The University of Trans-disciplinary Health Sciences and Technology (TDU) is one of its kind in India. Its uniqueness stems from the following factors:
TDU was founded to promote the generation of trans – disciplinary knowledge. Today the content of school and university education in India as in most countries is largely based on modern western cultural and intellectual traditions.
While Knowledge from any cultural and intellectual source is potentially enlightening within the limitations of its world view and methods of enquiry , it is certainly blinding to assume that any particular intellectual tradition, however illuminating, provides the only or the best way of knowing nature.
Every culture has generated knowledge of nature from its own world view and employed methods of knowing that use the human sensory and mental faculties in unique ways. A test of knowledge systems generated by various cultures is their ability to equip knowledge holders to observe, classify, analyse and relate harmoniously with multiple facets of the constantly changing universe in a manner that helps them to understand and deal with change and thus live in dynamic equilibrium with all animate and inanimate forms of existence.
The prevalence of a dominant mono cultural orientation particularly in a university/knowledge institution, is indeed a skewed orientation because it implies that only one way of knowing is complete. In India the skew is evident in the best of knowledge institutions, across various disciplines, due to the relatively recent political history of colonialism and its aftermath.
The inspiration for promoting trans- disciplinary education in TDU is to introduce students to the value of multi -cultural and cross cultural knowledge without undermining the value of knowledge derived from any particular cultural and intellectual tradition. The term trans- disciplinary implies knowledge of the same domain from different cultural perspectives and world views. Ayurveda – biology is an example of a new trans- disciplinary domain being pursued in TDU. It endeavors to combine understanding of biological processes in the context of human health, from very different perspectives of physiology and pharmacology. Trans-disciplinary subjects can be distinguished from inter-disciplinary or multi-disciplinary domains because in the latter the subjects combined belong to the same cultural and intellectual tradition. Bio-Physics and town planning are examples of inter and multi-disciplinary subjects. The Trans-disciplinary university does not exclude inter or multi-disciplinary pursuits, it has simply encouraged and added possibilities of pursuing cross cultural domains.
It must be recognized that Trans- disciplinary subjects (or for that matter inter and multi , disciplinary domains) are nascent and evolving because they are very recent endeavors in broadening the horizon of knowledge generation .The exercise while pursuing a more holistic understanding is complex because at the interface of disciplines, although they may deal with the same or interrelated domain, they approach it from different perspectives, world views, logic, and different methods of enquiry. Thus managing the differences and constructing meaningful outcomes, without distorting the integrity of participating disciplines is a challenge.
In TDU Yelahanka campus, Ayurveda-Biology is a core focus of trans-disciplinary study but trans-disciplinary study may encompass several domains like mathematics, architecture, music, design, fine arts, dance , and so on . The scope of Trans- disciplinary includes any domain where different cultures have generated mature knowledge.
The intent of TDU is to encourage students to celebrate learning that expands the boundaries of the current mono cultural knowledge that limits formal education in India. The purpose of providing a transdisciplinary platform is to introduce TDU students to the relevance, scope and excitement of cross cultural study.