Value education

Professor K Mohammed writing in the in Dec has written very favorably for Value Education across the world. He quotes that the very purpose of : “Education is the creation of a sound mind in a sound body. It develops man’s faculty, especially his mind so that he may be able to enjoy the contemplation of supreme truth, goodness and beauty of which perfect happiness essentially consists”. – Aristotle.

The Prof goes on to say and I quote:

“It is very important to keep in mind that a balanced development of harmonious and integrated personality is impossible if the educational system does not inculcate proper values and morals. Not only in India but also world – wide arouse a cry for back to basic values and for nourishing human values and morality among the youth. Each and every one who is in the field of education should bear in the mind that human being is not a mere matter or material, but they are the only creature in this world having discriminative power to select their own life style. Thus they can be superior with upright morals and characters by doing great and merciful deeds. Otherwise they will be inferior to the cattle and more harmful than the wild animals by doing mischievous deeds. The Holy Quran says “They have hearts wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they see not, and ears wherewith they hear not. They are like cattle, – nay more misguided (than the cattle) : for they are heedless (7:179).  If we are looking into the Holy books of various religions we can see that all the religions are arguing for development of values. India is the country where 99% of people are believers and having a heritage of high values. All the education commissions and educationists in India and all over the world are arguing for value education. Thus the system of higher education must be changed into value based education. We can work together for that and buildup a more strong nation.”

There is no question that the teaching of moral and good social and historical cultural values, which show our diversity, while building our common bonds into a human destiny; is sadly lacking, in our modern education system. There is more emphasis on basic math and science and not enough on moral education, or history and the arts. We need to teach our succeeding generations; on how to become better social animals, who take care of our environment and ourselves with a higher purpose. A common core of meditation and study of holy passages should be introduced; as designed by Prof Eknath Easwaran at the University of CA, would be one of the many options. A mandatory course on cultural study of the common values of humanity; and what makes us more loving, compassionate and ready to work with each other as equals, is essential for the development of our young ones.

The Value Education curriculum could be cloned into all divisional locations, in all States of India. The High Schools and Colleges and Universities already exist, and it is only a matter of introducing the Subject, on the Core curriculum of the student skills. This can easily be done through digital and electronic means, minimizing the costs of instruction and need for instructors to travel extensively. After doing introductory sessions for a week; they can work remotely with the students, through smart phones or computers. It will be possible to educate millions in this way as digitization and mass reproduction of high quality sound and video are now easily available; and can be as easily distributed via the internet, or even physically as recorded course materials.

Passages will be chosen from across all religions, and from some of the most saintly and compassionate personalities; who have come before us. They have experienced what it is to have a higher calling, and have said it best. A secular education that praises all higher human endeavors, is needed.

Any secular modern education system that is not based on creating the right values; is a waste, as it will take us further away from nature, and our basic good instincts. As evolving creatures we need to strive for the highest goals, and study is the first step to practice. As we spread awareness and show the next generations the advantages of meditation and high moral values; we can hope finally for a better tomorrow, with less human strife and more human compassion.

Our journey is just a blip on the evolutionary scale of this universe; and we have to teach our children not to destroy the earth and each other, but instead find the way to live in harmony with Mother Nature and to prosper together. We have the whole universe out there to welcome us; if we can only get our minds to rise to the occasion, through the adoption of a better Value Education. Our evolutionary legacy must be to teach our children to lead a life of purpose, in support of humanity’s highest vales.

Opportunities in Renewable energy

According to the IEA as per “Renewable use in electricity generation is on the rise and will account for almost half the global increase in generation by 2040, according to the report. It said about 7,200 gigawatts of generating capacity needs to be built in that period to keep pace with rising demand and replace aging power stations.

The share of renewables in power generation will rise to 37 percent in countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to the IEA.

It said that globally, wind power will take more than a third of the growth in clean power; hydropower accounts for about 30 percent, and solar 18 percent. Wind may produce 20 percent of European electricity by 2040, and solar power could take 37 percent of summer peak demand in Japan, it said.”

The leaders in the energy field have to be thinking about generating 1,000s of gigawatts of renewable energy from wind, hydro, solar, biogas, in the coming decades as per the report. We have to wean ourselves away from fossil fuels and reduce the greenhouse gasses effect on climate change. If temperatures continue to rise along with smog (as evident in China today) from the increased use of fossil fuels, we could be looking at a dangerous future for our coming generations. The quicker we change to renewal energy the better for our planet and our environment. A 3.5 degree rise in temperature may not sound like much, but it could cause havoc in storms; and cause instability in nature as a warming trend takes place. This will have unintended consequences of widespread floods or droughts, as weather patterns will be effected around the world.

These dire consequences need to be avoided, and it will help to create millions of jobs for people. Firstly will be the labor required to install efficient renewal forms of energy at an unprecedented scale. Secondly will be all the services, industry and entertainment that will spring up; to meet the needs of the billions of consumers. In an internet of everything world, energy is the bloodline; that unites it all. Have we finally found, the one ring to bind us all; in a world wide web of astral identities, and characters, on this stage of our digital world?

Not only will modern cities be more conscious of renewals; and their environment footprints, but will recycle and become more self-sufficient in their energy and water needs. Urban designs need to change to denser models; where basic amenities can be provided, on a grand scale, to the poorest of the poor. Energy efficiency, its production and storage will become the hallmark of any great city, and the ones naturally proficient will benefit more.

While building the infrastructure for renewals, we will in parallel have to build the distribution system; that will become the arteries of light, in a planned human development. There industries and social services will be delivered to the masses in a new digital world powered by this new source of energy. The elite of course will enjoy the benefits of this energy boost, by grabbing more power, as they have the capital to invest in this new world and technology.

All this must be done while preserving the current state of nature and the environment. Development for humans must not come at the cost of a single other species, as we cannot become the arbitrators; of evolution. We have to coexist with our environment, or will pay the heavy price; of our survival itself. Natural environments and laws can be measured, and we can use this renewal energy; to right the numerous wrongs, we have done to our environments already.

By 2040 a lot of us may be dead, if our environment continues to be neglected, and what kind of earth will we leave behind for our inheritors? I leave you with the somber fact that the:” Earth is also on target for its hottest year ever recorded, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as well as reaching the highest level of atmospheric carbon dioxide in at least 800,000 years.” We need to fight this on a war footing, and not wait; to become victims of our own evolution.

Solar energy by 2050

The IEA expects global solar power” with the highest clean-energy deployment, to reach 4,600 gigawatts of photovoltaic capacity in 2050 from about 150 gigawatts now. That would involve annual investments more than doubling to an average of US$225-billion.

For concentrating solar, which involves mirrors that heat steam to generate electricity (shown above), the agency reiterated its vision for about 1,000 gigawatts by 2050 from about 4 gigawatts now. It sees both technologies as complementary.

This explosive growth in solar installations will be driven by further price drops. The cost of electricity from photovoltaic projects will fall by an average 25 percent by 2020, 45 percent by 2030 and 65 percent by 2050, the IEA said. This implies a levelized cost of power of as little as $56 a megawatt-hour for large plants and $78 on rooftops.” (as per Bloomberg)

Hopefully India will revamp its babu’s and legal systems; as without it, progress will be very limited. To become a global solar producer, India needs an appropriate regulatory frameworks; with well-designed electricity markets, away from the current inefficient State electricity boards, to a modern National grid. Huge investments from disinvestments, in other sectors, will be critical to achieve this potential; and global scale projects, will be required to make it happen from an already strapped Finance Ministry.

Energy security should be at the top of any future India development list; along with education, healthcare and the reduction of inequality and poverty. It should be pursued aggresively; as we have the technology, and the extreme need, of an energy starved billion people. Renewal energy independence is the need of the hour; and solar is one of the pillars of this foundation, along with hydro, nuclear, wind, biogas.