahead of those possible in face to face situation.
In India, we have a 24 hour education channel----Gyan Darshan--- as part of the national repertoire, Gyan Vani—the radio co-operative to remove the remoteness through the use of communication technologies. The responsibility of running them has been essentially entrusted to the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), but what is needed, is more collaboration and networking. The task is to be tackled collectively. There is no reason to compete but collaborate. There is consortium of 600 colleges and universities of the Western Governors Association, in the United States along with more than 100 corporations offering education and training programs through collaboration. In the developing countries like India, there is limited access to internet, compared to the developed countries, but it is posed for a rapid expansion like the television and radio, in these countries including India. Also, those getting education through resources over the internet would soon the more acceptable to the employers.
We are made to believe that internet-based courses can be efficient and ultimately an inexpensive way to deliver quality education, and cater to the vast numbers of learners, anytime, anywhere, without any incongruence.



Biotechnology --- an Instrument of Next Revolution

Ours is an age of revolution---Green Revolution, Information Technology-cum Communications Revolution and Biotechnology. Gone are the days when political revolutions made headlines and held the attention of people at large. Whereas, in the success of political upheavals the seeds of their failure also lay hidden, the revolutions that technology and biology are going to bring about, their positive aspects effecting human race, are writ large across the horizons. An evil mind here and there may play mischief with these technological wonders, but they are certainly going to change both the face and face of those who know how and when to strike when the opportunities knock at the door. We may be minnows yet, compared to the US (Biotech turnover in 2000: $ 20 billion) but India is finally o the fast track. Already, a slew of Indian companies are working on a range of areas that may provide both big break-through and also big buck.
Man has been exploiting biotechnology for thousands of years to make bread, to foment alcohol, to produce cheese and for shorter periods to treat sewage. But the term biotechnology was coined during late 1970s. It is a multi-disciplinary subject evaluated from the integrated use of life science, chemical sciences and engineering sciences.  An elegant and expedient definition of biotechnology is the manipulation of living organism and biological processes to provide useful products, to manufacturing industries. It is the technological exploitation and control of biological systems and micro-organisms or their components to provide certain goods and services. Biotechnology takes the application of scientific and engineering principles to the processing of materials by biological agents. These biological agents are enzymes, micro-organisms, unicellular or multi-cellular plants and animals. Now these biological agents are again being modified through genetic engineering or recombinant DNA technique, to suit the needs of mankind.
Biotechnology includes various types of technologies, namely Recombinant DNA Technology for Genetic Engineering, Protoplast fusion, Hybridism technology, Cell culture, Tissue culture, Germplasm development, Embryo transfer technology, Enzyme and protein engineering, Fermentation, Bio-conversion and immobilization of cells and cellular products.
Biotechnology has immense potential for use in agriculture, forestry, horticulture, medicine, health, chemical industry, pollution control and environment. The modern world has laid its future hopes on this technology for subsistence and all-round progress and development. Residents of this planet are facing many problems and it is hoped that if the same progress be followed in the approach towards curtailing the prevailing conditions, then it will go on enhancing further. First and foremost is the problem of over-population, we have to fetter it. Food consumption is far below the required standard in developing countries. Environmental quality is deteriorating every fraction of the time known. Agricultural soil is also getting deteriorated widely. Energy resources are going away from our treasury. So we need non-fuel minerals for the purpose. Mankind is facing new damages to human health through microbial and non-microbial diseases like cancer and AIDS. Biotechnology has promised some alternatives or solutions to the problems mentioned about.
Probable application of biotechnology include the development of better and cheaper drugs, better anti-fertility agents, hormone production, immunologist kits, vaccines for cancer, gene probe and gene therapy, Monodonal antibodies MABs  are used in the diagnosis of sexually transmitted diseases and cancer in connection of drug overdose, treatment of cancer. Different pharmaceuticals like interferon, insulin and other hormones, anti-biotic, human virokinose, etc., have been produced by recombinant DNA Technology. Production of interferon which is a wonder protein drug for cancer and viral disease and human insulin which is a hormone required to rectify diabetes has been revolutionized through bio-technological applications. A hormone, somatostatin 5mg of which was produced from half a million sheep brains can now be produced from a 9 liter bacterial culture.
Gene therapy and development of multi-disease vaccines are the other areas where biotechnology is expected to yield wonder. It might be possible to rectify the hereditary diseases through gene therapy with the recent achievement in laboratory animals, i.ee, producing large size mice by transfer of growth hormone gene, the possibilities of eugenic-crating desired humans are seen bright. What is considered an imagination today might turn out to be reality in not too distant future.
Man derives food mainly from plant and animal resources. Biotechnology holds a tremendous potential in improving these resources in various ways. Improvement of crop plants through genetic manipulation would go a long way in meeting the escalating necessities of food. Some useful traits like herbicide drought, frost and pest resistances might be transferred to important crop species already been made in transforming the frost resistance genes into crop plants. Work is being done on increasing growth rate, photosynthetic ability and nitrogen fixation in plants through genetic tools of biotechnology.
The production of microbial proteins has been practiced since World War I, when Debouch in Berlin developed Drawers Yeast on a large scale. The cells were mainly incorporated into soups and sausages. It is known as SCP (Single Cell Protein). It is potential protein source food for humans and animals. For human use, microbes used are primarily, “Sacharomyces Cerevisiae” and “Condidia Utilis”. Further, biotechnology has marked impact in the sweetener industry. Baker’s yeast wine bear, sour hunch bread, yoghurt, cheese, vinegar are some of the foods and beverages obtained from micro-organisms.
Recently a protein that increases milk production in dairy cows and improves feed utilization has been produced with the help of genetic engineering techniques in USA. This protein is expected to be commercialized in a couple of years to increase the economy and efficiency of dairy forming all over the world.
The variety of toxic and no-toxic wastes expelled every day by industries is posing serious threat to human life through environmental pollution. One of the patent methods of eliminating these wastes is through biodegradation. A super bug, pseudomonas Putida, created by an Indian scientist in USA, Dr. A. Chakravarty, through such techniques can scavenge oil in sea. Many other such organisms could be created to degrade and detoxify a variety of harmful chemicals in the environment. The communicable diseases can be prevented through vector-control. Biogas generation from wastes has proved its utility in various ways. Sewage treatment is carried out by aerobic and anaerobic micro-organisms. The effluent from yeast oil and cider breweries, from dairies and from potato starch factory can be efficiently processed by an anaerobic process in produces less residual sludge as well as offensive odors. This would avoid the possible ill-effects on human health had such animal and plant species as are useful to mankind. Productions of fine chemicals from agricultural wasters high microbial processes, plant cells, animal cells, production of antibiotics, vitamins, amino acids, biofuel employing microbial transformation and preservations of industrial products from spoilage are some of the major applications of products from spoilage are some of the major applications of biotechnology in industry. The existing petro-chemicals and other sources of energy are depleting fast with the advancement of modern world. The solution to this problem seems to come through biotechnology. Processes have been developed for generating liquid and methane among gaseous (biogas) bio-fuels constitutes important alternatives to coal, wood, oil petroleum and other existing sources of energy. Various waste materials are being used for bio-converting them into bio-fuels by such micro-organisms.
Sugarcane, banana, vegetable crops and orchids have already been commercially produced using tissue culture in India. And in the time to come tissue culture technology will also be applied for bamboo, mustard, rice, sandalwood and other agricultural fields. From nutritional point of view, plant proteins suffer from amino acid imbalances. By genetic engineering, it may be possible to correct the imbalance of amino acid profiles in seed proteins.
The process of biological nitrogen fixation is carried out by free living and symbiotic micro-organisms. The symbiotic micro-organisms from association with other plants to fix nitrogen. By the presence of these micro-organisms in the root nodules of leguminous, plants result in improving grain yield. In the veterinary field, bio-technological applications include utilization of hybridism technology for animal breeding through genetic engineering at gametes orgdnod level transgenic animals, production of fish growth hormone by DNA technology, etc. And in animals, it provides a cheap, fast and simple method with few side effects; these techniques will have an impact on efforts to reduce the population of low grade genetic stock of little economic value.
The application of biotechnology in the area of animal husbandry increasing production efficiency, through manipulation and control of physiology and for promoting better health care through bio-pharmaceuticals is worth nothing. Embryo transfer technology will behave animal production in the years to come. It would also boost animal productivity by improved new feeds and fodder through bio-conversion process, tissue culture and other genetic techniques respectively. Along with this a number of non-conventional food constituents like single cell proteins, sweeteners, edible oils, etc., and food additions like vitamins, amino acids, etc., have been and can be secreted through bio-technological processes. It can also be used for better processing of food.
Today among the most pressing problems faced by our country is the population explosion. What we have got to do is to adopt family planning. Towards this numerous programmes have been opened up with different techniques. Now a novice program called “Immunological Approach to fatality control” have been devised. The objectives of this project are to develop safest, cost-effective, efficacious, long lasting and reversible contraceptive vaccines using immunological approaches. The National Institute of Immunology has developed a candidate vaccine for the failure of pregnancy. 
The powerful potential implicit in these revolutionary techniques has focused everyone’s attention on the biotechnology industry and significant investments have been made in this area since the early eighties. The impact is being realized with a range of products and processes being introduced in such area as agriculture, forestry, horticulture, medicine, health chemical industry, food industry, pollution control and environment. There is a promise of further technological progress but the question marks about the sustainability of this progress in view of the fragility of our environment and biological heritage call for novel technological solutions in an eco-friendly manner.
During a four day International Conference on “New Horizons in Biotechnology”, held at Thiruvanathapuram from April 18 to 21, 2001, Prof. J. Klein (Technical University, Braunschweign, Germany) emphasized the scientists, both Indian and foreign, present at the Conference, particularly in their respective countries. During the conference it was felt that the Third World was 10 to 15 years behind in biotechnology research. 
A wide variety of transgenic plants, able to resist pests and disease, have enabled to development of value-added crops and super treed closer to reality. Two institutes in India are currently working on the development of draught resistant crops, suitable for arid lands. Transgenic animals for stock development have also, become a reality. Conservation of biological resources through the risk of biotechnology tools would ensure sustainable development and creation of wealth. The setting up of bio-technological parks, on the pattern of Information Technology Parks in various States of India, would give a big boost to this sector.
Hunched over computers, scanning through thousands of genes from the human genome database, calculating complex data from computerized models of enzyme functions, Indian scientists are on the hunt for candidate genes that predispose one to diabetes. The idea: If you know where the problem lay you could ultimately find a way of treating it. Not to be left behind in the race that would finally lead to the making of Biotechnology Revolution. India Companies are working on transgenic crops that triple crop yield and use less pesticides and fertilizer. Others are working on DNA----based vaccines that could provide cheaper and more effective measures to prevent diseases like cholera, hepatitis and rabies. They are also looking at data from the genes of large close-knit families and looking at data from the genes of large close-knit families and communities that may reveal how some major diseases are transmitted.
Biotechnology, like IT, is knowledge-intensive. India has a very good pool of scientific talent. An English speaking population is the other advantage that both IT and BT have over other developing countries like China. Besides, there is synergy: biotechnology requires good IT infrastructure and knowledge which is available in India. As a result, multinationals looking for ways to reduce research costs through outsourcing is seriously considering India as an option.
It is the domestic demand that has fuelled the biotechnology growth in India so far. In medicine, the vaccines market has been growing at 20 per cent annually. Diagnostics is another growing field for biotechnology products. More than half the diagnostic kits in this country are imported, expensive and often ineffective as they are not designed for Indian climatic conditions or variant Indian strains of microbes. Another big growth area where biotechnology will impact daily lives most is agriculture. According to Kailash Bansal, Principal Scientist at IARI, Delhi, Scientists are working on enhancing the nutritional value of everyday foods such as rice, potatoes, mustard oil, by inserting genes that will increase levels of vitamin A, iron and anti-oxidants such as Vitamin E.
Biotech business is increasing exponentially with major thrust into human health, agriculture, veterinary, medicine and environmental biotechnology. The opportunities have arrived. All that is required is proper channelization of resources and knowledge.


Sunday, January 08, 2017


Human Genome

The complete haploid set of instructions for making and grouping a human being is called a Human Genome. It consists of rightly coiled threads of DNA organized into structure called chromosomes. Errors in the genetics instructions cause or contribute to vast majority of human diseases.
The HGP was successful in June 2000 in decoding the Human Genome. The decoding of the genome involved placing in correct order the 3.1 billion base pairs that make up a human DNA. Base pairs are composed of 4 types of chemicals known as nucleotides from pairs with always linking only with T and C linking only with G. One thousand base pairs constitute a gene.
Human Genome Project
It was the most expensive and most ambitious biological project. It was a publically funded international effort launched in 1990 and involved scientists from 18 countries. Its objective was to determine the exact chemical sequence that constitutes DNA in every cell of human body.
Consequence of Decoding of HG
The HGP succeeded in decoding up to 98% of all the 24 different human chromosomes. Broadly speaking, the success of the HGP has ensured that biology will be the foremost science of the 21st century and the next 20-25 years are going to be known as the Genomics Age.
Advantages
In the field of molecular medicine it will help improve diagnosis of diseases, early deducting to genetic predisposition to genetics diseases and Gene Therapy. Further, genetics has the potential to reveal the differences between individuals so that suitable treatments can be prescribed and rational drug design can be undertaken leading to foliar made drug for individuals. Thus, treatment can be more focused and effective based on the individuals’ requirement.
In the field of DNA, forensics can be used in indentifying war victim’s particularly dead soldiers whose bodies are mutilated beyond recognition. It can provide fool proof results in ascertaining disputed parentage, criminal justice can be more effective with the help DNA forensics and the person who commit murder or rape can be provided with evidence against him.
In the field of agriculture and livestock breeding, understanding of plant and animal genome will help us to create stonger and more disease-resistant plant and animals and reducing the cost of agriculture inputs and providing consumers with more nutritious and pesticides free foods. It will help in the development of bio-pesticides and edible vaccines incorporated into food products.

Disadvantages

It may lead to parents attempting to determine which character their offspring shall inherit leading to the development of designer babies. This may seriously restrict the human gene pool and interfere with natural selection and loss of diversity among the human population.
Biological weapons that would attack one ethnic group but would leave other ethnic group untouched could develop leading to racial discrimination. It can also be misuses for developing weapons of mass destruction.

The success of HGP may widen the gap between developed and developing as only the rich countries alone would be able to enjoy the advanced medical treatment.

The social changes brought to genome revolution are reaching where the society may not have any place for those who are less intelligent or physically challenged.

It is possible for people for people to live for a 1000 years. This will force people to choose between treatment to live longer and having children.

Measure to Prevent Genomics

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (UNESCO) have established the International Bioethics Committee (IBC) to recommend measures for the prevention of misuse of genomics. The IBC has drafted a universal Declaration on Human Genome and Human Rights in 1997. The draft has been adopted by the UNESCO and UN General Assembly. However, the declaration is not legally binding on any nation but it makes a distinction. It represents a moral obligation on the part of member countries and coherent set of principles in the field of genetics and the need to protect the confidentiality of genetic information.

Junk DNA

The bps (base pairs) of DNA between genes that have no known function is commonly referred to as Junk DNA. It is believed that Junk DNA may play a role in gene silencing.
A part of the HGP, chromosomes 22, 21 and 20 have been completely decoded. Chromosome 20 was completely decoded in Dec. 2001. Chromosome 22 is the auto some of the human chromosomes.

Gene Treating

It is the GT in which defective genes in a chromosome are replaced by corrective genes to provide cure for hereditary diseases.

Artificial DNA

It is man-made long chain of DNA with thousand of bps (base pairs). The world’s 1st artificial DNA was made at the Texas University. It has been named as synthetic organism-I (So-I). it is a microbe with no known function. This technique can be use to create a series of designer microbes with super-efficient mechanism for injecting target tissue and destroying cancerous cells. Thus, they can be used in treating certain types of cancers. They can also be used to manufacture vitamin C in the human body by allowing them to inject human intestine. The designer microbes can also be used in keeping clean and producing more energy for human use. However, artificial DNA also involves the risk of releasing a microbe master race that may cause unknown but fatal diseases to man and wildlife and pose a threat to the environment. The technique can also be misused for producing biological weapons for mass destruction.

DNA Vaccine

It is the next generation vaccine under development. The DNA is the genetic blueprint that contains hereditary information of an organism. The DNA of pathogen carries the code for a microbial antigen. A conventional vaccine contains the attenuated microbe or the antigen protein but a DNA vaccine contains the genetic information for the protein which is injected and the host becomes a factory for the production of gene product. The host, in course of time, gets immunised against pathogenic microbes. The DNA vaccines would be especially useful in combating Malaria, TB and HIV, the disease that have defied the development of effective vaccines.

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid that is the most vital constituent of chromosomes. It is responsible for transmitting genetic information in the form of genes from parents to their off springs. Each human cell contains about 2 meters’ of DNA super coiled on itself in such a way that it fits within the cell nucleus which is less than 10 micro-meters.

DNA is comprised of 4 bases adenine-A, Guanine-G, Thymine-T and Cytosine-C. There are also sugar and phosphoric acid organized in a double helix format. Within this format a pairs only with T, and G only with C. DNA is nature’s marvel and is reflected in a child’s similarities with his/her parents.


Monday, December 19, 2016


Science in the Service of Man

The most valuable which science has rendered to mankind is that it has given it supreme self-confidence. It has given man the assurance that, instead of being slave to his environment, he can control and modify it to suit his needs. Before the scientific era, an agriculturist eked out a precarious existence, his livelihood depending upon the vagaries of the weather Insect pests, locusts and drought devastated his fields. Now we have built huge dams to supply waters through perennial canals, manufactured fertilizers which enormously increase agricultural production, produced effective pesticides, learnt how to prevent solid erosion, introduced multiple cropping and devised other ways to improve output. Population control would still be needed if food production is to keep pace with the growth in numbers, but the spectacular progress which scientific cultivation has made possible in the field of agriculture has belied all Malthusian fears in the West. Progress in the industrial field has been even more spectacular; thanks to the application of science to industry. The world, particularly the develop part of it, now enjoys a standard of living which in former ages was not even enjoyed by the wealthier-classes. The higher standards of living have made it possible for the illiteracy has been completely wiped out and most diseases have been eliminated in the industrialized societies. The machine has not only relieved man of heavy burdensome tasks but has also provided him with ample leisure in which he can engage himself in cultural pursuits, cultivate various kinds of hobbies and travel. It is through science that he has been able to invent new sources of entertainment and education, such, cinema, radio and television. The enormous are to mankind. Before the invention of the printing press, education was confined to a small section of the community and was of a predominantly religious character. The printing press revolutionaries the arts of publication and brought books, periodicals and news-papers within everybody’s reach. Democracy should have been impossible without the printing press. The modern media or mass communication is another fruitful source of education.
Science and technology have annihilated distance, brought the various parts of the would much nearer to each other, enormously increased international trade and integrated the economy of all nations. It is consciousness of the need for regulating the operations of the world economy to make it more orderly and stable that has led to the formation of international bodies to ensure order and stability in maters like tariffs, currency and labor. Foreign aid is being given to developing nations through the World Bank to groups of nations and nations individually because it is now recognized that economic stability and full employment in the world cannot be achieved unless two-thirds of humanity now living at the subsistence level is helped to attain economic maturity as expeditiously as possible. Yet it cannot be said that the material and manpower resources of the world are being utilized on a scientific and planned basis. This country, for example, could have raised the standards of living of its people to a much great extent that at present if it had not been thwarted in its endeavors by shortage of foreign exchange and inadequacy of foreign capital and technical skill. It is one more example of the bankruptcy of would statesmanship that, while astronomical amounts are being spent on manufacturing weapons of mass annihilation and space exploration, the affluent nations are not prepared to help developing nations on a scale which would make a significant impact on their lives. Only a world government looking at economic problems from the standpoint of human welfare can achieve balanced material progress. Many civilizations in the past perished because the people recklessly exploited natural resources, exhausted the sol and turned the lands into a desert. Impelled by the profits motive, nations are still recklessly exploiting world resources without giving any serious thought to what would happen a few hundred years hence. When we know that man hast to live on this planet for millions of years, this policy of exploiting natural resources and not judiciously conserving them is, to put it mildly, extreme short-sightedness. The same short-sightedness is being displayed over population growth. Science has rendered great service to humanity by finding a cure for most diseases. By preventing the outbreak of epidemics which formerly used to kill millions of persons and by curtailing the death rate in many other ways. But unless men learn to curtailing the death rate in many other ways. But unless men learn to curtail birth rate as well, we will, before long, be faced with a population explosion. Science has proved that for some time natural restraints on population in the form of wars, pestilences, and famines can be held back. This planet can be made a decent place to live in, only if man is wise. Science gives knowledge and power but not necessarily wisdom.
Science, it is said is creating problems faster than they can be solved. This is really not a criticism of science but of man’s inability to adjust himself to the changed conditions without delay. Scientists are primarily moved by curiosity, bye the passionate desire to know how things happen in life and nature, secondarily, by the desire to use this knowledge for human welfare. When scientist starts conducting researches on making weapons of mass annihilation, they are not moved by any diabolical designs. In a world divided into sovereign-states, self-defense depends upon power-equilibrium and no nation can afford to relax its efforts for military preparedness without a comprehensive agreement on disarmament. Nobody can deny that science has rendered invaluable service to mankind in various spares. It is due to the discoveries of science that we have been able to find a cure for most diseases and prevent the outbreak of epidemics, thereby vastly increasing life expectance and drastically cutting down infant mortality and mortality in child birth.

Science has given man various forms of power to replace the power of animals and that of human muscles. This has made it possible for him to annihilate distance, overcome the forces of gravitation and explore outer space and undertake production on a big scale. Never was the world so completely integrated as it is today. Only in a few days, we can flu round the world. Telegraph and telephone have also helped to destroy the distances and unify the globe, enabling immediate contacts to facilitate transaction of business or personal communication over long distances. Chemistry gave man-kind gun-power which resulted in the destruction of feudalism and the emergence of modern State. It also gave man the power to create new materials. The resources of the world in many things are very limited, and there is always the fear that, if they continue to be used on the present scale, they would be exhausted before long. This fear is no longer so serious because chemistry has discovered substitutes for them or made synthetics to replace them. Scientific breeding has already yielded highly satisfactory results in the case of animals and plants. It has produced race-horses who agility and stamina are a marvel. Given more knowledge of heredity and embryology, it would be possible to produce even finer specimens of the animal and human species. It is a fascinating subject to speculate on what physics, chemistry and biology would be able to achieve in the next few centuries. Men may be able to reach other planets, explore them and explore further the immense interstellar synthetics including food and out of the raw material of nature manufacture everything more refined, more developed, more lasting. There is no theoretical limit to what man can achieve through science and technology. What has hitherto been achieved would pale into insignificance before what would be achieving hence, unless, of course, meanwhile, man commits suicide.
Science has revolutionized life in the intellectual, social and material spheres creating a large number of problems for human race. These problems are not unmanageable. What is needed is revolution is the minds of men to ensure that the knowledge and power gained through science is used for a constructive purpose. The future of mankind cannot be left to be determined by old parochial passions, reckless competition among producers and the operation of uncontrolled urges. The future has to be scientifically planned. Our first and foremost problem is to ensure world peace and to banish from the mind of men the specter of a nuclear holocaust. It is everywhere recognized that a full-fledged thermo-nuclear war would destroy civilization built up after centuries of hard and sustained labor and endanger the very existence of mankind. Yet the stockpiles of thermo-nuclear weapons are everywhere mounting. Despite protracted negotiations, it has not been found possible to achieve an agreement on nuclear disarmament because the super-powers still distrust each other and apprehend surprise attacks. So long as we cling to the antiquated notion of national sovereignty and depend upon the antiquated concept of the balance of power as a means of preserving peace, the threat of war will persist. This threat will disappear only when all nations renounce war as an instrument of policy, surrender their sovereignty and establish a democratic World Government. Our primary loyalty should be to the human race and to the planet on which we live. We can make this planet a decent place to live in if we undertake to use all its resources through a common threatened with competition in nuclear arms, the alternative to a World State is too frightful to be contemplated with equanimity.
Science has made a most valuable contribution to the acquisition of knowledge and the development of a rational outlook on life. Not long ago, the masses were sunk in superstition. They attributed diseases to the wrath of gods. They believed in ghosts, witches, magic and sorcery. Human and animal sacrifices were made to propitiate gods and demons. The appearances of eclipses and comets were a regarded as most ominous. Astrology was accepted everywhere as a science. Mythological accounts of the origin of the universe and movements of heavenly bodies were believed even by the educated. Anyone who offered different interpretation base on scientific laws was severely frowned upon. Galileo came into clash with the inquisition when he made the simple observation that the earth moves round the sun. Newton himself believed in God and he held that a Creator was necessary to set the universe in motion, but once the process had stated, it required no further supernatural intervention. The law of gravity came into conflict with the view of Providence as omnipotent, kind and generous who responded to prayers, achieved miracles and set things right. Darwin’s biological discoveries banished purpose and moral design from the universe. His theory of Evolution and principles of the struggle for existence and the survival of the fittest leave no room for the view of the universe held by theologians. Modern astronomy does not inspire much hope and faith. Life, it holds, exists only this planet. Though the universe has millions of years of existence, according to astronomers, it is unlimitedly moving towards dissolution. In this country even now it is believe the earthquakes, pertinences, famines and other disasters are indicative of divine displeasure and call for repentance, prayers and self-purification. Science has helped man see the world and life in it really as they are. But in doing so, it is said it has deprived the people of their religious and spiritual faith. The principle of the struggle for existence and survival of the fittest has been invoked to justify imperialistic wars. Science has created a problem for mankind by taking away its faith. It has also given rise to philosophic systems which do not favor disinterested pursuit of truth but judge what is true by the severely practical test of how far it serves the ends in view. The indictment against science is not fair. Science has exploded fairy tales, mythological fantasies, irrational fears, unfounded speculations. It is for statesmen, religious teachers, humanists and social reformers to give a sense of purpose to mankind. Men ought no longer to live on myths. Instead of becoming determinists they must take their destiny into their own hands, and build a glorious future for the human race. Science and Scientific outlook open up infinite possibilities for man. What he must bring with him as his contribution is wisdom. This seems at present a rare commodity. 



Gandhi an Outlook and Philosophy

If philosophy is wisdom, Mahatma Gandhi was among our foremost philosophers. He had the wisdom of Socrates, the humility of St. Francis of Assisi, the mass appeal of Lenin, the saintliness of the ancient Indian Rishis and the profound love of humanity of the Buddha. He was a revolutionary  who was committed to the overthrow of all forms of tyranny and social injustice but who never overthrow of all forms of tyranny and social injustice but who never bore ill-will towards anyone, who led a mighty movement against British imperialism but never allowed the movement to  be accompanied by hatred, rancor or resentment against Englishmen. He was not an intellectual in the conventional sense of the term. He was not an academic philosopher propounding his philosophy in a precise, dry and formal manner. It would not be difficult to find inconsistencies and contradictions in some of his statements but he was supremely consistent in his devotion to truth. He was like the ancient sages, an earnest seeker after truth, a spiritual explorer or a scientist experimenting all his life to discover truth and apply it to the practical problems facing man. His sources of inspiration were not confined to his country or to his religion. His receptive mind was open to various influence. From his very childhood he was brought into contact with religious and moral ideas. He studied the Ramayana, the Bagavata, Vaishnava poets of Gujarat and the popular writings of the Jains. During his stay in England he studied Buddhism and Gita, met Quakers and missionaries, road the Upanishadas in translation, Ruskin’s unto his last, theosophist literature and books of Islam. He was also profoundly impressed by Thoreau and Tolstoy. Thoreau taught him that it was more honourable to be right than to be law-abiding-a revolutionary concept which inspired his philosophy of passive resistance. Tolstoy’s “The kingdom of God is within you,” taught him now man could liberate himself and control evil through suffering.
Gandhi ji was throughout his life a God-conscious, God-fearing man. He never, passed through the valley of doubt and darkness. Nothing could shake his confidence and faith in God and his scheme of life. God with him was not an abstraction of a mere metaphysical concept, but an intensely felt reality. Belief in God was with him a question, of faith and conviction. He needed no arguments to establish God’s existence. His whole being was permeated with God-consciousness; his heart vibrated with it.  Gandhi ji was no mystic who communicated with God in his trances or in moments of ecstasy but a man of action not living in forests and meditating, on eternal verities but living amidst men, engaged in an epic struggle against alien rule. He had, however, the ability to withdraw himself from life of excitement and meditate even amidst actions. The Mahatama described God in various ways. God to him was kind just and loving, who always responded to prayer and love. He was truth and love. A logical corollary to this belief is that the universe is organized on moral principles and that it presents a harmonious design, there being no contradiction or inconsistency in the laws of Nature and moral and spititual principles. Gandhi ji’s faith in God was not shaken when he beheld Natural red in truth and claw, when he saw earthquakes, floods and other natural calamities overwhelming man and causing infinite suffering, Evil and destruction also had a meaning, a significance, a purpose despite appearance to the contrary. If God was truth , love benevolence and justice, Gandhi ji asserted, man too was fundamentally moral and spiritual – an image of God, not a naked ape, not one or a divided nature, not one with a divided nature, not being at the mercy of his subconscious being an dominated by his instincts, biological drives and passions. Society also was not a mechanical or biological organism but a fraternity of spiritual beings. Gandhi ji was no fatalist. He believed in the doctrine of Karma and in punishment for the wrongs done, but he asserted that man was fundamentally a free agent gifted with a moral will and that he made or marred his own fortune.
Mahatma Gandhi’s bold affirmations of faith in God, in the moral nature of the universe, inhuman society as an association of kindred souls and in free will may be criticized by the modern cynics on the ground that no valid intellectual grounds have been offered, but none can dispute the fact that his faith leads to a ways of life which is in complete harmony with the needs of the times. If God is love or truth, there can be no bar to the realization of God through diverse ways. Religion does not divide people, unless it is understood in the sense of universal love and tolerance, of profound reverence for all great religions which are so many ways of apprehending the reality and identifying ourselves with its purpose. Distinctions of race, nationality and sect have no room in Gandhian ethics. Patriotism is not enough. A truly religious man does not restrict his allegiance to any country or nation. His loyalty is to the whole of humanity. He acknowledges all great religious as embodying the truth and, therefore, worthy of deep reverence. Mahatma Gandhi was an admirer of all religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity and others. This does not mean that he accepted everything, they preached. “He does not mouth the name of the Founder of Christianity”, writes Will Durant in his appreciation of the Mahatma, “but he acts as if the Serman on the Mount were his perpetual guide.” If God is truth and if truth is God, then there is nothing which stands in the way of persons of various religious affiliations coming together on the same platform as seekers after truth. Even an earnest atheist trying to explore the reality is a truly religious man. What is repugnant to the Gandhian way of life is dogmatism, fanaticism, intolerance, selfishness. Mahatma Gandhi was a secularist in the sense that he was against any discrimination between citizen and citizen on grounds of religion, sect and caste. But he firmly believed that a State or society would be stable only to the extent to which it was based on ethical and spiritual ideals.
A man so profoundly religious as Gandhi ji will never subscribe to the cynical view that in promoting ends considered desirable, the nature of the means employed is of no importance and that means are justified by the ends. Gandhi ji attached the highest importance to both ends and means. In all spheres of life, the Mahatma pleaded, to both ends and means. In all spheres of life, the Mahatma pleaded, “We must refuse to meet hatred with hatred, violence with violence, evil with evil, but must love even our enemies, for in reality there are no enemies”. He always preached Satyagraha---truth force, non-violence, universal love. Man, he argues, was a spiritual being; love and non-violence were part of his nature. Force, hatred, vindictiveness, were centray to it. Non-violence was not the weapon of the weak and timid but of a strong man, of a bold man who would not tolerate any manifestation of evil or injustice or tyranny but would resolutely fight it and willingly suffer the consequences of rebellion. What Ghandhi ji condemned most was cowardice, weakness of will, acquiescence in evil. He wanted man to create an ideal society by his soul-force, not to remain satisfied with things as they are. He was a great revolutionary, a great rebel, a great social reformer, but his weapon always was man’s defiant spirit permanently committed to non-violence and love. Gandhi ji was an apostle of non-violence and love because, while violence and hatred brutalized men, love ennobled them and brought out the best in them. Christ and Buddha liberated mankind form misery and tyranny. They achieved this liberation through their gospel of love, charity, gentleness and sympathy. Non-violence as a method of agitation, the Mahatma believed, was bound to succeed because there was no man, however tyrannical, domineering, and acquisitive, who could indefinitely hold out against Satyagraha, against the appeal of the fighter for justice voluntarily submitting himself to suffering and sacrifice. Those who were not moved by appeals to reason or by display of physical force would not fail to respond to the appeal to their heart and to their soul. Underlying Gandhiji’s faith in Satyagraha is his belief that man is fundamentally a spiritual being and cannot long deny the spirituality within himself. Satyagraha involves both the fighter for justice as well as the wrong-doer. Fasting, civil disobedience and non-cooperation with the tyrant aroused. They are not a kind of blackmail or pressure tactics. They are no intended to coerce a man or to intimidate him. They are not a form of exploitation.
Mahatma Gandhi was a great idealist, whose thinking was always on the highest level. But he also  claimed to be a realist. He did not think that “Satyagraha” as he conceived it was beyond man’s power. Nobody can say what man can and cannot do. Is man still at heart a naked ape or is he capable of being an angel? It was said about Gandhi ji that he had the power of making heroes out of clay. All great leaders in history had this gift to making heroes out of clay. All great leaders in history had this gift of making heroes out of ordinary mortals. Man has tremendous potentialities which can be brought out by dynamic leadership, by training and educations, by religious and spiritual discipline. The human race has become so used to the employment of force by rebels and men in authority, the appearance of great religious leaders with a spiritual message notwithstanding, that my other method seems utopian. All great ideas which are accepted as axiomatic today were once regarded as utopian and dismissed as unworthy of serious consideration. Force has come down to us form remote antiquity because our social order is oppressive and unjust. The philosophic anarchist believes that the need for force would be obviated if private property is abolished and society is organized in a voluntary co-operative basis. If society is organized on the Gandhian ideals and the people are educated on the right lines, force would disappear. It is now universally recognized that was is not a necessary evil which must periodically appear but something abhorrent, which can be ended if mankind organized on an international basis if individuals are educated to respect the rule of law. There is nothing utopian about Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals and techniques.
It cannot be denied that Satyagraha is a very lofty weapon and that even Gandhiji’s own followers had not fully imbibed his ideas. Congress leaders were not absolute pacifists. They accepted the Satyagraha technique party because they were convinced that it was a morally superior weapon. Indian tradition of non-violence associated with Upanishad’s teaching and Buddhism and Jainism is very firmly rooted in the minds of men---- and partly because it promised better results. Nehru publicity confessed that non-violence was adopted as a method of agitation because we have not the material or the training for organized violence and individual or sporadic violence is a confession of despair. He said that the great majority of Congressmen had judged the issue not on moral but on practical grounds, and if they had rejected the way of violence it was because it promised no substantial results. If the congress or the nation, he added, came to the conclusion at any future time that the method of violence would the conclusion at any future time that the method of violence would help achieve independence, it would have no hesitation in adopting help achieve independence, it would have no hesitation adopting it. The Congress would certainly have fought the Axis Powers shoulder to shoulder with the Allies if it had been won over by the British Government by an imaginative and generous gesture, whereas Gandhiji was prepared to extend only moral support to the Allied cause and would have fought Japanese with Satyagraha. The Mahatma was fully aware of these differences. As a man of action committed to the liberation of this country from foreign yoke, Gandhiji could not insist that his followers should submit themselves to the discipline of non-violence. The criticism that the Mahatma was deliberately deceiving himself by believing that his followers had faithfully adopted his technique is patently meaningless. It is said that Satyagraha was regarded by the persons against him whom it was directed as coercion, and that Gandhiji’s fasts did not melt the hearts of his opponents and the sufferings of the participants in civil disobedience movement did no impress the British. Tyrants are not easily moved. If they could be easily moved, consciously or unconsciously, when they find themselves using brutal methods against peaceful people protesting against exploitation. When men in authority with no pretensions to legitimacy talked of Gandhiji’s methods as coercive, did they realize they represented the forces of tyranny? Would they have responded if appeal had been made to their reason? Only in a democratic set-up where a peaceful social change is possible can we say that direct action should be abjured.
Satyagraha is one way of eliminating injustice and oppression. The other way is to create a social order in which all forms of exploitation may disappear and the need for Satyagraha or for the employment of force may be obviated. Such a social order implies a World Government democratically elected a democratic national State, socialist economy and decentralization of power. The World Government would establish the rule of law among nations and exploit world resources on a scientific basis for the benefit of the human race as a whole. It would have some force at its disposal to deal with any act of aggression or with a recalcitrant nation. Nobody can object to the use of this force because it will always be employed to upload the rule of law. The democratic State will look after a people’s internal affairs and maintain the police to crush anti-social forces. Obviously there is nothing wrong with the use of force by a duly constituted public-spirited authority in defense of the rule of law. This force would be very sparingly used because causes of social tension and social conflicts are very few where every citizen is guaranteed the basic conditions of good life and disparities in the standards of living are not very marked. Force is reduced to the minimum possible in a healthy social order in which it is a safeguard against unruly elements. Mahatma Gandhi would have preferred the technique of Satyagraha for undoing wrongs not have objected to the use of force by the community in self-defense.
Mahatma Gandhi was a kind of philosophic anarchist in whose ideal society the coercive authority of the State would disappear; economic activity would be organized not on the basis of acquisitiveness and self-interest but on that of co-operation and service, and every individual would perform his duties and work for the common good. He distrusted the highly centralized modern State because, while apparently doing good by minimizing exploitation and promoting welfare, it destroyed individuality and thereby impeded progress. The State in this represented force in a most concentrated and organized form. With all his sympathy for the poor and the down-trodden, he was no socialist using the instrument of the State to relieve distress, ensure an equitable distribution of wealth and provide employment through planned scientific exploitation of the national resources. He was a decentralist who wanted all political and economic power to be decentralized who wanted all political and economic power to be decentralized so that the people might really feel free and not slaves of a centralized authorities in which the participation was only nominal. Gandhiji advocated village autonomy, each village, more or less, autonomous and self governing through panchayats, and a loose federation of villages for the satisfaction of common needs. As a spiritualist, he urged social reform, not through legislation but through self-discipline, moral restrain and persuasion. Gandhiji had no love for capitalism. Its acquisitive nature, its stress on self-interest, its exploitation of the poor was all repugnant to him. He did not, however, want to abolish capitalism by law but to transform it by moral force, by appealing to the rich to act as trustees of the national wealth. In his ideal society, the rich classes would use their wealth for the benefit of the people, taking as their share only the minimum amount necessary for a simple and austere life. Reform achieved through moral appeal, Gandhiji felt, would be more lasting and would be attending by no ill will or social tension. The best government’, he said, was not a welfare State with vast functions but a government which governed least’.
Mahatma Gandhi was thoroughly dissatisfied with the present economic system and the growing trend towards materialism. He was against the modern craze for multiplicity of wants and ostentations living and against ever-increasing mechanization of production and huge industrial combines relentlessly expanding their operations and pushing our small producers. He favored simple and noble living, production through cottage and small-scale industries, village self-sufficiency, manual labor and self-help. He wanted everyone to be employed and assured of the basic conditions of good life, such as food, clothing and shelter. He was not opposed to the employment of machinery, but he wanted machines to save man, not to enslave him. It would be wrong to call Gandhiji and conservative in his views. His views were conditioned by his knowledge of life in the country where the standards of living were deplorably low, unemployment had assumed staggering proportions and the privileged few were leading a most sophisticated life. Gandhi ji did not have any soft corner in his heart for the rich. His conception of trusteeship has often been misunderstood. Trusteeship is a means of property extent to extent regarded by the community as essential for its welfare. The State may regulate trusteeship, lay down minimum and maximum incomes, the proportion between them to be reasonable and just and the difference between them to be progressively reduced expropriation, he favored Satyagraha and non-cooperation with landlords and capitalists to persuade them to act merely as trustees of their wealth. Production, according to the Mahatma, should be regulated not by the whim or greed of the producer but to satisfy social needs. He would not hesitate to nationalize an industry if capitalists and workers did not function as trustees of an industry.
Mahatma Gandhi was a great champion of individual freedom, but while he conceded to the individual certain fundamental rights, he laid equal stress, if not more, on duties. Gandhiji was no individualist as the term is ordinarily understood, a man impelled by self-interest, working for self-aggrandizement and conceding to society the minimum right to regulate his conduct. He was an advocate of individualism in the moral and spiritual sense of the term---the sense of man whose nature made him an end in himself, who needed freedom to develop his moral nature and contribute to the enrichment of the corporate life of the community and who was always God-conscious, bound in his actions by Dharma. Gandhiji was against every custom the degraded man and made a mockery of his spiritual nature. He saw in the pernicious practice of untouchability man’s most deadly sin. He denounced intoxicating drugs and drinks as brutalizing men and doing violence to their spiritual nature. Gandhiji’s views on educations were also inspired by the consideration for forming a sound character. Education should not only help in acquiring knowledge and arousing intellectual curiosity, but should inculcate right ideals through knowledge of national social and cultural heritage. The Mahatma rejected the caste system based on birth as immoral. He wanted the organizations on the ground that they helped to transmit knowledge and skill to the succeeding generations. The Mahatma approached labor problems from a spiritual stand point. He was stoutly opposed to exploitation of labor but he also reminded workers of their duty towards their employers, their work and their nation. Neither, workers nor employers had any right to work only for their self-interest. With the Mahatma, society was neither capitalistic not socialistic. It was an association of noble men and women conscious of their duty towards their fellow men, living not in isolation but fully participating in the corporate life of the community---the village society, the nation and the international community.
Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of life has been criticized on the ground the independent India has completely repudiated it. Modern India is committed to the operation of highly centralized parliamentary government, the creation of a socialistic order, large scale industrialization on the Western pattern and modern science and technology. But the Mahatma’s views on autonomous villagers, his advocacy of cottage industries, Charkha and Khaddar, his general opposition to mass-production, big labor-saving machines and imitation of Western production, big labor-saving machines and imitation of Western production methods should be considered in the context of the conditions prevailing in the country. Besides, we must consider the spirit underlying his proposals. Mahatma Gandhi was not a philosopher or a metaphysical thinker, and a modern sceptic may legitimately claim that he has thrown no new light on the ultimately claim that he has thrown no new light on the ultimate reality, the nature of the universe, the existence of evil and free-will. But he has given the world a new way of life, a way which is also as old as civilization itself. His greatest contribution to modern thought lie in his insistence that main s fundamentally a spiritual and moral being and that society is an association of human spirits---an association which is not limited in any way by considerations of nationality race, creed or sex. This is a simple doctrine, yet how profoundly revolutionary. He wants men and women who are noble, public spirited, disciplined; who are always bound by the laws of Dharma, who are fully conscious of their social obligations and who think not in terms of self-interest and self-aggrandizement but of service to the community and its corporate life. He also wants a society in which every man would be able to live in freedom and achieve creative self-expression.
In this world, divided by nationality, race, religion, sex and caste and class, in the world where a large part of humanity lives under a totalitarian tyranny, in this world where man seeks only endless pleasure in the acquisition of the material things of life, in sex and drugs and drink, in new sensations and excitement, the message of the Mahatma has a significance which mankind cannot of village republics has not found favor with the farmers of our Constitution, but all eminent political and social thinkers are agreed that political and economic authority should be decentralized if man is to be truly free and is to participate in the democratic process of decision-making. One may dissent from the Mahatma’s extreme views on pacifism and may regard the use of force by the State as justified in dealing with anti-social elements or by rebels protesting against an unjust social order, but if war among nations is to be eliminated, Gandhism provides the only way. Science and technology cannot be rejected and industrialization on a big scale is unavoidable for a modern, viable and self-sustaining economy, but is it wrong to insist that the aim of the economy should be the promotion of human welfare and individual freedom rather than endless multiplication of wants, inhuman conditions of work, loss of craftsmanship, gigantic organizations dwarfing man and ever increasing urbanization which denies man any contact with nature? Machines to be sure, are needed, but must they make men their slaves?
The ideal society of Mahatma’s dreams may appear to be too utopian. His distrust of the State seems unwarranted. The modern democratic State is the agent of the community and represents the collective wisdom of the masses. There is nothing wrong with democratic legislation to bring about a social change. No coercion is involved in it. It does not violate individual freedom but promotes it. Gandhiji relied too much on persuasion, too little on the conscience of the community embodies in Parliament. But with all his limitations as a thinker, he represented a great moral force and a new way of life which promises to relieve the anxiety of the modern age and put humanity on the road to sanity and health.


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