Certainly it remains necessary. I wonder if when Einstein was considering complex physics and math, he "looked up" his times tables each time he had to do a calculation. A football that does not memorized his role on each play, has not learned and will be a poor teammate. A brain surgeon who has to google the steps to a surgery each time he does them, would not inspire much confidence in his patients. Memorization is not all learning but it is a component of learning. The fundamentals should be down to memory. In an athlete, to get to a higher level, repetition is necessary to create muscle memory so that when competing your body does not have to rethink every action each time you do it.
There are all types of learning. Some things we have to learn how to do physically, such as riding a bike. Other things, we have to learn how to think; similar to learning physically, we are learning how to do a thing. There are other things that we just need to know (ie, vocabulary, geography), this is the place for memorization.
Memorization is the commitment of words to memory (no that is not a dictionary definition.) It shows no actual comprehension of the words, nor comprehension of even the subject matter. It is necessary, for example, to memorize important vocabulary words. However, it is completely useless to memorize almost anything else- poems, famous speeches, Shakespeare (unless you are in a Shakespearean play), etc. I believe it is very harmful to the learning process to memorize. It consumes time that could otherwise be spent studying and understanding the material. As Einstein said, "Never memorize something that you can look up."
Unfortunately it tends to be what passes for learning today. They think that if only the student memorizes they will be learning. However learning is being able to think critically, something you don't get form memorization. I think part of this focus on memorization has to do with how the standards are set up with an emphasis on testing.
Shortcut never leads to success in the same manner memorization and grasping is only limited till the exams. The outer world cannot be subdued by just muging up the principles. If everyone starting mugs up the future of our earth would be dark. If we start grasping then how would we be practically intelligent.
How it can be i can never understand.......
If everything goes to be memorized how man/boy can apply the principles and things like that in real life.Its a good method of getting good grades but it doesn't help or it can never increase the practical abilities of a guy. I agree that something things have to be memorized but it can never do in real life not for learning anything. Take an example of scientists if they only memorized everything how they would have been invented or identified the new things and stuff ........