During the last three decades, which saw the world move into a new millennium, the term ‘symbiosis’ has effortlessly moved from the hallowed preserves of the natural scientists into the joyous world of aspiring fresh-faced youngsters. To eager-eyed young men and women, Symbiosis means a passport to a secure and happy future. The meaning living together for each others’ well-being has risen to a different, and arguably a higher and more humane level – working together to make the lives of young people.
This path-breaking book, the first biography of an educational idea, goes on to show you how Symbiosis has effortlessly combined India’s traditions – vasudhaiva kutumbakam – with heady developments in science and technology to build a world-class organisation. The Symbiosis philosophy is a magic combination of Eastern wisdom and Western dynamism.
This serious but highly readable book is a major contribution to the evolution of Indian educational management theory and will illuminate successful management strategy not only in India but in all places which value the quickening influence of the genius of an individual and how it can transform society for the better, while never compromising with perennial ethical principles.
The story of how the genius of one man – Shantaram Balwant Mujumdar – made all this possible makes fascinating and inspiring reading. It will tell you how you too have the seeds of the genius to make the world a better place for you and for all those whom you love.
Dr S B Mujumdar, scientist and educationist, is the founder director of Symbiosis – a multidisciplinary, multicultural educational enterprise of international repute. Dr Mujumdar is also Chancellor of the Symbiosis International University.
Born in a small town in the district of Kolhapur in Maharashtra, Dr Mujumdar studied in Kolhapur and Pune, graduating with first class distinction in MSc (Botany). He holds a doctorate in microbiology and is the author of a number of books which have become standard texts in the subject. He played a major role in the affairs of the University of Pune as a member of its Executive Council for several years and headed the Department of Botany at Pune’s prestigious Fergusson College for 20 years.
Touched by the difficulties faced by students from the Afro-Asian countries and inspired by the ideology of Rabindranath Tagore’s Visva Bharati and Sane Guruji’s Antar Bharati,
Dr Mujumdar established Symbiosis in 1971. Today Symbiosis comprises 32 institutes, providing school and higher education opportunities in a whole gamut of academic disciplines. Symbiosis has also made a major contribution to contemporary Indian culture by establishing a memorial and museum dedicated to Dr B R Ambedkar, architect of modern India’s constitution.
In a long and illustrious career, Dr Mujumdar has been decorated with a number of honours. He was twice nominated to the General Assembly of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) by the Government of India, and was the recipient of the Maharashtra Gaurav award given to outstanding personalities. Pune Municipal Corporation awarded him with the Outstanding College Teacher Award as well as the much sought-after Yashwantrao Chavan Puraskar.
In the year 2005, he was honoured by the Government of India with the award of Padma Shri for his services to the nation in the area of literature and education.