Role of interdisciplinary approach stressed

Prof A M Pathan supports imparting basics of earth science at school level

In his address at the valedictory of two-day National seminar on ‘Recent Advances in Mineral Sciences and Their Applications’ here, he said the earth science was a growing branch of knowledge and needed strengthening with basic research.

The basic research would require inter-linking of the subject of earth sciences with other branches of basic science.

“We must build minds that are able to appreciate their subject in all its inter and multi-disciplinary components rather than treating it as a narrow sub-specialty built on applied technological and computer operations,” he added.

He said the study of mineralogy played a vital role in human welfare, underpinning metalliferous mining, exploitation of industrial minerals, petroleum exploration and extraction, waste disposal, the remediation of pollution and soil science.

“It is unfortunate that majority of earth science departments in universities across the country, importance is not given to field-oriented programmes as most of younger generations are more interested in lab-oriented programmes working with computers.

“It is difficult to generated data related to field relations of host rocks of mineral deposits without carrying out geological mapping, collection of rock and ore and samples.

This holds the danger of relegating a subject of basic science to a subject involved with only tools and techniques. Such a step would not only impoverish the subject but would also limit its applications and implications in the long run,” he opined.

He said the trend would afflict not only earth sciences but all basic sciences. There was a need for immediate corrective steps to rejuvenate science research and building a scientific temper among young scientists.

Though, the universities had been converted to mass producers of certificates, the outcome is still far from satisfactory. These issues and concerns force us to take a close and critical look as far as earth science is concerned.

As a subject of that deals with the earth in all its complexity and basic nature, it has to be made a distinct and compulsory part of basic science education at both the school and college level.

This would entail the present trend of generalising all sciences - be it physical, chemical, biological of earth science, he said.

“We should look back at the long road that we travelled as researchers, teachers, students and scientists and contemplate what is best for the subject so that we rededicate with renewed vigour to recreate and rediscover its basics and content so that there is a quality output,” he added.

Prof C Srinkatappa, Prof S Govindaiah, A K Rai, Regional Director, AMD, Bangalore, Prof C Naganna, Prof K Byrappa, Prof Basavalingu and others were present.

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