london swaminathan ready to fly in the sky

WRITTEN BY London swaminathan

 Date: 22 SEPTEMBER 2019

British Summer Time uploaded in London – 6-10 am

Post No. 6998

Pictures are taken from various sources; beware of copyright rules; don’t use them without permission; this is a non- commercial, educational blog; posted in and simultaneously. Average hits per day for both the blogs 11,000.

S Nagarajan

I visited Visveswaraya Industrial and Technological Museum in Bengaluru  on 14th September 2019 with my brother S Nagarajan, who contributes regularly to our blogs. Bengaluru students are lucky to have such a museum. I wish that I am reborn as a student. Normally Hindus pray for Moksha, i.e. getting out of birth and death cycle and merging with god. One Saivite saint said I should never be born again, but if I have to be born again I should never forget You (Lord Shiva). In spite of reading such philosophical statements, I still long to be born again because of the educational facilities available now. When I studied B.Sc and M.A, whatever I studied in the first year must be remembered until the third year examination date. But one year after I came my brother who wrote exams in three months modules. That means he has to remember a subject only for three months (for exam sake)! And the books and libraries, google and internet, Museums and seminars were not available 45 years ago.

After visiting Visveswaraya museum, my feelings grew stronger to become a student again and start from the scratch. The same feeling, I get every week when I go to the British Library and University of London library in my home town London.

We saw thousands of Bengaluru students using the inter active devices to learn something new. The success of the museum lied in the inter active devices. This is a great fun for the students. Even I, 71 year old youth,  was interested in becoming an astronaut and so I inserted my head into astronaut’s attire and became an astronaut in a minute (see the picture).

I and my brother went into the Mirror Maze and struggled hard to come out. You will bump into mirrors looking for exit (way out).

It is a very educative and innovative museum. So people who visit Bengaluru must see this. Whenever I visit a place, I always make it a point to visit the museums. My Sambandhis (In laws) in Australia bought us expensive tickets for one day cricket match between Australia and India in Sydney. My Sambandhi was surprised when I told him that I would prefer to go to a Museum to study the Aborigines rather than sitting in a stadium. Except me all our family members went to the cricket match and I spent hours in museum and took pictures and posted them on Face book and in my blogs.

The point I am making is that many people don’t know the big treasures in museums in a city. After 40 to 50 visits to Chennai I was successful in visiting Government Museum in Madras this year. The Bronze Gallery there is worth billions of dollars.

The space technology gallery in Visveswaraya Industrial and Technological Museum has following features: –

  • What is Space?
  • Flight Mechanics
  • Launch Complex
  • Mission Control Centre
  • Be An Astronaut
  • Satellites
  • Rockets
  • Space Applications
  • GPS
  • International Space Station
  • Space Astronomy
  • Story of Space
  • Space Spinoff
  • Indian Space Programme
  • Space Materials
  • Space Food
  • Space Wear

The museum has seven permanent exhibition halls and two special exhibits.
1.   Engine Hall – How things work
2.   Electrotechnic
3.   Fun Science
4.   Space Technology Gallery
5.   Biotechnological Revolution
6.   BEL-Hall of Electronics
7.   Science for Children

Special Exhibits
1.   Dinosaur Enclave
2.   Science on a Sphere
3.   Wright brothers aeroplane

Please see the pictures taken by me; On the first floor there is a small book shop with very good books and educational, scientific toys and games.

I felt I visited the Nobel Museum in Stockholm again. That also inspired me a lot. I would suggest to Visveswaraya Museum to follow some ideas in the shop there. I bought quotations on Fridge Magnets there when I went to Sweden. Quotations by Indian Nobel Laureates are also sold there.

One more suggestion:- you cant come out of any museum in a western country without seeing the shop. That is, the exit (Way out)  is always through the shop. All Indian museums must follow this business tactics. It will give them a big boost in sales. No student in a western county comes out of a museum without buying a memento. Pencils and pens, erasers and boxes, bags and cups would bear the pictures from the museums. Please learn it from western countries. (In Bengaluru, I inquired the location of the book shop and bought two puzzles).

Visvesvaraya Industrial & Technological Museum,Kasturba Road,Bengaluru-560001,INDIA.

One guide book says the museum runs a mobile science exhibition that travels in the city throughout the year.

Sir Mokshagundam Visveswaraya (1861-1962) was one of the modern architects of Karnataka. He was a civil engineer and a statesman. He was born on 15th September 1861 and so September 15 every year is celebrated as National Engineers Day to acknowledge his contributions to the country.

–subham- Lokas Samasta Sukino Bhavantu-

invisible man, london swaminathan

horse puzzle
S Nagarajan
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1 Comment

  1. It is true- we have many avenues now to learn new things , and even update old ones. The range and depth of new facilities are so fascinating, one really wishes, as you say, that we become students again. But then, the amount of information available is so immense, one could easily lose one’s way.
    As you say, till the mid-60s, we had to remember all the lessons for all the three years in the degree course. This appeared a burden then, but now on reflection, we realise that it added depth and gave an orientation to our studies. It strengthened our memory, and deepened our understanding as we reflected on the old portions and suddenly new light and angles would dawn on us. Now they study for the semester and the portion is forgotten soon after the exam. Who remembers Chesterton’s dictum that education is what remains after we have forgotten all that we have studied? Earleir we learned for life; now people study for a degree and a job!
    Those days we had only books to read and refer to. Students of science ,like botany or geology went for field studies but in the humanities we were confined to books, beyond the lectures. But the books were terrific. Till mid-60s, in social sciences like economics or political science, we were exposed mainly to British books. But in the 60s American books began flooding the market and they opened a new era. The British books were staid, monotonous and heavy, while the American ones were more lively. British books under the English Language Book Society [ELBS] label and American books under the Indo-American Joint Text Book Programme [ courtesy surplus PL480 funds[ competed for our attention, and at one time I ended up with more than 20 text books on Economics- this after I left college! But such was the attraction of knowledge.
    But our exam system is peculiar. Too much study/information could really be counter productive, as we could not write all we knew within those 3 hours. Our professors used to caution us not to become too smart but to prepare for the exam,
    After I got exposed to the computer and the Internet, the first thing I did was to get an update on all the subjects I studied in college! Surprisingly, I found that not much real progress had been made in 40 years, even though lot of new theories and jargon had been introduced. We are still grappling with the same old problems- unemployment, poverty, rich-poor gap, inflation, business cycles, malnutrition, greedy private sector, unproductive public enterprises, etc. More and more Nobel laureates emerge, but our problems remain intractable in spite of all the attractive but arm-chair theoretical speculations.
    There is such an enormous explosion in knowledge ( or information) in all fields now that we do not know how to make sense of it all- lost our wisdom in our knowledge, as T.S.Eliot said.
    Further, all this knowledge is West -Oriented, so that in any subject the measuring rod is what the West lays down. Even Indian history and philosophy is seen through Western glasses. And in science, the domination of the West is total. Their gadgetry and glamour obscures all other sources.
    Dharampal, a follower of Gandhi, sat in the British Museum and India Office Museum and Library in London for years, pored through their voluminous official records and took down in long hand thousands upon thousands of pages of notes recorded by colony officials which showed the exalted and superior state of our science and technology in the 18th century- which the British copied and plundered, and systematically destroyed in India.These are brought out in volume ! of his collected writings- “Indian Science and Technology in the 18th Century”. Unfortunately, it is all lying in book form. If we create a museum based on that, it would rival the Visveswaraya Museum.
    Our Mathematician and Philosopher C.K.Raju has shown how there was no real person called Euclid, how the so called Greek origin of Science is a hoax, how calculus and trigonometry went from India, how Newton used Indian calculus but not entirely correctly, how even Copernicus was indebted to India. These are all explained in Raju’s books. But still our museums only follow the Western script, as dictated by Western sources and as fixed by Western authorities. There are vague and ill informed references to Indian authorities of old, but no serious academic effort to connect Indian and Western science. Dr.S. Radhakrishnan bridged Indian and Western philosophy and showed Indian philosophy to advantage. Such an effort is lacking in science.
    This is true whether we consider humanities ( language and literature), social sciences ( economics, history, political science, sociology etc) or the hard sciences. Indian students learn Western theories and ideas in all these areas, and India’s own contributions and achievements lie hidden and neglected. Your writing on Visvesvaraya Museum makes us long for a similar museum showcasing India’s own achievements. For instance C.K Raju has effectively given a rejoinder to Stephen Hawking’s ideas on time ( A Brief History of Time). Visvesvaray’s museum displays Hawking’s book, but not Raju’s! [ The Eleven Pictures of Time ]This is how we honour our own scientists!

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