Praising technical jugaad: Celebrating illiteracy

 

Harvinder Khetal (In love with jugaad,  26-Nov-2016; http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/sunday-special/people/in-love-with-jugaad/328851.html) has done well to draw attention to the interesting phenomenon known as jugaad. One however cannot but notice that she has gone overboard in romanticizing it. Human mind is inherently creative. The level of creativity however is determined by the all-round preparedness of the mind. Jugaad is an improvisation effected by self-taught people using simple machines they are familiar with. It can only serve limited purpose and cannot add much value. Value addition takes place though technological innovation where creativity is successfully applied to state-of art machinery.
Celebration of jugaad displays a patronizing attitude. It sanctifies lack of proper formal training to our farmers and artisans. Imagine what these grass-root improvisers would achieve if they went through industrial schools, polytechnics and engineering colleges!

The following is the abridged version The Tribune published:

Sunday Tribune Letters to Editor 4-Dec-2016
http://www.tribuneindia.com/…/sunday…/letters-to-the-editor/
‘Take my word’
The article did well to draw attention to jugaad. However, jugaad can serve a limited purpose. Value addition takes place through technological innovation where creativity is successfully applied to the state-of-the-art machinery. Celebration of jugaad displays a patronizing attitude. It sanctifies the lack of proper formal training to farmers and artisans. Imagine, what these grassroots improvisers would achieve if they went through engineering colleges!
Rajesh Kochhar via email

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