Earlier, In an article I have written about Bridging the theory and practice only with academic examples. Here I would like to quote from some stories which linked the real science theory which we read earlier in curriculum but their invention by others are seen by us later in our life time itself.
For these kind of stories, the author I have known is from my own language Tamil and the all time favourite writer is Sujatha who always connect science in some form to his stories but it may really interested for ordinary readers too.
He has to his credit many short stories which have different kinds and in some number of stories he used the technique of connecting his native place. The incidents he narrated in his stories made an impact to the readers whether they really happened or his imagination and these are titled as Srirangathu Thevathaial(Angels of Srirangam) and there is a common thing in all these stories are, there will be one heroine with different names though the stories may not be around the heroines but still the story may highlight heroines as angels.
This particular story I am talking about is his narration of Television in Srirangam in 50s itself. In this story, he connected the theory behind Television(it may even be satellite channels) and his academic he did, Electronics in MIT. While writing this story, Television had come to India but satellite channels were not there. That is the highlight of the story.
He introduced one Professor namely Annasamy in Srirangam who had kept a board of TV and Radio training Institute who has done some course of London called C & G, when he was doing third year of Electronics in MIT and visited Srirangam during off time. Also he kept many discussion about the TV in 50s that India did not have TV and how Srirangam would have one. He describes about C & G of London as similar to AMIE of India.
He describes the connection of theory and practical as a discussion with his friend about his knowledge of television like he has syllabus in Electronics in MIT which uses VHF wavelength and line of side. But still his friend who have not moved out of Srirangam asked again whether he has seen TV in real. He describes that he has seen a short circuit TV in Guindy Engineering College by Philips during the golden jubilee of University of Madras and describes how they have telecasted with a camera in one room and receiver in another room.
He describes about that practical institute that the professor has soldered many things and different parts of radio were there and a trainer was with IF transformer. There was one more radio which was assembled by the professor itself which broadcasted Carnatic music and also professor told that this radio will receive many stations if it has RF amplifier. But he was anxious about Television which professor told that it has been covered by a bedspread. Also the professor described about his assembly of radio like, transformer, tracking, alignment and tuning and said he has ham license too.
Again other persons did not satisfy with his answer that Television cannot be seen without a TV station as like Radio station . Then professor again replied that people in front of him are only with theory and not with practical and hence showed his pamphlet of training which has a list TV Principles, Practical, soldering, bench wise, carpentry, coil etc.,
But still people did not satisfy and seen many aerials he has in his terrace. The person who is doing in MIT at least relate something he is doing in Electronics but others could not even imagine anything and hence the story around them he describes the love story and one of his friend loved a girl has become wife of professor later.
The professor told about the aerials as yagi array which the person doing in MIT relates with the theory whenever the signals are weak, if these arrays are turned towards the direction which may receives signals. At last they have seen some scenes in TV but again got a doubt how this TV receives signals from an American TV and hence on return to MIT, he clarified the doubt with his professor of MIT.
The professor of MIT explains as duct propagation under the ocean and waveguides may help the VHF signals to receive from very far apart even at a distance of more than 1000 kms and so he might have seen some south Asian television.
This story really explains the electronics curriculum in college but students really missed or forgotten after the curriculum is over and hence we are not focusing beyond the syllabus to invent something new.
The science described here, one may relates the early telecommunication channels used in India are Duct propagation only and also after the introduction of TV, many people had put a booster aerial in Tamil Nadu to receive Srilanka TV channel.
In a recent tamil film 'Thamilukku Enn 1 ai azhuthavum'(press 1 for Tamil), the Director shows a hero as a Science student who has not gone for any work but inventing or practicing many science in day to day and he has helped many students in their project like some chemicals he used may vanish the letters in a paper and again using another chemical, letter may seen etc. Even in bike, he has used the digital scrolling of number plate just like scrolling of boards used in transports to show that this hero is a different person utilizing the theory in reality. Also humourously his mother too very much in Physics that she explains to college students about electric wire crossing our building. One main project the director shown in this film is linking the cellular towers using landlines when all the towers are out and how this hero is doing that link by using already existing equipments. Though the theory in it may not be understood by all right now, in future there may be something invented by some and we may use it.
During 80s, when the curriculum has been introduced in college about Computers, it has a syllabus of Automata too and computer programming has been seen by people earlier than this Automata. This automata part is developed in other part of the globe and while developing they had a fear that Indians would develop before them as they thought that the language Sanskrit already has this technology of Automata because a Sanskrit scholar Panini in 600 BC itself has done research similar to this called Grammar Free Text(GFT) . But what happened? We are using this technology , developed by others. Yes, It is the technology widely used in World Wide Web with different names of networking like websites, blogging, twitter, facebook etc.,which is based on this Automata technique.
That is why I say we are only using the invention of others as we are not seeing or thinking beyond the syllabus.
More articles: Syllabus
Very impressive presentation from the author which implies the need for thinking beyond the subjects we need. The two stories were worth to understand and the writers are different among others. But our students are habituated to book knowledge and cannot explore further. Even in Engineering level the students want to chase a project in group and not in Individual capacity. That means Individual talent cannot be seen in many students. In fact our PM Modi is also stressing for skill, talent and growth from every Individual on own and not to depend on source or some mentors.