The Origin Of Rural Technology System :
If we go 1500 years back in history, India was not an underdeveloped country. India was at the forefront of civilization, and having a fully developed exchange with the other advanced countries of that time. What happened in these last 1500 years, that India lost this front line status and slipped to the back benches?
The Head And The Hand
In those days there was no science, only natural philosophy. The difference was that philosophers observed nature and put down their thoughts as hypotheses. Science brought in the concept of experimentation – doing. From the time of Galileo, this “doing” became the basis of thought and science became a sequence of doing and thinking, a joint program of the hand and the head. Similarly, there was no technology, but only arts and crafts. These were skills and empirically gathered knowledge, passed down from generation to generation.
We had our “Rishis” who contributed to astronomy, mathematics, grammar, philosophy and all the other subjects, where a single mind could contribute in isolation. Crafts like textiles, brassware, metallurgy, and even surgery developed in skilled hands. Metallurgy and surgery were then crafts. These crafts had no knowledge inputs from the thinkers, but only empirical observations from the craftsmen themselves. Thus, we did not have the coordination between the thinkers and the doers; between the head and the hand. Science is based on this head and hand coordination. We as a nation are poor in this head and hand joint action and have therefore lagged behind, in the present technology-dominated age. Technology today is the application of live science and even the empirical observations from the “Doing”, give rise to further study in the thinking “Science”.
Thus what India needs for its development, is this ability to do and think in coordination – the marriage of the head and the hand. If 90% of our population lives by the hand alone, then it is better for us to reach the head through the hand. We must adopt the “learning by doing” approach. It is also my belief that working with hand stimulates thinking. That concrete aids the abstract is the basis of this belief.
This belief is now supported by the extensive work of Jean Piaget, who devoted nearly 40 years study to develop his theory of development of intelligence in the child and the adolescent.
Vigyan Ashram is a center of Indian Institute Of Education (IIE) Pune. A scientist turned educationalist Late Dr.S.S.Kalbag started Vigyan Ashram in 1983 to find out solution to the problems in education.
Vigyan Ashram is located in village Pabal approx 70 kms from Pune. Its situated on Rajgurunagar – Shirur Road. Population of Pabal is @ 10000. There are several small hamlets attached to Pabal which make Pabal central market place.
Pabal is drought prone and its truly representative Indian village. Idea of establishing Vigyan Ashram at Pabal is whatever we do at Ashram can be replicated in any part of the country.
For us “Vigyan” means ‘Search of Truth’ and “Ashram” symbolises ‘Simple living and High thinking for us, a organization where all are equal, it’s a modern version of old Gurukul system’