The University of Trans-disciplinary Health Sciences and Technology (TDU) is one of its kind in India. Its uniqueness stems from the following factors:
How is Trans-Disciplinary different from inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary streams of knowledge? All these three streams provide perspectives to observe, understand and interpret nature and society. The intention underlying them is the same. It is to make the knowledge seeker’s understanding of nature and society, relatively more holistic as compared to a single disciplinary perspective.
In case of inter-disciplinary for example bio-physics, it is a collaboration between biology and physics in order to understand the dynamics of biological change. In the case of multi-disciplinary for example “town planning” a number of disciplines like architecture, engineering, economics, transportation, sociology, environmental studies, management and so on come together to plan a city. However in both these cases the collaboration is between disciplines which have common world views on nature and society. Biology, physics, architecture, engineering, economics, transportation, sociology, environmental studies, management…….are categories of knowledge all of which are products of the western cultural and intellectual paradigm.
Trans-Disciplinary in the sense, it is conceived in TDU, is a cross-cultural collaboration between disciplines which have their roots in different cultural and intellectual traditions. For example TDU has an important ongoing program on Ayurveda-Biology. This is a trans-disciplinary program because the collaboration is between biology which is based on a western scientific tradition, involving molecular biology, logical positivism and post aristolean logic and Ayurveda which has its roots in panchmahabhut sidhanth, sankhya and nyaya. It has been demonstrated that while the pursuit of trans-disciplinarity is complex, it is exciting and can be extremely fruitful because it may yield original contributions to the world of knowledge. There can be several other trans-disciplinary endeavours for example fusion music, vernacular architecture, European-Afro art (Picasso) and so on.