Inculcating love for science and innovation in colleges

If you want to become a great innovator, scientist, or thinker, you must discover your innate curiosity
"Science, technology, and creativity are ingrained in the DNA of younger generations, and they are able to acquire these skills extremely quickly."
"Science, technology, and creativity are ingrained in the DNA of younger generations, and they are able to acquire these skills extremely quickly."Rawpixel [Creative Commons]

Science is based on fundamental ideas, such as posing questions, identifying a problem, and finding a solution. To be successful in science, one must be highly motivated and fervent. Passion is required for greatness in any discipline.

Passion is the only way to become the greatest artist or a cricketer. Likewise, if you want to become a great innovator, scientist, or thinker, you must discover your innate curiosity. It is a reality that we live in the age of science and technology.

Science, technology, and creativity are ingrained in the DNA of younger generations, and they are able to acquire these skills extremely quickly.

It is important to note that humans have learned science and technology via ages of struggle. It is essential that we give a chance to young aspirants to demonstrate their extraordinary skills, which would otherwise remain concealed.

But the challenge is how we can build an environment that promotes research and creativity among our youth, particularly in colleges and universities. I will explore here some of the means by which our natural interest and enthusiasm for science and technology are revealed.

Popularising Science in Colleges

The purpose of scientific popularisation is to simplify science for the community so that it becomes all-encompassing. Historically, science was considered and perceived differently, and the common man was reluctant to consider it.

Recently scientific think tanks have realised that research must reach everyone’s doorstep in order for them to participate in this grand scientific endeavour.

In essence, Popularization fosters scientific temperament, enables community members to make informed decisions, and encourages scientific thought.

In addition, popularisation also motivates aspiring scientists to assume leadership roles in science and technology for the greater good of society and promoting the culture of college research through motivational science speeches and hands-on training.

Keeping in view the importance of science and innovation in our day to day lives, we must provide platform to our youth so that they opt for science and realize the benefits of science in real sense.

Innovation Ecosystem in the College:

As envisioned in NEP-2020, the Higher Education Department has already began the development of innovation and skill in colleges. However, it is the job of academics and other supporting personnel to apply these concepts in a realistic manner. Creation of a viable innovation ecosystem is essential means that encourages youth to innovate in various fields. Regular science and innovation programmes with an emphasis on hands-on training for youngsters, as well as stimulating young minds to generate new ideas, are required. The NEP-2020 provides a magnificent platform for young aspirants to enhance their creative talents, but the college administration is responsible for fostering an innovation-friendly ecosystem.

Conducting Ideation Programmes:

Ideation is a one-of-a-kind method for encouraging young graduates to suggest an original solution to a specific societal issue. It is the earliest stage of innovation in which raw ideas are refined by professionals to make them usable for the creation of innovations that benefit society as a whole. The college should organise regular ideation programmes to create a common platform for young people to demonstrate their intrinsic capacity to solve a particular challenge. We must recognise that each student has a creative and original mind, and based on this concept, there is a possibility that each student will have a unique solution to a given problem. The West regularly organises such programmes to cultivate the innate skills of youngsters. This will also transform college education from one based on memorization to one based on skills.

Partnership between Institutions for exchanging innovation skill:

Collaboration across institutions to share their inventive abilities will aid in the development of competent human capital. There is an immediate need to strengthen linkages across the country’s premier incubation centres in order to increase innovation capabilities among recent graduates. In this direction, internship programmes should be developed in partnership with the country’s most prestigious innovation centres for qualified and motivated students. There should also be inter- and intra-college partnerships to foster innovation. It is crucial to recognise that inter-college partnerships for the exchange of innovation skills can be easily established without administrative obstacles and can have a significant impact on the overall expansion of science and innovation in higher education. A group of colleges in a district can begin sharing new abilities at the ground level, and then proceed to the next level jointly.

Science outreach programmes to be started in the college:

There is a need for frequent outreach programmes in institutions in which the student community interacts with leading organisations. In this regard, college administration must choose credible scientific and innovation agencies that offer free services to students and ask them to prepare aspirant students for various science and innovation programmes. It is pertinent to note that Kashmir Scientist groups (Kashir Scientist, etc.) with their elite faculty and researchers provide the best platform for the youth of this region, and it is essential that our higher education institutions establish connections with these organisations so that they can provide selfless service to our youth.

Role of Alumni to encourage science & innovation:

Alumni could play a vital role in encouraging students to pursue science and innovation by providing knowledge and a support network. The vibrant alumni association is vital to the overall expansion of the college and university’s research and innovation ecosystem. One must acknowledge that financial support and other logistical assistance contribute to the college’s growth and development as a whole. In conjunction with the current administration, the alumni association may establish a distinct Science, Innovation, and Technological Cell in the College to promote the institution’s growth in science and technology.

To enhance science, technology, and innovation, colleges require a comprehensive overhaul. As we strive for productive and competent human capital that is prepared for future challenges, it is crucial that we offer a viable platform in our higher education institutions so that we can realise all the goals and objectives of NEP-2020. Let us hope for the best, because optimism is the lighthouse that leads to prosperity.

(Ideas & views expressed in this article reflect only the author’s views based on his Action Research)

Ummer Rashid Zargar ,  Assistant Professor (Zoology), Government Degree College Boys, Anantnag

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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