Two things happen with perennial certainty each year in our country. It’s that time of the year again when countless students wait with bated breath for the much anticipated high school and twelfth board results to-be-announced. And it’s that time when meteorologists get busy predicting the advent of the south west monsoons spelling relief from a sultry summer. Both these phenomenon bespeak of new beginnings in terms of growth for the country.
A total of 14,29,478 students appeared for the Maharashtra Board class XII examinations of 2017. Of these 12,79,406 cleared this basic examination that sends them onward ahead for further studies in areas of their choice. Matriculates is the revered term used to refer to these final year high school students who are now ready to blaze forth in the new found world of higher learning.
Passing the matriculation examinations opens the portals to an academic world – Pure Sciences, Humanities, Commerce, Medicine, Engineering, and Computer Sciences and so on. The avenues are open-ended and really endless in today’s modern world. Matriculation is the formal process that allows one to enter a university with students getting enrolled in different fields of study. This rite of passage then sees the careful nurturance and paving of way for the development of human resources for the country at large. Education clearly plays a crucial role in creating the scientific temper of our land.
Scientific temper is a way of life and this is the time when the growing educated population is getting groomed for the social processes, to think and act with conviction, courage and knowledge. Scientific temper may also be described as an attitude which involves the application of reasoning, logic and good sense. Herein are sown the seeds of fairness, equality and democracy.
It was Jawaharlal Nehru who first used the phrase in 1946 in this sense. He goes on to give a detailed explanation in his famous book ‘Discovery of India”: “What is needed is the scientific approach, the adventurous and yet critical temper of science, the search for truth and new knowledge, the refusal to accept anything without testing and trial, the capacity to change previous conclusions in the face of new evidence, the reliance on observed fact and not on pre-conceived theory, the hard discipline of the mind—all this is necessary, not merely for the application of science but for life itself and the solution of its many problems.”
And so, just as we implant knowledge in the young minds of our pubescent citizenry, it is also the time to sow the seeds in the ground for them to grow, flourish, and bear fruit. Monsoons are a boon for this, our land of tillers and the very foundation of our economy, contrary to what one may imagine. Our food security really rests on the monsoons. The Indian monsoon is the most prominent of the world’s monsoon systems, and one on which is based the entire agricultural economy of the country.
Because the land and its cultivation depend entirely on monsoon rains it becomes absolutely necessary to invest in quantitative long-range weather forecasts. It’s an area of operations that we still need to perfect. We need to be on top of the situation and move on from fathoming predictions through clues that appear prior to the months leading up to the big rains. We need to have a weather perfect forecast that ought to be released to the farmers. Forecasts need to be clearly refined so that agriculturists can positively correlate them for cultivation.
Truly, this last day of May 2017 has us believing that June is the month for new beginnings for us in India. The billowing clouds and stirring wind speeds already give indications of the onset of the great monsoons. Smiling graduating matriculates splashed on newspapers augur the scientific temper Nehru bespoke, long years back. We stand on the verge of an academic universe of our making and an agricultural revival that will spell rural development.
“Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark”- Rabindranath Tagore