Monday 14 December 2015

Mind and Mind-set

Dr R A Mashelkar says:


When we look at the 21st century, many people say that it is going to be the century of knowledge, but people who think more deeply about it say it is going to be the century of mind.


Just think about it. Can you imagine that with the demographic advantage that India has, with 55% of its population being less than 25 years old, you are talking actually in terms of something like 600 million odd young minds shaping the destiny of this country. So, Mr. Handa, what a powerful theme you have selected for designing and defining the future of this great nation. For this, I will really like to congratulate you.


There was never any doubt about the quality of the Indian mind.  Today, we talk about the digital economy. Digital economy would not be there, if binary digits were not there. And what are binary digits? It is zero and one. And who discovered the zero? It was an Indian mind. So, I think India and Indian mind can rightfully take the credit for laying the foundation of the digital economy.


Yesterday, we saw this great spectacular opening of the Olympics. We have sent a huge contingent for, hopefully, getting us some Olympic medals. You also saw today's headlines in the morning papers. Not very inspiring! And the record shows that very rarely have we won a bronze medal, a silver medal, let alone a gold medals yes,  we won the gold medals at a time when we were world champions in hockey for a number of years but no more so.  That is the state of affairs from this 1.2 billion population as far as the Olympic is concerned.


But you know, there is something else called Olympics of mind. Do you know what is Olympics of mind? These are competitions among young scientists -science Olympiads, where we send the contingent of young students. Year before last, I remember the statistics exactly, we sent 19 young people to represent us in science Olympiads. Can you guess as to how many came back with medals? 19 out of 19 came back with a medal !  That shows the power of Indian mind.


I think we should re-look at this theme of "Shaping Young Minds Programme" and what I am going to propose is something very fundamentally difficult. There is a fundamental difference between the mind and the mind set. Mind represents the intellect, mind allows you to do smart observations, smart analysis, smart synthesis etc. but it is the mind set, which determines your attitude and your approach to life. In India, there is this huge battle between the Indian mind and the Indian mind set. The Indian mind is taking us into the 21st century, and there is no question about that, it is the Indian mind set which is drawing us back into the 14th, 15th, 16th century ……. you name it!

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