Convergence among multiple technological and scientific disciplines, coupled with making sustainable systems would define the “knowledge society” of the 21st century, the former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, said here on Sunday.

He was addressing students of the Indian Institute of Technology (Patna) during its first convocation programme.

Narrating his visit to laboratories in Harvard University and the inventions in biosciences there, Mr. Kalam said, “I saw how two different sciences are shaping each other without any iron curtain between the technologists. This reciprocating contribution of sciences to one another is going to shape our future and industry needs to be ready for it.”

New trend

Mr. Kalam pointed to a “new emerging trend” of the introduction of “ecology” in scientific and technological innovations.

“Globally, the demand is shifting toward development of sustainable systems which are technologically superior. This is the new dimension of the 21st century knowledge society, where science, technology and environment will have to go together. Thus, the new age model would be a four dimensional bio-nano-info-eco-based [one],” he said.

While information and communication technologies had already seen convergence, nanotechnology, “is the field of future that will replace microelectronics and many fields with tremendous application potential in the areas of medicine, electronics and material science.”

Given this strong interplay of disciplines, an “integrated way” of knowledge acquisition” was required.

He envisaged India by 2020 as a nation with reduced urban-rural divide, equitable distribution and access to energy and water, best healthcare, where education with value system was not denied to any meritorious candidates because of societal or economic discrimination and where poverty, illiteracy, corruption and crimes against women and children have been eradicated.


He exhorted students to create a page of history by contributing through invention, innovation, discovery or creating societal change.