MILLENNIUM LECTURE BY PROF S GOWRI, VICE CHANCELLOR, UNIVERSITY OF MADRAS
CHENNAI: JUNE 21, 2022
“The online medium is here to stay, and it is pedagogy that makes a difference in the education system,” said Prof S Gowri Vice Chancellor, University of Madras, while speaking on ‘The Role of Online Media in Science Education and Development’ as part of the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) Millennium Lecture Series on June 21, 2022. “Science is at the heart of all our training and education, and scientific institutions such as MSSRF remind us of this time and again,” he said. Emphasising on “connecting” rather than the “connection”, he iterated the importance of teachers engaging with the subject and communicating the same using interactive methods.
Prof Gowri said that education was affected very much during the COVID19 lockdowns, and it was the online platforms that rescued education. He also made clear that online education augments classroom education, and adding that “Google cannot replace Gurus.” He spoke of the MOOC courses being organised by University of Madras, as well as the 24-hour TV channels that broadcast free classes across a range of subjects, and the University’s efforts to make online education of high quality and more accessible across the country.
Dr Madhura Swaminathan, Chairperson MSSRF, highlighted the long-standing association of the Foundation with University of Madras. She recalled that MSSRF has been recognised as a research centre by University of Madras (UoM) since 1995, and that nine faculty are UoM recognised PhD guides. “Our PhDs cover the fields of biodiversity, biotechnology, biodiversity conservation, and economics, and so far, 70 students have been awarded their PhD degrees from MSSRF,” she stated. “This has resulted, we have more than 280 publications by MSSRF scholars registered with University of Madras.”
Dr G N Hariharan, Executive Director MSSRF, spoke on how ‘Millennium Lecture Series’ is a renowned talk series organised by MSSRF, which brings eminent speakers from all over the world to deliver lectures covering a wide range of topics relevant to science for sustainable development.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.