By Tadrash Shah:
With the education system and the current socio-educational situations that we live in, the definition of knowledge seems to have changed. The perception to knowledge and education has changed. It matters on how we perceive the term, knowledge and it certainly matters a lot. It is the perception of problems that trigger innovations. It is the perception of what we want to learn and from where and how. We have four major forces teaching us: teachers in common people, teachers around us, teacher within us and the mother nature. It is our perception that will guide us to learn what, how, when, from where and from whom.
The basic anomaly we face today is that we feel grown up, over-analyse the things and are apprehended to the extent that eventually kills the child in us. We stop questioning. We have done away with inquisitiveness. Soon after a child is released from the safety of their parent’s maya wrap ring sling, they start to question and learn. A child takes risks because he is unaware of the amount and the repercussions of the risk involved. He always asks: “Why?”, “Who?”, “How?” among several other questions. We get irritated at the questions they throws. ButÂ hasn’tÂ the child taught us to revitalize the child within us?The problem is with the fact that we don’t feel the need to learn. And in case we feel it, we don’t respond. In case we respond, we don’t pursue. In case we pursue, we don’t articulate. We have learnt to live with the problems. Many don’t. And that’s where the innovation happens. We don’t get surprised. SurpriseÂ instillsÂ learning. Digesting the learning will call for wisdom.
Let me share some examples. A girl designed a wheel-chair that climbs the stairs. Another girl designed a stroller bag which contains an embedded seat that one can sit and rest while waiting at the railways or bus stations. These are problems we have all faced. But, we ignored the search for a solution. These are the people who denied accepting the problem. A point I want to make is that intriguing nature and the quest for innovation is something not singular to elites.
What is to be done then? Everyone wants to innovate. Everyone wants to solve a problem that others cannot. Everyone wants to prove their excellence. So what to do? We can observe, get surprised and ask questions. Lastly, if you don’t find any problem to solve, don’t be disheartened. If you have started observing, you will find it someday. This has to be integrated with your thinking process as it may not happen right away.
Research is also something that everyone talks about and very few actually do. Pure research like the ones that gave us the computer and a rocket, are difficult, I totally agree. But we all can work to improve something that someone else may have done. We can come up with a better solution, optimize an existing one, analyse the existing methodologies- all of these entail research. Research is not something so great that only few elites can do. Simple research can also be very important, you never know. There are a number of solutions left unattended, not pursued, given up by many so you can give it a try. And why not? If you don’t get a result, you can leave it for someone else to solve with the guidelines you came up with. Even they are equally important. They may guide many futureÂ endeavors.
We are engineers and have thus have the skill to design sustainable solutions that others may not be able to. We know the cores and have the acumen to make research viable to all. Put that to work. And let me assure you that once you start to work, there is no limit, not even the sky.Opportunities and directions will come your way, without your specific efforts going into them. Get started.