FunXploring Innovative Ideas – a talk by Mr. Nilesh Jathal (Dubai)

Right before heading into Diwali vacation, SciKnowTech in association with Finar Foundation had its 4th monthly talk -’Fun Exploring Innovative Ideas’. As the name indicates, it was all about providing food for thoughts & exploring innovative ideas. There was absolutely no better way to start Diwali break than having brainstormed thoughts with an expert Mr. Nilesh Jathal (hailing from Dubai and with 30+ years of experience) who could ignite such high level of interest with his like minded listeners.

During the first part of the talk Mr Jathal presented his views on Indian Education System. The 2nd part of the talk involved 3 challenges where audience had to work on their thought process and come up with either facts or imaginary answers based on the nature of the challenge. The 3rd part of the talk left audience with some insights on DNA as well as working of Airplanes.

History Of Indian Education System:

Circa 1760: India had great economy. Back then, we used have universities like Nalanda and Takshashila, which were the leader in world education system. Ancient India has given the gift of ‘0’ to the world, laying the foundation of binary system. India was also known to be the leader in the field of Astronomy, Astrology, Metallurgy, Ayurveda and Surgical Procedures. Around 2500 years ago, the art of rhinoplasty was first mastered in India and then was spreaded across the world.

Gurukul system in ancient India provided wholesome development in distraction free environment, relying on hard work by student and focused effort by Guru and Shishya. Arrival of East India company impacted Indian education system to the great extent. Use of British education system started in India at that time to produce business tycoons who could help flourish East India company’s business into India. Even today, we largely follow British education system.

Current Demand Of Skills At Global Level:

World is facing the shortage of intellectual manpower. Not be confused as conventional manpower. With most of the processes getting automated such as lifting, moving, repetitive tasks even like making rotis; we need someone who could either automate using the technology or manage the automated processes. With fast information exchange using internet, cloud computing and robots at our service; we need young minds with excellent analytical skills, problem spotting and problem solving skills.

 

Current Education System In India:

While it claims to be really competitive, current education system in India has merely become intelect exporter. People with multiple degrees fail to solve simple problems involving basic skills in the field. Education focuses on theoretical aspect but does not give chance to develop vocational or application-based skill associated with the subject. Wipro and other companies have with their own education centers which train candidates further, before placing them in field as engineer. Is it really necessary? Why does an engineer – fresh out of university, need to go through another training?

What Could Be Done About It?

Students Are Customers:

Realize that students and parents are not the slave in the system. They are paying high amount of money to the institutes. Being customers, they reserve the right to ask for education which enables them to produce meaningful output as demanded by industry.

Parents Are Forward-Looking Leader To The Kids:

  • Don’t impose old fashioned ideas about how to do things, what to study etc. Rather let their creativity flourish and see how best they can help the world using their own natural talent.
  • Accept the penetration of screen devices and use of technology in kids’ life. Rather than trying to stop kids from using the screen device, see how kids can learn and develop themselves using technology. How can their time spent on such devices is utilized productively for their own and world’s benefit?

Strong Political Will:

Our education system should be designed to address the challenges that we, as nation, think are critical and important. It should not be a copy of any other education system.

Research Institutes:

Could focus more on cutting edge technology with a goal to become leader in the specific field rather than following other countries’ research. As Dr. Sam Pitroda once mentioned, if you want something, just do it. Don’t wait for someone else to make it happen for you.

Digital India Movement:

Is indeed the right step to initiate the much needed change in current education system. There are plenty of opportunities to improve here. Such as:

  • One syllabus across the country.
  • Digitization of all text books and resources.
  • One online exam for all without the barrier of local language.
  • Make teachers more tech-savvy.

Thought Provoking Challenges:

The 2nd half of the talk was designed to be interactive where Mr. Jathal presented 3 challenges to the audience.

  • First exercise involved facts related to human body and served as warm up exercise for intense thoughtful analysis of later challenges.
  • 2nd and 3rd challenges were about finding root cause of catastrophe and finding a way out if one gets lost. Audience was working hand in hand with expert Mr. Jathal. It was amazing experience to listen to so many bright and curious kids in audience who possessed excellent decoding and investigating skills.

Fun Facts:

DNA:

Stands for ‘Deoxyribonucleic Acid’ is molecule carrying genetic instructions. Here Mr. Jathal intersected biology with information theory and provided following data.

  • Each Genome has 1.5 Gigabyte worth of data packed in it.
  • Considering Avg number of cells in human body and genome associated with each individual cell, it turns out that a human body carries 150 Trillion Gigabytes worth of data.
  • Hence, we all carry a unique composition of proteins. Mr. Jathal then aptly concluded that We are book written by 4 basic proteins and it is our identity like an ‘Aadhaar Card’ 🙂 .

Some interesting facts about Airplanes:

  • Number of gates in aircraft is decided keeping the goal in mind that if there is an emergency, the entire aircraft should be emptied in no more than 1.5 minutes.
  • While passengers board and settle down, the first officer physically checks all moving surfaces inside and outside of the aircraft. He/she thoroughly reports this.
  • Once everyone is on board along with their hand luggage, the center of gravity of the aircraft is determined. Based on this, the amount of fuel used during the flight is estimated along with speed and estimated time of arrival.
  • Aircrafts have no reverse gear: before take off, they have to be pushed back.
  • There are as many handles on throtals as the number of engines in any aircraft. Each controlling one engine.
  • Flights from East to West use even numbers in ft as altitude e.g 30000 ft, whereas flights from West to East use odd numbers in ft as their flying altitude e.g. 31000 ft.

Overall a very interesting session to ignite grey cells of curious kids and parents……