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3 1.1 Introduction
3 1.2 Science and Society Interaction
Science Influences Entire Social Edifice
Society lnfluences Scientific Development
3 1.3 Need for a Systems Approach
Primacy of Social Objectives
Evolution of Science and Some Social Ideas
31.4 Relevance of Past to Present
Science and the Creation of New Vision
3 1.5 New Perceptions and Aspirations
31.6 Summary
3 1.7 Terminal Questions
3 1.8 Answers

You have studied how science and technology have always been an integral part of
human endeavour. By now, you are also aware of the immense potential of science and
technology in mobilising resources for producing food for all, eradicating disease,
providing better materials and processes for improving the quality of life. In thls unit, we
will have an overview of the science-society interaction and stress on the need for a
systems approach. The orientation, which science and technology take, is determined by
a number of factors includmg social factors: Science and Technology can be used for
human welfare as well as to create instruments of coercion and mass destruction. We will
dscuss the perceptions and aspirations humankind has today, in thls broad framework. In
the next unit, we will discuss how science and technology can be used for all round
development and for self-reliance.

After studying thls unit you would be able to:
recognise that science influences the entire social edifice and in turn scientific
development should be influenced by social needs and perceptions,
realise the need for a systems approach in overall planning, in which social
objectives must be the primary concern and
' appreciate the aspirations of hunlankind in a situation where science and technology
can be used for human welfare or for creating instruments of coercion and mass

We are nearing the end of the Foundation Course on Science and Technology. It is time
to surn up and get an overview of the relationship between human society and its
endeavour which is called science and technology.

On the basis of the units you have studied so far, it would be obvious to you that science
and technology are an integral part of human activity and society; they were, indeed,
founded when the first human beings acted to procure food or shelter. They have grown
into a magmficent body of tested knowledge, and t h s knowledge is growing continually.
Science and technology influence society by improving the methods of production and
by bringing a change in social outlook. In its tun,conditions prevailing in a society
New Perspectives affect the path and the rate of growth of science and technology. Let us hrther discuss
these two aspects.

31.2.1 Science Influences Entire Social Edifice

Science and technology are involved in all the processes of production, and, therefore,
with all the goods we have at our disposal. The pen you write with, the paper you write
on, the food you eat, the clothes you wear, the medicine you take, are a few examples. To
produce these articles, work is done at home or in factories, or in the fields and forests.
Since millions of goods are needed to sustain society, production has become a highly
organised activity. You have seen in Block 1 and 2, dealing with the History of Science,
how different kinds of social organisations arose as the methods and means of production
changed in a society. For example, when inhviduals could not sunlive due to difficulty
in procuring food and facing wild animals, they had to live in groups, Since they had no
way of preserving food, they had to share equitably whatever was gathered by way of
food. This "primitive" society changed when agriculture was discovered. 'This step by
step process has been traced in the earlier blocks, right up to the present times, when
robotic production and biotechnology are indicating the path which a future society
might take.

The great variety of goods produced through industry or agriculture has to rcach buyers
or consumers. For that, trade and commerce and a system of transpcrt are necessary,
which science and technology have provided. You know of the discovery of the wheel,
which made animal drawn carts possible in the olden days. Nowadays, we have jet
aircraft travelling faster than sound, and huge ships transporting grain, oil or machines
from one country to another. From inter-tribal exchange of goods, we have come to have
international trade. In a sense, the world has shrunk. Once upon a time, 500 km was "too
far" and one could not contemplate such a journey, then perhaps 2000 km was too far,
because the earth was thought to be flat and you could just drop off the edge, and now
one can go from Delhi to London by regular airlines in eight hours!

The great production system, supported by an equally great and intricate trade and
transport system, has brought people and countries into greater interaction. Therefore, a
system of communication has had to be developed using science and technology. Here
again, tlungs have changed from shouting to one another, or signalling with arms or
lighting fires, to communicating by telephone, radio or computer. Our entue "cultural?'
life has thus been altered, or enriched, by modern means of communication. When
decisions are to be made, information is needed, and that is now increasingly stored by
computers and retrieved as required.

Wlth change in the means of production, social organisations have also changed.
Problems of managing large societies have continuously been tackled by evolving newe
meihods and patterns of governance. Thus, society has evolved from the early stages of
primitive community living to slave societies, kingdoms, republics, capitalism. and

Science and technology have played a vital role in the transformation of human society.
They have allowed us to use the resources of the earth, the oceans and the air, and to
l m e s s the energy which makes the wheels of production or of transport to move, and
communication to take place.

We also need education and Waning for the people to man the vast network of
production, distribution, coinmunication and administration. Therefore, there is the need
to continuously advance knowledge and to improve all products and systems for the
benefit of humankind. Men and women of ldeas are needed, whom an educational system
suited to a particular society could help to train. Such an education system itself would be
based on science and technology. For*instance, printing presses to produce books,
factories to produce paper, audio-visual aids. all kinds of apparatus needed for
laboratories are products of science and technology. In addition, science and technology
would also influence the ideas, philosophy and attitudes prevailing in our times.
Perception- and \sprr::tic>ns
Society Influences Scientific Development
But just as science and technology provide all thc "nuts and bolts", as well as many of
the ideas that hold our society together, society itself provides the environment and
atmosphere for science and technology to either grow fast, or stagnate or even decay!
Science and technology do not exist independent of the society, its culture and the value
system. They are a part of the socio-economic and political framework of a given society.

Motivation for the practical application of science and, hence, its growth and use comes
from the economic needs of the society. The economic planning and policy of a society
tletermine its social programmes and the purposes and goals of society's production
activity, which in turn provides the incentive for scientific growth. However, answers to
questions like what kind of economic policy will be pursued, whether the social
programmes will be implemented, and to what extent, depends on the political and social
organisation of a society. Thus, science and technology can be more directly influenfed
by the general policies and social structure of a society.

For example, when economic growth is purely determined by market demands, artificial
demands for goods are created by advertising, even though there is no pressing need for
them Ideas -f people are sought to be moulded by propaganda carried on by raQo or
television or even by education. The competition to produce more goods, increase profits
or the desire to provide fancy goods to an influential section of a population results in
one kind of development of science and technology. On the other hand, if a society
desires and plans to improve rural Me or give priority to public health or provide a
certain level of nutrition to all citizens, the tasks and consequent development of science
and technology should follow a different path.

Still another example is. the question of spending money on weapon of offence or defence
that naturally affects science and technology. It is known that the world today is annually
spending Rs. 15 lakh crores (15x 10" rupees) on weapons and their development. This
not only takes away money needed to feed, clothe or provide health and shelter to people,
but it also prevents the development of science and technology for constructive purposes.


Discuss briefly how developments in the following areas have affected the living styles
of people Write your answers in the given space.

i) Transport

ii) Commu~iication
1 ...
ui) Education

I ................................................................................................
I ................................................................................................

t We can conclude that science and technology are part and parcel of a larger social
i system, whose other components are industry, agriculture, trade, distribution of goods,
1 communication, education, government and admixistration etc. As human beings
interestzd in human welfare. if we wish the greatest hwnan assets-science, technology.
education and culture to flourish and advance, we shall have to adopt an "over all' or a
systems approach.
Ncw Pcrspeetives
Science and technology cannot be advanced by viewing them in isolation. The whole
social, economic and political system will have to work in unison so that all round
advancement can take place.

31.3.1 Primacy of Social Objectives

Furthermore, we see that every thng has two sides -the good and the bad. Science and
technology can benefit people; we can protect our environment, make good use of earth's
resources, provide enough food for all, and cure diseases. On the other hand, one could
develop weapons of mass destruction; in fact, the world arsenal of nuclear weapons is so
large that just 1% of it, used deliberately, or by some error, can destroy all life on earth.
The choice is to be made by human berngs constituting socrety.

Society can be so organised as to maximise profits or to rnaximise human welfare.

Society may put emphasis on "economic growth which may make the rich richer and
the poor poorer; or it may choose to combine growth with egalitarian distribution of
benefits. Society may emphasise industrialisation, irrespective of what impact it has on
human environment or the finite resources of the earth. as has been happening in some
countries ever since the Industrial Revolution in the middle of the 18" century. Or society
may choose such technologies or such industries as tend to preserve our resources and
living environment.

It is obvious, that first of all, any country, such as Inha, must clearly spell out a
consistent set of social objectives that it wants to achieve. Then, the tasks can be set for
various sectors, such as industry, agnculture, transport, communication, health and
education etc. The science and technology either available or to be developed can then be
visualised. Planning and gradual achevement of targets are necessary to get to the
desired goals.

Healthy social hnking which reflects one's concern for others, and a responsible social
action stemming from that are needed. And if this Foundation Course in Science and
Technology has helped to generate such ideas, it has served a truly educational purpose.

With this overview, you would be able to read the following short description c t
scientific and social evolution of our institutions. What you have studied in carlier blocks
has in a sense, been summarised and brought to a focus in what is presented below.

31.3.2 Evolution of Science and Some Social Ideas

In antiquity, when human beings picked up a stone, p d thre-&it at another animal, either
to kill it or to save themselves, the first step in the e;olution of science was taken. With
the increasing use of discovery and invention, their pattern of development became
markedly different from that of other animals, zind a complex set of social institutions
grew around them. Thls also posed before them two sets of problems, which beset them
even today:

control of the material world, and

control of human beings.

Control of the Material World

Human culture has evolved through a number of important steps: from use of stone
implements to use of copper (c. 5000 BC) to the invention of wheel (c. 3500 BC) to use
of iron (c. 1500-1000 BC), and to more recent developments in the use of various metals.
On the energy front, fire was discovered long ago. ~rahtionally'powerhas been supplied
by human and animal muscles, wind and flowing water. Use of steam in the 1 8 century
Perceptions and Aspirations
ushered in the industrial revolution. Now of course, other sources of power such as
nuclear fission have become available.

The experience gained in deahng with the world of materials resulted in creation of
knowledge, which when abstracted and systematised became science; and when applied
to develop new articles and the processes of making them, became technology.

Control of Human Beings

The art of acquiring knowledge, and using it for malung the articles needed brought
different people together in a common endeavour. With increasing complexity of jobs to
be performed, the problem of initiating and directing people to perform the jobs came to
be of critical sigruficance. The task was divided into two broad areas; actually doing the
work, and directing it. Consequently, people were also divided in two categories, those
who did the work and those who directed them. With the advent of agriculture, it became
possible for human beings to produce more than their need, and, thus, it became possible
for some to live without actually doing any work. The invention of writing, further
strengthened the division. Those who directed others to do the work became guardians of
knowledge. As tlus &vision hardened, the question of malung people do things which
were required to be done, became more and more imponant. Techniques had to be
developed to make people acquiesce into the scheme of things organised by the guardians
of knowledge, who lived on the surplus produced by those who laboured, without doing
the work themselves.

Looking back at the evolution of human society, it appears that three approaches to
control human beings have been followed:

obtaining voluntary co-operation

through dsciplining, such a s ~ the
n army, and
by instilling fear.

The use of a part~culartechnique depends upon the type of society. To organise an

equitable and just society, the techmque of voluntary co-operation was adequate. This
technique meant an understanding, on the part of citizens, of the issues involved, and
dissemination of the existing knowledge. In the past it was, sometimes, done by religious
leaders and later by political parties. In societies in which a few lived at the expense of
others, cornering all the gains to themselves, the other two techniques were used. To
increase the efficacy of these techniques, a number of stratagem were employed. Severe
punishment was prescribed for breaking the prescribed rules; fatalism was encouraged;
rewards were promised in the after-world, that is after death; and myths were created to
justify and perpetuate superiority of a small segment over the vast majority.

The problem of controlling people created a dual vision: of an equitable and just society
as preached by religious prophets, social reformers and political thinkers, and of
unlimited control of a few men over a large number, to make them obey their command
and do things at their bidding. In tlus process, it may appear ironical that the control of
material resources (which created the basis for bringing people together) became
secondary to control over people. The more was the society patterned and command, the
greater became the use of materials to control them through propaganda mach~neryand
weapons of coercion and war. However, control of human beings has been found to be
far more difficult than the control of materials of all kinds.

Fill in the blanks in the following, using appropriate words:

i) A ........................ approach is needed if we wish science and teclmology to be

used for . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
New Perspectives ii) Systematised howledge about the material world became .........................:.;
This when applied to develop new materials or processes became
iii) While control over material world has opened immense .............................
for human welfare, control over human beings has resulted in .;. ....................


One may question the relevance of all this to contemporaq society. Why should one be
concerned at all with what has gone before? Is it not better that attention be directed to
the problems of the present rather than go back into history?

Our contention is that, though the scale of the present day problems is different, they,
nevertheless, are in essence a continuation of the age old dilemma of the control of
human beings. Should it be done through voluntary effort, by creating an understandmg
of the problems and in the light of existing knowledge, by motivating people towards a
common cherished goal and to arrive at decisions by participation of the people? Or,
should men and societies be controlled for the benefit of a few, maintaining a high level
of ignorance and fear? The shape of the future society would depend on the decisions
which are taken now.

It is a fact of history that the crisis of each of the earlier societies led to their total
disruption. An unjust society, maintaining inequality, cannot last .long. Thg wasteful use
of paterials creates an economic crisis whch cannot be overcome without reforming the
society. Each reform or re-arrangement of society created the hope'and vision of a just
society, soon to turn sour, leading again to a new unjust society based on inequality.

Many countries of the world, today, are passing through one or the other stage of a crisis.

Before a closer look is taken at the present crisis, it may be worthwhile looking at how
some of the features of the present so

31.4.1 Science and the Creation of New Vision

Rapid development of science in E
material world bcgan to be clearly
human intellect. And it generated
in order to solve problems and improve conditions of living for all. It created the
possibilities of a new prosperity and brotherhood of men. The development of
technology generated new resources, particularly in terms of steam and electric power !
and it provided to people, materials and products htherto outside their reach. Each new
step, each new success, created new aspirations and hopes, and generated the feeling that
a world-wide fair and just society, bestowing dignity to man, would be created.
In the process, results were acheved and s&ling new opportunities were created, but
soon the vision and hopes turned sour. The capabilities generated by the growth of
science and technology started being misused for the purpose of exploitation of human
beings and whole societies, and for the purpose of conquest and destruction. The
beneficial uses which should have been shared by the people at all levels of society were
limited to, and served, only a small group of people and a few countries. For example,
: inequality among people continued unabated in 'England, the exploitation of the I n b
resources and dumping of British goods in India created greater poverty here and ruined
Indian handicrafts and industries. Freedom of the Indian people was trampled upon.
Numerous wars were fought for the possession of colonies, and this became more and
more destructive because of advances in technology of weapons.

In the last five decades, many countries have thrown off the colonial yoke. However,
since they still depend on the developed countries for scientific and technical know-how,
Perceptions and AsPhdons
dley are now able to make their choices about the way they want to develop. A growing
realisation of this situation has emerged among the people of these countries.

These developments and disappointments with the social outcomes of scientific advances
have served to awaken scientists to a new dimension of problems which had been glossed
over so far. It is instructive for us to have a glimpse of what new perceptions are arising.

Contmy to the belief held until a few decades ago, that man, society and environment
have infinite capacity to absorb technology, it has been found that serious damage is
being caused to all three. Therefore, alternatives are being thought of.

lathe last few hundred years, greater emphasis has been laid on the rights, privileges,
intellectual growth .and the like of the individual. At the same time, technological
innovations have been aimed at meeting individual requirements, in fact, even individual
fads and fancies. All kinds of goods, whether they are clothing or fashion items, or food
and smoke or even entertainment are designed, with numerous alternatives for each, and
advertising is done for promotion of their sale. It has come to be realised that in doing so,
a heavy cost has been paid in terms of wasteful utilisation of scarce resources,
consumption of energy and other problems connected with urbanisation. Let us take the
example of making motor cars each one more beautiful, bigger and shinier than the other.
It involves spendlng a great deal of petrol for the need of one person. Besides, roads are
being choked with M i c , and the environment is being loaded with fumes, while most
people travel in crowded buses with great discomfort. It is being felt that to fully utilise
production cagcities and to avoid wasteful consumption and other problems, individual
options have to be limited and social solutions have to be found and promoted.

There was a time when scientists pressed unconditionally for more money to be spent on
scientific research. But in this case also, the situation is changing. Huge amounts are
being spent on research; either on weapons. like more powerful bombs or on systems of
delivering them by planes, rockets and missiles. Large scale research in being done to
instal powerful lasers in satellites etc. It is being increasingly felt that t h ~ kind
s of
research and the use to which it is put only threatens humanity, while not enough is being
done to eradicate diseases. Firstly, the opportunity was seized by some in advanced
,' countries to attack science itself, rather than its misuse. Science is portrayed as if by
nature it is a disrupter of human values and societies and an instrument of exploitation.
1 The other trend is to assess technological solutions in terms of their human, social and
environmental consequences, and to subject the choice and application Of technology to
such a total assessment.
1 One can say that these developments mark the end of the euphoria towards science and
technology and the emergence of more sober and mature views on technological
developments and their applications.
In the era when technology was considered an unmixed blessing, it was )$Aiqyed that
technological developments had an inevitable direction, starting from &'simplest to the
most complicated. For instance, the historical development of the produqion of energy
was considered to'be "progress" from the use of wood to nuclear energy, through various
inevitable intermediate stages. However the energy crisis and the health.&d
environmental hazards related to big industries pulping pollution &to the air, rivers and
the sea, and rapid consumption of finite resources of the earth, such as coal, wood, oil
i etc. have dlrected attention to the non-conventional sources of energy, which used to be
utilised extensively prior to Industrial Revolution. There is a realisation that it is no
longer possible to continue to use resources indiscriminately, on the scale at which they
have been used so far. This has dlrected attention to the use of raw materials and
generation of energy from renewable sources, such as wind, water, biogas, sunlight etc.
1 In terms of scientific research, this has given great significance to research in new firlds,
I m order to develop new technologies.
New Perspeciivea Such perceptions about science, techno1,ogy and society have found reflection in the
growing aspirations of the peoples of the developing world. The developing countries
have in the recent years tried to bridge their social barriers to establish relationships
which help them in breaking the vicious circle of under-development. Their peoples have
raised demands for self-reliant growth and a certain minimum quality of life for all
sections of the population. Realisation has also grown that science and technology can
be harnessed to meet social goals.

Write in the space given, at least two ways in which communication media can be used
i) Social good

ii) To serve the interests of a few

In this unit, you have had an over-view of science and society interaction. You have
learnt that science influences the entire social edifice, the matenal as well as
ideological, and in t m science itself is influenced by the society and its objectives.
Before any project is taken up, its positive as well as negative aspects, the effect it
will have on human beings and environment must be properly evaluated. "Social
good" must have primacy in the overall planning and the use to whch science and
technology is put. With the immense potential of science and technology to better
the quality of life for all, or to generate weapons of mass destruction, the choice
before mankind has become imperative. New perceptions and aspirations have
arisen in a changed world situation.



1) In a total systems approach, what are the various factors which should be kept in
mind while planning a large dam or a thermal power station?

2) What do you think are our social objectives in India? List at least three areas in
which science and technology can help us in acheving them.

3) Comment on the statement, "The immense potential of science and technology has
set humankind rethinlung about its use."
Perceptions and Aspirations
Self Assessment Questions

1) i) Transport: with the development of transport, goods produced in the industry

can reach the people. Transportation has helped in the establishment of national
and international trade. With the help of various means of transport, people can
cover the distance of hundreds of kilometres in just few hours.

ii) Communication: with the advancement in commurucation, people can see what
is happening elsewhere in the country or the world, and talk to each other
though separated by large distances. Further, radio and television has also
brought cultural harmony amongst people.

iii) Education: education is the primary requirement for people to understand the
developments in science and technology. With the help of education, they are
able to make full use of the various resources.

2) i) Systems, human welfare

ii) Science, technology
iii) Possibilities, social

3) i) Social good-awareness of hygienic conditions, diseases etc. amongst people.

To tell people about their rights, privileges and responsibilities.
ii) To serve the interest of a few - advertisement about variety of T.V. sets,
telephones, cars etc.
Advertisementsabout new fashions in clothes.

Terminal Questions

1) Factors ta be kept in mlnd:

a) Total capacity of the dam, thermal power and how inany people will be
benefited by it.
b) Situation, i.e. whether it is away from the clty or not.
c) What effect will it have on the environment of that area.
d) How many people will be displaced.
2) a) Increasing industrial production
b) Growth in agriculture
c) Egalitarian distribution of benefits
d) Science for human welfare
(Elaborate these points, i.e. how science and technology help to achieve these
3) Science can be used for the welfare of human beings and also for the destruction of
humankind. It is up to an indvidual person, community or country, how to make
use of sciencc.
New Perspectives

32.1 Introduction
32.2 Quest of Prosperity For All
Technology as a Tool of Domination
32.3 Ncw International Economic Order
32.4 Exploded Myths
32.5 Self-reliance
Science and Technology for National Development
32.6 Summary
32.7 Terminal Questions
32.8 Answers

In the previous unit you have learnt about the interaction between science and society.
You have also learnt that social objectives must be kept in mind while deciding what
onenlation science and technology should be given in a parhcular social context. In tlus
unit, we will see how, in an unequal world, science and technology have been used as
tools of domination, rather than as means of prosperity for all. From this situation his
arisen the call for a "New International Economic Order", an expression of the urge of
the peoples of developing world to share equitably natural resources and the knowledge,
which are the common human heritage. The countries who have thrown off the colarual
yoke are eager to use science and technology for the welfare of their vast masses. They
want to create indigenous infrastructure of science and technology which will enable
them to become self-reliant and take their own decisions, while participating in global


After studying this unit you should be able to:

realise that the natural resources as well as the fruits of science and technology are
not shared equitably between the developed and the developing countries,
appreciate the urge of the developing countries for a New International Economic
Order and
appreciate the aspirations of the developing countries to become self-reliant, which
can give them the freedom of choices and the freedom of action.


There is an all-round desire to create a society where every one can equally draw the
benefits of development and is provided a minimum decent standard of living. As we
have said earlier, science and technology by themselves do not ensure social jushce or
equity: these are goals of a society and a people, in the pursuit of which, science and
technology can be of great help. In In&& the Parliament passed a Scientific Policy
Resolution in 1958, which 1s said to have been drafted by our first Prime Minister.
Jawaharlal Nehru. This point was made in the document by saying that the very idea of a
welfare state (which became popular in many countries) is based upon the ability of
science and technology to help us produce enough of everything-food, medicine,
clothing, housing materials and so on, so as to be able to fulfil the needs of all.

Internationally, however, there is hardly any movement or desire to make the benefits of
science and technology available to all inhabita~tsof the world, cutting across national
and political boundaries. The world remarns divided. There are now two well-defined Science--The Road to Development
categories of nations: industrialised or developed countries; and others, optunistically
called "developing" countries (in place of the more blunt terms such as poor or semi-
industrialised or non-industrialised countries. The developing countries are also known as
Third World countries, although there is no "second world.)

The dispanties between the developed and the developing countries are tremendous, and
%byall accounts they are only increasing, because of the advanced level of science and
technology possessed by the developed countnes. There are many ways of expressing
these disparities. For example, three quarters of world's income, investment, services
and almost all research are in the hands of these developed countries, which represent
one quarter of world's people. Per capita grain consumption in the USA increased from
700 kg in 1965 to 900 kg in 1975- an Increase of200 kgper head- which is almost the
total per head consumption in Indiaper year. Similarly, energy consumption per head in
the United States is so high that if the whole world consumed at that rate, the planet's
non-renewable resources would be finished in a decade. The disparities were built
mainly in the colomal period, as explained earlier, but the advantage once gained has
been mcreased with the help of science and technology.

32.2.1 Technology as a Too1 of Domination

Production of knowledge and its dtssemination through books, journals, magazines etc. is
very largely in the hands of the developed countries. It is estimated that these cowtries
spend about 98% of all money that is spent on scientific and developmental research. In
the remaining 2%, all the more than 100 developing countries includmg our own, have a

We, in India, have hundreds of research laboratories, and we are proud of this- but when
we compare our effort with that of the developed countries, we realise our limitations.
Our expenditure m R&D is not as productive, because much of it goes into maintaining
personnel and laboratories. The equipment, which has to be largely bought from the
developed countries, is not the latest. Besides, our science and technology lacks the
linkage with the processes of production. The productive system in our society is still so
backward generally, that it does not make many demands on our indigenous R&D. At
the slightest necessity we import technology, machines or other equipment, at times even
when such needs can be met indigenously.

Furthermore, we are affected by the phenomenon of brain drain. It is estimated that close
to a rmllion scientists, technologists and medical persons from the developing countries
are living and working in the developed countries. The reasons are many. The
developed countries have more challenges and better opportunities to offer. There is lack
of demand on high quality sophisticated science and technology at home and, therefore,
employment oppomnities are scarce. This flow of trained human resources to the
deygfdped countries is of more value, even in monetary terms, than all the aid the
dkveloping countries receive from them.

It is not surprising then that all new inventions emanate from developed countries They
create technological wonders, and we have only to wonder! For everything we want to
do in an up-to-date manner- make special type of steel, of fertiliser, or aircraft - we have
to look for technology from the developed countries. If we produce goods with out-of-
date technology, we will not be able to sell them in a competitive market.

Much of the science and technology being developed in the advanced countries is in
areas whidh do not even exist In most of the developing countries. Even a country like
ours, which is bit forward, cannot take full advantage of the major developments in many
areas of science, either because of secrecy or because the techniques used are too
sophisticated. The developed countries spend billions of dollars per year on syntheucs,
plastics, fibres, glasses etc. In many cases, these products tend to displace the raw
matenals produced by the developing countries, such as rubber, cotton, tin. vegetable oil
I New Pempectives Furthermore; the technologies evolved in developed countries are capital intensive and
use much less labour. Thus, by importing such technologies, we end up spendmg more
capital, our labour force is under-utilised and the goods produced have a higher price so
they cannot sell in the international market. Thus, the superior quality of science and
technology in the advanced countries has a-nonetoo healthy effect on our own science
and technology. It also perpetuates our general backwardness, through the benefits do
accrue to a small privileged section of our population.

A significant change has taken place in the world. The collapse of the Soviet Union has
made the word unipolar, with USA as the solitary superpower. During the last few years,
India has been making cowerted efforts to liberalise its economy to integrate it with the
world economy at large, and to permit ever-increasing interplay of market forces.

In the changed circumstances, it would be necessary to strike a balance between purely

economic forces on the one hand and social forces on the other. It is imperative that all
obstacles in the path of rapid industrialisation and buil&ng of strong infrastmcture are
removed, that competitiveness,quality and profitability become the mantra of our
factories and production centres. At the same time, it is imperative that people and their
problems are not ignored, that long-standing problems pertaining to poverty and social
justice are solved quickly. h e key phrase of the new economic era should be production
of industrial wealth accompan~edby social justice.

Namc two instances where efforts are being made to develop iahstructure in India.


The developing countries mostly threw off the colonial yoke in the 1940s and 1950s, and
ever since they have been struggling to stand on their feet for the Iand of development
which would benefit their people. You would have realised that a crying need of our
times is development which would satisfy the national needs as well as the aspirations of
the common people of the developing countries. Right now, there exists a cumulative
backlog of poverty, ignorance, ill-health, unemployment and untold misery among vast
sections of populations in these countries. These problems are mounting day by day.
Lack of resource for all-round human development is known to be continuing cause of
explosive growth of population and environmental pressures. Many of the countries have
tried to reconstruct a society where satisfaction of the minimum needs of the entire.
population would be the first priority of development. But this development has mostly
eluded us.

We have not been able to make policy choices in keeping with our national needs and
aspirations. The strategic, industrial and commercial interests of the countries criss-cross
in %highly interdependent world of today. Experience has shown that the developing
countries are forced by circumstancesto do what suits the developed countries most. For
example, to defend ourselves, we have to buy modern weapons from the developed
countries, and replace them as new weapons are introduced by them; we buy modem
goods or import technologies from them to produce those goods.

This has given rise to discussions in the developing countries about adopting a totally
different path of development, i.e., a path of development which would not be an
imitation of the stages through which the developed countries h i e passed. The term Sciencb-The Road b Development
"alternative development strategies" is used for this purpose. We would not be copying
i any one, we would be findmg our own way of sati&ing the most urgent needs of our

I We would like to evolve a new economic and political system, which would combine
competition and enterprise with human welfare and planning. A strategy would have to
be developed in which the character, content, direction and pace of development would
be firmly under national control. The strategy would need to be followed by a plan to
rearrange production, to mobilise resources and allocate them to all relevant sectors.
1 Steps would have to be taken to generate and put to use appropriate science and
technology for national devcloprnent.

Internationally, such feelings were so strong that, in 1974, the United Nations passed a
resolution called the "New International Economic Order-Declaration and Programme of
. Action" We give you just a few lines from it, whlch reflect the conditions whch prevail.

Para 1 of this resolution say, "The greatest and the most significant acllievement during
the last decades has been the independence from colonial and alien domination of a large
number of peoples and nations which has enabled them to become members of the
community of free peoples. Technological progress has also been made in all spheres of
economic activities in the last three decades, thus providing a solid potential for
improving the well being of all peoples. However, the remaining vestiges of alien and
colonial domination, foreign occupation racial discrimination,apafheid, and neo-
colonialism in all its forms continue to be among the greatest obstacles to the full
emancipation and progress of the developing countries and all the people involved. The
benefits of technological progress are not shared equitably by all members of the
international community. The developing countries which constitute 70% of the world's
population, account for only 30% of the world's income. It has proved impossible to
achleve an even and balanced development of the international community under the
existing international order. The gap between the developed and the developing
countries continues to widen in a system which was established at a time when most of
the developing countries did not even exist as independent states and which perpetuates

Para 4 spells out the principles on which the New International Economic Order can be
based. To quote, " The new international economic order should be founded on full
respect for the following principles.. . full permanent sovereignty of every state on its
natural resources and all economic activities. In order to safeguard these resources, each
state is entitled to exercise effective control over them and their exploitation with means
suitable to its own situation including the right to nationalisation or transfer of ownership
to its nationals, this right being an expression of the full permanent sovereignw of the
state. No state may be subjected to economic, political or any other type of coercion to
prevent the free and full exercise of this inalienable right", and further

"Just and equitable relationship between tlic prices of raw materials, primary products,
manufactured and semi-manufacturedgoods exported by developing countries and the
prices of raw materials, primary commodities. manufactures, capital goods, and
equipment imported by them with the aim of bringng about sustaiiled improvement in
their unsatisfactory terms of trade and the expansion of the world economy."

Thls should given you an !Ldzaof the kind of situation which prevails in the world
economic relations, which is to the great disadvantage of countncs whose industry,
science, technology and social development should rcccive a boost now.


Experience has shown that some ideas which were popular soon after the Second world
war (1939-45) are not vahd in practice. It was thought that the highly industrialised
countries, or the developed countries, would serve as a "bank" from which capital, slulls,
New Perspectives technology and management could be transferred through "aid which could raise life to
a better quality in the developing countries. It was the general belief among scientists
that modem science and technology could flow freely to'our developing countries for the
benefit of our people. These ideas or premises have been found to be largely invalid.

As sumwised in an important international symposium, Pugwash on Self-reliance, "the

fact [is] that the [supposedly global] technological revolution has been conceived,
planned and executed so as to enable the attainment of the economic and security goals
of the highly industrialised countries; what IS more, ~thas also been contributing greatly
both to the unprecedented scarcities of basic resources and to serious maldistribution in
their use, with a steadily larger share being consumed by the industrialised nations".

In this connect~on,it would do us well to remember the fact that the key of human
progress is Knowledge. After we were able to win our freedom, the developed countries
were no more in a position to put any restriction on the spread of knowledge in our
countries. But they have played a part in maintaining a great difference in the level of
knowledge available to them and that available to us. You have read in Unit 28 about
patent laws which prevent us from making anything by a known process.

Even in science and technology, knowledge is restricted in its flow due to potential
application, which could lead to developing countries making new kinds of products.
There are trade secrets, as also government imposed restrictions on spreading knowledge
about fresh scientific and technological discoveries. In superconductivity, about which
you have read in Unit 30, for example, what is being freely published is just a fraction of
what is being discovered in the laboratories of the developed countries. So is the case
with biotechnology, lasers, nuclear science, electronics and many emerging areas. They
don't want us to be able to convert,some of the ideas into products, which may find
markets in their countries, or shut off our markets to them.

Not only that, there are several instances to show that if a developing country like ours
develops its own technology in a particular field, all efforts are made to scuttle it. It is
not rare to find frustrated researchers in our country 'whose dedcated efforts were put to
waste by importing the process or the product at the last moment.

On the basis of this historic lesson on harsh realities about science, technology and
national development, a new concept of "self-reliance" has become popular, particularly
ainong the developing or the thud world countries. It is realised that for the developing
countries, freedom of action is crucial, which is impossible in a state of dependency, in
which the individual or the nation will always be at the mercy of the benefactor.
Therefore, a country has to build up its scicnce, technology and economy in such an
integrated way that it can take and implement decisions independently, in its own interest,
irrespective of external pressures, while at the same time participali~~g in the global order.
Self-reliance can also be said to be a state of mind that pronlotes confidence in oneself,
and one's ability to determine onc's destiny. The idea can be given meaning by
expressing it in different ways. For example, if diere are choices In economic or social
objectives, those should be given precedence, which can be fulfilled wit11 a minimum of
dependence on other countries. If there is a choice in setting up industries, those should
be preferred which can be set up with our own effort. If there is a choice between
technologies, thosc should be adopted which rcly on what is available in the country and
so on. Naturally, this has to be accompanied by scientific and technological developmen~t
in our own institutions, backed up by suitable education, training ,and research. Thus, the
areas of our choice should be constantly enlarged.

Self-rcliance does not mean shutting ourselves off from the world of science and
technoloa, or stopping import of whatever is essential or unavoidable, but to constantly
strive and plan to enlarge the scope of "avoidable". The implication is that luxury goods,
whether in manufacture or in import , ought to havz the lowest prior*. To run trains at
200 km/hr is not as urgenl, since matenals and technoiogy would 11avc to be imported, as Science--The Road to Development
running more trains or opening up more routcs to fXaway parts of our country. In
matters of national defence, the scope of what we can produce by our ever-advancing
technology should be enlarged, but then whatever is left and needs to be updated can be

Perhaps. you can see that self-reliancc as a policy admirably fits with the objectives of
tackling problems which concern large masses of people. 70% of our population lives in
'villages and hardly uses anything which requires imported goods or technology. Even if
pulses or edible oil are imported today, we can easily increase our own production. Our
large population does not need so Inany kinds of tooth pastes, shampoos, electric shavers
etc.: but it does need food, medicine, clothing, shelter and the Ilke. Economic and
technological effort directed to uplift their condition ~vouldnot require leaning on other
countries and exposing ourselves to their blandishment or pressure or foreign exchange.
On the other hand, betterment of the conditions of living of the common people is bound
to contribute towards greater satisfaction and consolidatic?n of thc nation, increasing our
inner strength. It can be said with justification that such self-reliance would be in
accordance with what father of our Nation, Mahatma GandhiSpreached,and personally
practised. His word for it was Swadeshi.

Propagation of Swadeshi was an important ideological weapon in our freedom

movement. Besides the upliftrnent of economic conditions and improvement of general
welfare, it brought about az amfakening which afforded Indian people the slrcngh, unity
and above all the deep love and respect for their culture and Itexitage.. This lund of
weapon was used by Candhiji from distnct level down to the village level, and the whole
country was roused.

You can per!laps also see thal self-reliance of the b n d we arc discussing involves choices
made 2nd actions takca at different levels, h e i~:di\:~dual(sc1:-confidence and finlFi11nent
of personaljtyj, viilage, district and State-or forms, factories. schools, research
institutions. Sc, ii has to become a movement in whlch people participate - and for the
country as a w!lols, it becomes a new strategy for dcvelopmerd.

32.5.1 Science and Technology for National Development

Science and technology arc a major national resource and a vital elc.ment in the task of
aclGeving sclf-reliance. W i a the ideal of self-reliarice, presented above: xvhat role can
science arid tcclmoiogy be made to play for national dcvciopment? As you know, the
needs for food, shelter, clothing. 11~4thand education for all stil! the most pressing
needs of our society. A rapid fulfilment of tbesc rxeds wcr1I3need new advarrce.; i:~
agriculture, food tcchn~logy,11ca:th science and mcaiclnc. building materials. clothing,
tapping new resources etc..Solution c!' prcblerns rcicvani i.o our own society or econamv
poses a fundamental challenge bct'or: our scier!rl5c ;ir?d ~cd!noiogicalactivity. And in
pursuing this challenge, new qnestioi~sand ncv answzrs. new technologics and new
areas of scientific work ;Ire bound to emerge To iacklc the prob1err;s experienced In such
an endeavour would need !he iagcnuiiy arid rcso:r?-ccsof mcn, materials and ideas.
In India, we have a great potcntial of nraterral resources and in!e!ligen~ peopic. We have
also a democratic systern where i d e x clui bc testcd and the best can prevail. The task is
to optimise knowledge of all kinds, whcrner in social sclencc. natluxl sciences or
tcclmolog);, by innking it il~ailablcto the largest number. It wolild do our society well to
produce at all levels of education, creative and cntical thinkers who can use the scientific
method to question the social reali? on :he basis of rele~antdata arid prob!ems. Thcrc is
a need to re-examine ideas which have been uncn:rcall> accepted by the people as well
as the political and administrative set-up in our society. The task of getting out of the
vicious circle of uader-devclopment shoald not be under-estimated. Science, technology
and other kinds of knowledge have playcd a crucial role in cstablislung the present
structure of societies, their trade, industry and dislr~butionof benefits. Let us hope that
they will also be made to play an increasing rolc in taking our country to the right path of
future dcvclopmel~l.
New Perspectives SAQ 2
Fill in the blanks with appropriate words.
i) The new internal economic order should be founded on the .............. of full
.............. of every state on its ................ and all.. ................
ii) Self-reliance is a state of ........................., that promotes ..................... in
iii) Freedom of ..................... .is impossible in a state of .........................
iv) For self-reliance our scientific and technological development has to be backed up

32.6 SUMMARY 1
In this unit you have learnt that in spite of the age old human quest for an egahtarian
and just society, the world today presents a very different picture. There are the rich
developed countries who control most of the world resources and the s c i e n ~ i and
technical know-how. There are the poor developing countries, wluch in the absence
of h s know-how and capital, are unable to utilise their resources for their own good;
or ensure that the fruits of science and technology reach their vast masses. This
realisation has found expression in the developing countries' call for a New
International Economic Order based on equ~tablesharing of resources and
knowledge. They want to become self-reliant, so that they can have freedom of
choices and action, and seek a path of development where science and technology
can be used for upliftment of their vast masses.


1) Spell out briefly the essence of New International Economic Order. How does Inha
stand to benefit from it?

A .

2) a) What are the requisites for self-reliance?


b) Name two areas where we do not depend on imported technology or know-how.


Self Assessment Questions

1) Power generation, roads

2) i) principle, permanent sovereignty, natural resources, economic activities
ii) mind, confidence
iii) action, dependency
iv) suitable education, training and research.
Terminal Questions

1) New International Economic Order was declared by UNO in 1974. It includes:

Independence from colonial and alien domination.

Technological progress and its distribution.
Sovereignty of every state on its nahiral resources and all economic activiti 6.
Better terms and conditions for trade and expansion of world economy
Just price for the importlexport of raw materials, pnmaq products, capital
goods etc.

As In& is also a supplier of many raw materials to the developed counLries and also
impoits goods from them, fixing just prices for these items will help to improve the
economic conditions of our country.
(Elaborate your answer on these gudelines).

2) a) Development of confidence.
Freedom of action and independent implementabon of decisions
Advancement in science, technology and economy for one's own interest.
b) Nuclear science, missile technology.
I :New Perspectives

In t h ~ Foundation
s Course on Science and technology, we have covered a vast ground.
Beginning with some comments on science as a great human endeavour, whose growth
has been entwlned with that of civilisation itself, we gave you a glimpse of hlstory of
science with particular reference to India. We concludcd that by remarks on the nature of
scientific knowledge and on the method of science.
It was then time to cross over to some specific, attractive and significant areas from the
point of view of a citizen of modern India. Even so, there was some arbitrariness in our
choice of subject areas; we talked about the universe to locate the planet Earth in the
larger context, and then we discussed the origin of life, and its evolution right up to
humankind. We explored with you the ecosystem, the environment and natural resources
of our habitat, the Earth.
Food, agriculture, health and disease are subjects of great relevance to us and so we
acquainted you with some technicalities and social and economic problems connected
with the subject. We briefly went into the very interesting subject of mind and the body,
leading to a glimpse of psychoIogy, and of the powerful tool that man needs and uses
today, called communication. All the wanderings then led us to the topical question of
science, technology, industry and economic development. This was followed by a peep at
the future - the new, round the corner, technologies.
In dus broad-based survey of science and technology meant for the young reader, who
may not have studied science at all, except, perhaps, a little bit through newspapers or the
radio, we tried to portray the objectivity, rationality and the openness of a scientific
approach. But we have not failed to underline the fact that scicilce is not an abstract body
of knowledge, it is very much a knowledge of the reality as it exists, from the
environment, to the mind and body, and on the human society. Being itself a part of
reality, science can change the material and social reality from within.
When one discusses the interface of science with social reality, the author's way of
looking at the reality, or their world-view comes into play. It is inevitable. Therefore, our
point of view of looking at Indian society and its problems, or what colonialism &d to the
countries it ruled, or how the means of communication give a handle to regulate common
people's thinking - in fact in eveqthing, our point ofview has been present. If we had no
point of view, or if we suppressed it, to present a sterilised picture to you, we would have
done great injustice to you - presenting figures, tables, charts, separate statements, a
jumble of images, without a message. Some authors are able to do so, but they also get
blamed for having confused every issue-perhaps to a purpose!
But, we have constantly urged you to thlnk for yourself, to scrutinise material presented
before you, and to develop your own connected set of ideas. You may like to pursue
some of these subjects further, and that would be a positive gain for all of us.
We can close this course m many ways, but we have chosen to do so by quoting
Jawaharlal Nehru - who was not only a thinker, a scientist, one of our country's most
beloved leaders, a maker of modern IndIa, but also a most charming communicator who
used to capture people's minds with h s beautiful imagery.
"Though I have long been a slave driven in the chariot of Indian politics, with little
leisure for other thoughts, my mind has often wandered to the days when as a student I
haunted the laboratories of that home of science, Cambridge. And though circumstances
made me part company with science, my thoughts turned to it with longing. In later
years, through devious process, I arrived again at science, when I realised that science
was not only a pleasant diversion and abstraction, but was of the very texture of life,
without whch our modern world would vanish away. Politics'led me tb economics, and
this led me inevitably to science and the scientific approach to all our problems and to
life itself. It was science alone that could solve these problems of hunger and poverty, of
insanitation ind illiteracy, of superstition and deadening custom and tradition, of. vast
resources running to waste, of a rich country inhabited by starving people". (From an
Address at the Indian Science congress, Calcutta, December 1937).
.. ,

Block 1 : History of Science

Unit 1 Science as a Human Endeavour
Unit 2 Science in the Ancient World
Unit 3 Iron Age
Unit 4 The Golden Age of Science in India
Block 2 : Emergence of Modern Science
Unit 5 Science in the Medieval Times
Unit 6 Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution and After
Unit 7 Science in Colonial and Modem India
Unit 8 The Method of Science and the Nature of Scientific Knowledge
Block 3 : Universe and Life -The Beginning
Unit 9 Universe as a System
Unit 10 Exploring the Universe
Unit 1 l Solar System
Unit 12 Origin and Evolution of Life
Unit 13 Evolution of Man
Block 4 : Environment and Resources
Unit 14 Ecosystem
Unit 15 Components of Environment
Unit 16 The Chariging Environment
Unit 17 Natural Resources
Unit 18 Resource Utilisation, Planning and Management
Block 5 : Agriculture, Nutrition and Health
Unit 19 Food and Agriculture
Unit 20 Scientific Possibilities and Social Realities
Unit 2 1 Food and Nutrition
Unit 22 Health and Disease
Block 6 : Information, Knowledge, Insight
Unit 23 Mind and Body
Unit 24 Psychological Aspect of Behaviour
Unit 25 Information and Comnlunication
Unit 26 Modes of Communication
Block 7 : Science, Technology and Development
Unit 27 Science and Technology in Industry
Unit 28 Technology and Economic Development
Unit 29 Modem Development in Science and Technology - 1
Unit 30 Modem Development in Science and Technology - I1
Block 8 : New Perspectives
Unit 3 1 Perceptions and Aspirations
Unit 32 Science -The Road to Development
AudioNideo Programmes
Audio : 1) Science and Society (Block 1)
2) Astronomical Development in India (Block 3)
3) Measuring Astronomical Distances (Block 3)
4) Evolution of Man (Block 3)
5) The Forest Ecosystem (Block 4)
6) Population Pressure (Block 4)
7) Common Misconceptions about Health (Block 5)
8) Human Factors in Engineering (Block 6)
9) New Information Order (Block 6)
10) Technology and Self-Reliance (Block 7)
11) Nuclear Disarmament (Block 7)
Video : 1) Method of Science (Block 2)
2) A Window to the Universe (Block 3)
3) The Story of a R~ver(Block 4)
4) Sreen Revolution (Block 5)
5) Infectious C ist tses (Block 5)
6) Jean Piagt. D ,velopment Stages of a Child (Block 6)
7) INSAT (Blc ,k 6)