Third Edition of Production of Knowledgein the Natural and Social Sciences
Co-Hosted by Centre for Contemporary Studies, IISc, Bangalore & Centre for the Study of Culture and Society,
Session 5:'New' Knowledge and 'New' India: Lessons from the Colonial Past
by Prof. Deepak Kumar
Professor, History of Science and Education, Zakir Husain Centre for
Educational Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Abstract: The onset of the 21st century was treated with a great deal of
media hype and forecasts as a century of knowledge and incredible
developments. As we move to the close of the first decade of the new
century, the hype refuses to die down. Claims about knowledge-society and
knowledge-economy (even in the midst of an apparent economic melt-down)
continue to pour in as if the earlier societies or economies were not shaped
or influenced by knowledge. Perhaps every age is an age ofknowledge and
change. How did the Indians feel when they entered the twentieth century?
How did they look at the then existing techno-scientific knowledge?How
different was it going to be from the past?The beginnings saw the apogee of
the Empire but things were to change soon.What was their vision of 'new'
India? How was 'new' knowledge perceived?What new strategies were thought
of? On the new agenda figured technical education, scientific research,
medical intervention, agricultural experiments, institutional dissemination
of knowledge.Differences of opinion and controversies dogged the discourse
all the time.The lecture will discuss not only the contours of the
'development discourse' but also the views that still lay on the margins.
Deepak Kumar. Science and the Raj: A Study of British India. Oxford
University Press, 2006.
Benjamin Zachariah.Developing India: an intellectual and social history, c.
1930-50. OUP, 2005.
Day, Date & Time: Saturday, 11th September,2010, 2:00 p.m.
Venue: CCS Seminar Hall, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012