Thursday, 16 February 2012

Introduction to the book "Selected Essays of Dr S S Kalbag on Education, Technology & Rural Development"

In the post independence period India has been a witness to many educational experiments as well as theories which are based on the principles such as “learning while doing”, “learning through productive work”, etc. Many of these experiments and theories have borrowed ideas from the “programme of basic education” propagated by Gandhiji. However these experiments and theories lacked confidence in the use of science & technology and were suffering from disconnect with the real needs of the rural masses. Dr. Shrinath Sheshagiri Kalbag, a scientist turned educationist, exhibited confidence and conviction of a rare quality about the relevance and usefulness of the new technological developments in education based on productive work.

Dr. Kalbag was a quintessential scientist with extraordinary commitment to the people at grassroots. He was very much pained by the great divide between haves and haves not in the Indian society. He always tried to diagnose it from the perspective of a scientist and an educationist. His observation that the poor people in India are severely handicapped with regard to some basic intellectual skills and are therefore unable to use the available knowledge that flows past them was very accurate and original. He further observed that all sections of the society do not receive knowledge uniformly in our knowledge distribution system, i.e. education system. Dr. Kalbag has illustrated this point by giving the example of the green revolution where the fruits of the new technological development couldn’t reach to all the farmers due to lack of intellectual and psychological preparedness for the same. He also speaks about the lack of industrial culture in agriculture and suggests the remedy of a good education system for that problem. He thought of education as a knowledge distribution system or technological delivery system. He has also emphasized that the education system is the only effective system to achieve delivery of technology.

Dr. Kalbag invented an education system based on the principles of “learning while doing”, “multi skill training”, “two-way link between school and community” and “instructor as entrepreneur”. He invented this new system by using his own past experience as well as experiences based on various experiments conducted by him in Vigyan Ashram. He called it his invention and termed it as “Rural development through education system”. His vision was to see this invention spread all over India in all the schools.

Dr. Kalbag was born on the 23rd of October in the year of 1928 in Mumbai. He was the youngest son of Sheshagiri N. Kalbag who had migrated to Mumbai from his native place Karwar in 1903. He completed his B.Sc. from the (Royal) Institute of Science. Thereafter he joined the Department of Chemical Technology (UDCT) completing his B.Sc. Tech. with distinction, standing first among all the disciplines. After completing his M.Sc. Tech. on Electrolytic oxidation of Soaps, in the year 1952, a project he himself had formulated, he joined the food technology department in the University of Illinois, USA. Here he researched upon polarographic studies of Fat Oxidation and Fatty Esters of Sugars as Emulsifying Agents.

After earning Ph D with all “A” grades, he decided to return to India in spite of the offers from his Professor Dr. Kummerow. This made such a powerful impact impact on Prof. Kummerow that almost thirty years later; Dr. Kummerow visited Pabal to see what work their ex-student had done and was doing. Not just this but they also offered help in significant matters such as passing on information. After returning to India, Dr. Kalbag joined the Central Food Technological Research Institute, a CSIR laboratory in Mysore for a brief period. In CFTRI, he showed his initiative and innovative ability by developing a number of new designs of equipment and processes. He left CFTRI to join Hindustan Lever Ltd. in their new research unit as a research scientist in 1963 and rose to be the head of the Engineering Sciences Group.

Thanks to his work in CFTRT and Hindustan Lever, Dr. Kalbag earned a large number of patents, several of which are in commercial use. While working with Hindustan Lever, he took an active part in professional bodies and was the chairman of the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers, Western Region. He was elected fellow to the Indian Academy of Sciences (founded by Sir C.V.Raman) in recognition of his work in the field of technology. He was also a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers (India).

At the age of 27 while finishing with his PhD in USA, Dr. Kalbag decided to continue with his “Grihasthashrama” for the next 27 years, enter the phase of “Vanaprasthashram” and then devote the rest of his life to the service of mankind. Acting in accordance to this resolution he took an early retirement from Hindustan Lever in 1982 at the age of 54 and started working on his ideas on education.

Actually he was planning for his future endeavor in the field of education even before quitting the job in Hindustan Lever. He had conducted a survey among street urchins in Mumbai under the aegis of the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, TIFR. The kids were smart and could manage a range of tasks efficiently, yet they did not do well in the schools they attended, because the syllabus did not match their skills. The need for change in curriculum realized due to such experiences lead him to J P Naik and Chitra Naik of the Indian Institute of Education (IIE), Pune. In 1981, he along with his wife Meera visited the villages where the “Universalisation of Primary Education” (UPE) program was conducted by IIE. He decided to join the Indian Institute of Education, Pune after this visit and subsequent discussions. He was supposed to start his program on his own, individually, but under the auspices of the IIE. It was agreed upon that he would bring his own project funds and would have complete autonomy in carrying out his program.

Later on he started his search for a suitable place to begin his work. He purposefully selected Pabal, a village in Pune district, which was sufficiently away from the city and was falling in drought prone area. Initially he stayed in the dalit basti of Pabal village and interacted with the villagers. Later on he moved to a hillock near the village, which was most suitable for his ashram like institution. He submitted a formal project to the Department of Science and Technology in 1981. Work in Vigyan Ashram commenced in January 1983. His wife Meera Kalbag was also a founder member of the Vigyan Ashram and consistently accompanied him in his work till his sad demise in 30th July 2003. However the mission started by Dr. Kalbag continues to be followed by his able disciples with similar zeal till date.

The roots of many of his favourite ideas and passions can be traced back to his student days. He daily conducted adult literacy classes for factory workers for nearly two years and acted as a social volunteer in his college days. During the two years of his stay in Chicago, he used to spend weekends at Ranches in nearby rural areas to observe and study the life of rural folks, the farmers especially, there. He had a scientific bend of mind even during his school days. His interest in the practice of science led him to, jointly set up with his brother, a laboratory, as also, later, a workshop, for his own projects. Here he prepared, as development work, tartaric acid, hippuric acid, synthetic detergents, soaps etc. He made a petrol gas generator, set up a jet pump, revamped septic tanks and did many such jobs. His other interests led him to spend 12 vacations, trekking in the Himalayas, camping, yachting and making home movies. These traits of deep social commitment, scientific temper and spirit of adventure were to develop beautifully in the “vanaprasthashram” phase of his life.

Dr. Kalbag documented his thoughts on the “New education system” in the articles written for specific occasions, papers presented in seminars and speeches delivered at various functions. These write-ups (hereafter referred as articles) were available in typewritten forms as well as printouts from his personal computer. Dr. Kalbag left behind more than 70 such articles. Dates and references were not mentioned on many of these articles. Many of these were written on identical subjects. In some of the articles, certain key issues (such as “learning while doing”) were repeated since the articles were written on similar subjects on different occasions. Liberty has been taken to delete such repetitions in few of the articles. Few repetitions are left untouched since they are integrally connected with the other issues elaborated in the article. At times two or more articles are fused into a single, complete, full fledged article. Articles were selected to give a broad idea of the range of his thoughts and also to present the core areas of his thoughts.

Being a true technologist and a person who has thought about education as a delivery or distribution system, Dr. Kalbag has also used language as a tool to transmit his thoughts in these articles. His language is as cost effective as his other inventions. It is simple, robust and to the point. His spirit of exploration can be seen in the new meanings given by him to well known terms such as knowledge, learning, etc. which need not strictly adhere to the standard meanings attached to these terms.

A man of the calibre of Dr. Kalbag lived in a drought prone village for a long period spanning over 20 years. He engaged in a continuous dialogue with the rural people. He understood the finer elements of the rural needs and the rural situation. He tried to utilise the insights gained from this dialogue while developing his “invention” of “new education system”. The general idea about his mission was clear to him from the beginning. He wanted to equip rural people with capacities, which would help them in exploiting the gains from the new technological developments. He had said, “India lagged behind when industrial revolution came; we are still to catch up with it. We cannot afford to miss the information technology revolution. On the contrary we should use it to catch up with industrial revolution as well”. (Ref: Chapter19, “Development opportunities”)

Dr Kalbag was not a formally trained educationist. He developed the ideas which sprang from his own experience as a student and a practising scientist. During this process he found that his ideas based on his own experiences were supported by the theories developed by Piaget on cognition and learning. In one article named “Rural development through education system” (Ref: Chapter 2) he has explained Piaget’s theory in his own language. Reference to the Piaget theory also occurs in few of the other articles on education. He says, “the Piaget Theory of learning suggests that one cannot learn in the classroom unless and until, one has learnt the prerequisite 'concepts' by experience in the real life, that is, the natural way.” (Ref: Chapter 3, “Learning while doing”) He was convinced that “it has major implications for all education and for science education in particular.” (Ref: Chapter 10, “Science through technical education”)

Dr. Kalbag has also quoted Gandhiji while discussing the core principle of “learning by doing”. Main purpose for quoting Gandhiji seems ‘to draw support from the great man who has deep influence on the minds of Indian people’. He has also detected mistakes committed in the implementation of the Gandhian programme of basic education in independent India. He has narrated these mistakes in his article “Work education in schools, from concept to implementation with a specific reference to rural vocationalisation” (Ref: Chapter 7) as follows

1) Because of the choice of activities given in schools, the programme gave an impression to the society at large as being divorced from the direction of Science and Technology and therefore, retrograde.

2) The ruling elite did not opt for it and created the impression that Basic Education was for the Masses and the normal 'academic' education was for the Classes.

3) Ideology was more stressed than the performance of the system.

4) Performance indicators were not monitored to judge the results of any educational experiment.

Interestingly, these mistakes pointed out by Dr. Kalbag also underline the difference between his own design and the implemented version of the Gandhian programme of basic education.

Varieties of skills to be learned by students in school education were dealt in length by Dr. Kalbag. He was of the opinion that “varieties of skill are necessary to energise the mind just as a variety of exercises are required to tone all the body muscles”. For him “the skills were means to concretise one’s ideas and inventions”. Many people have apprehensions that the thrust on skill learning can reduce the learning to the level of vocational education. Though such apprehensions emerge more strongly in respect of rural education, he was very clear about the role of multi skill training in his education system. He did not advocate the skill training for making the students master craftsmen but to give them enough exposure to know the skills; it’s suitability to their aptitude and also to facilitate technological literacy.

Dr. Kalbag elaborates the importance of imparting the attitude and skills necessary for entrepreneurship through education in many of the articles. He says, “Entrepreneurship is not just self-employment. It implies innovation and uncovering new opportunities”. (Ref: Chapter 20, “Self-employment and agriculture, random experiences and thoughts”) The unique concept of “instructor as entrepreneur” developed by him was influenced by this thought. He also tried to address problems of unemployed dropouts through this concept, which was also one of the characteristic and adventurous features of his programme. He says, “We have a large population of dropouts who need to be usefully employed. There are no salaried jobs to give them. But there are many jobs to be done for the community as also reconstruction jobs, which can be made by small enterprises… We appoint a trained 'drop-out' as an instructor in the school. He operates his business with the school facilities and gives hands-on training to students. He gets the surplus from the operation, the community gets service at a modest cost and students get a good education”. (Ref: Chapter 7, “work education in schools…. vocationalisation”)

One of the crucial features of Dr. Kalbag’s education system is the organic link between the school and the community. He always spoke about the school surrounded by community and not just a school in isolation. He envisaged a vibrant and symbiotic relationship between school and community. A school would provide various kinds of services to the community and the students would get an opportunity to exercise their skills in real life situations, thereby learning the practical and economical aspects attached to the skills. He thought about community services as an economic transaction between the school and the community necessary to make the community a stakeholder in the proper functioning of the school and to make the school little independent financially.

This feature of the school and community link is also one, which is difficult to implement through state machinery. Various developmental schemes by government having a specific degree of community participation as an important condition for their implementation are failed miserably. There are varieties of reasons for this phenomenon, which need not be discussed here. However Dr. Kalbag was confident that such a link could be established since the niche of rural service sector has remained untouched by the commercial forces, which are now targeting rural markets. He was of the opinion that the schools should use this service opportunity for providing paid services to the rural community which will cement the link with the community and will also allow to cover a portion of cost of education.

It is a well-known fact that the schools run by state machinery are in a pathetic state everywhere. There is no dearth of reports, studies and analysis proving this fact. Various schemes and programmes including those concerning education by welfare state are never seen as means to achieve certain goals. These are treated as an end in themselves. The schemes and programmes are actually perceived as big bread and everybody including the power elites in the village community wants to have a larger bite of it. A strange kind of dependency on the state for almost everything in the public sphere is developed in people over the period. The local initiative has almost come to an end in the post independence period. In spite of such a depressing scenario, the fact remains that the vast population in rural areas has no other option than the state run schools. Dr. Kalbag wanted to implement his education system through state run schools because of this reality. He designed his courses keeping in mind the constraints of funds and collective initiative.

Dr. Kalbag employed the discipline and methodology of a scientist while designing the educational course. He collected feedbacks on the performance of the courses developed by him such as “Introduction to Basic Technology” (IBT) and “Diploma in Basic Rural Technology” (DBRT) regularly. Feedbacks were in the form of hard data as well as critical analysis. The comparative data in respect of few schools about marks scored by the students opting for IBT and other students was gathered for a brief period. The data proved that the overall performance of the students opting for IBT course was better than those students who had refrained from opting for IBT. While analysing the performance of instructors he says, “One of the major problems was that the instructors, who were a product of the educational system we want to drastically change, could not be changed through just a one-year practical course. It is much easier to impart technical training than to give a new outlook. What is hoped, and it is only a hope (there has been no study to check it), is that the practical, real life work will bring them to use their natural logical method of thinking and that this will happen, with some persistent persuasion, not only in their technical work but also in other everyday life.” (Ref: Chapter 2, “Rural development through education system”) He relentlessly used such feedbacks to improve the educational system, which he was devising. The process was similar to that of the designing of a prototype usually employed by scientists. He says, “I feel like an inventor. My invention is the education system that integrates education and development, one that is close to everyday life and which costs so little to implement. My vision is that one day I will see this invention spread all over India in all schools”. (Ref: Chapter 1, “Perspective plan for Vigyan ashram”)

Though the education system developed by Dr. Kalbag at Vigyan ashram is specifically devised for secondary education, he also discussed guidelines for school education from lower primary to higher secondary level. (Ref: Chapter 7, “work education in schools…. vocationalisation”) He wrote about “information referral system” which will form a vertical connection from the field through school, community polytechnic upto highest technological institutes such as IITs. Dr. Kalbag was national chairman of the “Committee on community polytechnic scheme” formed in 1987, which recommended the steps to be taken to form a nationwide “information referral system”. As per this system, the students in the village schools would collect data about local problems and local needs. Such data would be transmitted upwards to the higher technical institutions such as IITs, through community polytechnic. Community Polytechnic would function as a trainer for the school and would also work on the data gathered from school. Wherever needed the higher technical institutions would utilise their human resource to work on such problems, which could not be solved at lower levels. Thus a system was envisaged, in which the creative energies of all the people in the chain would get employed for the solution of local problems.

The idea of providing upward connection to the rural areas by using information technology is in vogue nowadays. But Dr. Kalbag had spoken about it way back in 1987 and in a more comprehensive manner. He had sensed the role of information technology in establishing vertical connection between rural areas and higher institutions very early. He had thought of various elements appearing in the recently announced schemes such as “PURA” few decades ago.

He has written at length about the revolutionary role of information technology in education. (Ref: Chapter 6, “Information technology can make a breakthrough in education”) He thought Information Technology would be useful in speeding up communication and imparting training at lesser costs. He has elaborated on the ways of tackling the main concerns such as quality, finance and coverage while using information technology in education. He suggested to connect all the schools with Internet and to use multimedia computers and computer based lessons on a regular basis.

Since he was not happy with the existing methodology of preparing computer lessons, he entered in to the business of making computer lessons way back in 1997 by following his own principle of “learning by doing”. He said, “Many of the computer lessons I have seen in USA, UK and India are nothing but normal text lessons put on the computer screen with some colour, pictures, and sound, (music or reading the text). This is followed by the usual questions. This is not our idea of a computer lesson. We have to make use of the computer potential, to implement those ideas in education, which were not practical till now”. (Ref: Chapter 6, “Information technology can make a breakthrough in education”) The thoughts expressed by him under the topic “New pedagogy in computer lessons” in the above referred article, are not only original but also provide important insights for developing interactive computer lessons.

He was using computer (spectrum) in Vigyan Ashram since its inception. He had also started using Internet through dial up connection in year (1995) in which it became available in India. The needs to explore use of internet in education as well as for rural development lead him to search for alternative solution to the dial up internet connectivity. In Dec 2001, he collaborated with a company incubated by IIT Chennai tenet group providing Internet connectivity using Wireless in local loop technology. It was a commercial venture undertaken by Vigyan ashram. It has not only solved the connectivity problems of Vigyan ashram but 60 villages in remote areas of Rajgurunagar also got their first telephones and the Rajgurunagar taluka got internet connectivity for the first time.

Dr. Kalbag found quite a few people sharing his thoughts on significance of “most advanced technologies” for “least developed areas”. Dr. Neil Gershenfeld, Director of Centre of Bits and Atoms of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (MIT), USA is one amongst them. Neil Gershenfeld speaks about “road beyond digital revolution” and transition from personal computer to personal fabricator, which would not just make mechanical structures, but fully functioning systems including sensing, logic, actuation, and displays. Out of the six fabrication laboratories (FABLAB) installed by the Center of Bits and Atoms of MIT all over the world, one is in Vigyan ashram. FABLAB, an idea developed by Neil Gershenfeld, is basically a collection of set of computerized high-tech tools, which can be used to fabricate instruments of any utility and configuration. Neil Gershenfeld admits that the concept of FABLAB was partly inspired by the thoughts of Dr. Kalbag and the experiment of Vigyan ashram.

The articles written by Dr. Kalbag on science and technology are also very significant for two reasons. Firstly they demonstrate a very different and rare point of view towards the role of science and technology in rural development. Secondly they provide useful insights for understanding his idea of education.

He was completely unhappy about the technological divide existing between “India” and “Bharat”. He sensed this divide on two levels. The first one was in respect of capacities of rural people and the other was in respect of the energies of research in science and technology being utilised for the betterment of the life of the rural people. As far as the first one is concerned he has noted skill deficiencies of rural youth educated from the existing schools in one of his article. These are as follows

1. Language: Apart from not knowing the sophisticated concepts & terms even in their own language, many have difficulty in understanding a chain of instructions. They can absorb only one or two at a time. (They need low flux density).

2. Lack of ability to measure common units of length, area, volume, weight, temperature, time etc. Manipulation of these numbers involving simple arithmetic calculations (viz. conversion of units, direct and inverse proportions, calculation of rate, concentrations etc)

3. Inability to keep any records

4. Non-familiarity with many operations that need minimum effort for training.

Such observations have shaped Dr. Kalbag’s experiments on education in which he tried to develop processes and sub processes to overcome such deficiencies. This aspect is elaborated in his articles such as “Skill development as base for education” (Ref: Chapter 9), “Technology delivery through the education system” (Ref: Chapter 8) and “Developing scientific temper” (Ref: Chapter 13). He starts from skill deficiencies and finishes with the need for the development of scientific temper. He says that the process of rational thinking is natural to all human beings and is based on the experiences of the individual. He further calls scientific temper as refinement of this process which can be brought about by catering adequate experiences to the students through education based on the principle of learning by doing.

As far as the utilisation of energies of the research in science and technology for the betterment of rural life is concerned, Dr. Kalbag’s thoughts were very positive, full of conviction and unusual. He says, “When we say rural development, there is a connotation about low-level technology, voluntary agencies and "sacrifice”. The term rural development connotes many things but not science or modern technology.” (Ref: Chapter 14, Rural areas: Goldmine of opportunities for creative scientists”) He was of the firm opinion that rural development in the true sense has been a largely unexplored field for scientists and technologists where they can apply the simplest of science and get good results. He further identifies the attitude due to which such feelings are not shared by scientists and technologists when he says, “We commonly start with techniques invented by others and then look for a problem to apply them. There must be an equal thrill in taking up a problem from real life and then inventing a technique to tackle it. But we do not do much of this in our laboratories.” (Ref: Chapter 14, Rural areas: Goldmine of opportunities for creative scientists”)

He had identified various fields such as energy and transport, workshop services, animal husbandry, agriculture, home and health, food preservation, water and construction in rural areas. He felt there is ample scope for an adventurous and creative mind to apply science and technology in these fields. The excitement of a creative scientist is almost palpable if we lend an ear to his loud thinking about typical rural problems, which have remained unattended for centuries. While discussing about the age-old bullock cart he says, “The bullock cart is not an efficient system. If we get rid of the bullocks we will have more fodder for the milch cattle. But today the bullock cart is essential. A pair of wheels for the bullock cart costs Rs. 2000 and more. But the axles are not standardized. Steel wheels of identical size cost half the price, but they are not widely available and the skill of making a wheel is not as common as the wheel itself. The pneumatic wheeled cart is at par in cost with the conventional, but air and tube services are not common. Mechanisation of the "bullock" cart is possible and viable but workshop services need to spread fast.” (Ref: Chapter 14, Rural areas: Goldmine of opportunities for creative scientists”)

Dr. Kalbag wanted school education to develop the orientation for problem solving and to encourage the spirit of invention and exploration amongst the students. He knew that “there are needs of rural areas that are distinctly different from urban needs. These needs could be met by inventions and formulations for local needs”. (Ref: Chapter 17, “Science and technology project for rural areas”) He was convinced that “even the dullest, can indulge in problem solving and make little inventions”. (Ref: Chapter 4, “Problem solving orientation in education”) Dr. Kalbag has spoken about “invention” in many of the articles. At many places it actually means innovation. He has used the terms “discovery” and “invention” in an exploratory manner in his writings. His thoughts about invention and innovation are reflected in his design of courses at Vigyan Ashram. He developed a concept of “idea prize” in Vigyan Ashram. Any student who gets any novel idea, which can be useful in solving any kind of problem is supposed to submit his idea in his own language. Such ideas are rated according to the innovation and problem solving abilities involved and the student gets a cash prize for the ideas as per the rating. Many of the students of Vigyan ashram developed indigenous innovations catering to the local needs. An affordable and portable ERM machine, a multipurpose minitractor called mechbull and geodesic dome (Discussed in detail in Chapter 23, “Low cost housing-vigyan ashram approach”) are a few examples of such innovations.

Dr. Kalbag has extensively used terms such as “productivity”, “cost reduction”, etc., while discussing about projects for rural development. It is interesting to see the use of these terms, otherwise used exclusively in corporate domain, in the discussions on rural projects. Some how the rural development is always treated as a holy cow by welfare state where the concepts such as “productivity”, “cost reduction”, “capital intensive technology” connected to so called unholy ideas such as “profit making”, “luxury”, etc. are not given an entry. Dr. Kalbag thought of productivity as an ability to increase the assets with the given resources. He spoke about productivity of simple operations like digging wells, building a bund, even sweeping and cleaning, making pits etc. (Ref: Chapter 17, “Science & technology projects for rural areas”) He saw cost reduction as a means to achieve wider availability of existing service or product.

Dr. Kalbag has also written on diverse subjects such as evolution of human beings, trials on bio diesel as energy resources, water crisis, environmental education, etc. The articles by name “Environmental education in technical and vocational education” (Ref: Chapter 11) and “Biomass energy systems, proceedings of the international conference” (Ref: Chapter 25) are in the form of review of existing works by other authors. In the article “Trials of Karanja and Jatropha as energy sources” (Ref: Chapter 14) he explains in detail the experiments conducted by him in Vigyan Ashram about the use of oil extracted from Karanja and Jatropha as fuel. His ideas about education and rural development also get reflected in these articles. He explains these subjects from his own perspective. He tests his ideas while reflecting freely on these subjects. In an article on “the water crisis” (Ref: Chapter 21) he starts at civilisation level, analyses the water crisis from all India perspective, elaborates separately in respect of peninsular India and then lays down the strategy for tackling the water crisis in all regions of India. He emphasises the need for collection of data at village level and underlines the role, which can be performed by schools in collecting such data. At the end, he finishes with minute suggestions for water conservation to be practised by individuals at personal level.

Dr. Kalbag was completely convinced that the new developments in science and technology hold the keys for the problems of rural development. As a true technocrat, he does not discuss the sociological or historical impediments in rural development. Occasionally he mentions few benevolent features of Indian culture in support to his arguments. The thoughts such as “viability of the present model of capitalist economy for a country with vast population like India” are innocently absent in his writings. Since the articles were written with a utilitarian intent of putting forward his core ideas, such thoughts might not have found any mention in the articles.

Dr. Kalbag rarely takes the luxury of reflecting on philosophical issues. In one of the articles titled “Why India needs Vipassyana” (Ref: Chapter 27) he submits his thoughts on real causes of misery and the significance of vipassyana in a distilled form. In another article he reflects about the journey beyond eradication of poverty. He says, “Assuming this eradicates poverty, brings prosperity, shall we be happy and peaceful? No. Already we see that the world cannot support spending of its resources in the way the present prosperous society is spending. It is not just a question of the environment. Are the people actually happy? Do they have the peace of mind? Neither the rich, nor the poor are happy. Neither the ‘materialist’ west nor the ‘spiritual’ India /east are happy. It is not the Western Model or the eastern. We have all, by and large, lost the Art of Living. We are confused about what the quality of life means. We do not know how to progress in S & T and yet live a frugal and happy life”. (Ref: Chapter 12, “Vigyan Ashram, where do we go from here”) This shows the inner Indian ness of the man who constantly spoke about science, technology and development. Interestingly he himself has demonstrated a way of leading such happy and frugal life at Vigyan Ashram.

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