Education as a Portal Towards Global Wellbeing and Happiness
Knowledge, in Indian conception, was not used merely for material gains, but as Rabindranath Tagore argued, it was to; “enable the mind to find out that ultimate truth which emancipates us from the bondage of dust and gives us wealth not of things but of inner light, not of power but of love. It is a process of enlightenment. It is divine wealth. It helps in realization of truth”. A true education should lead one to the fulfilment of a complete life – economic, intellectual, aesthetic, social and spiritual. The narrowly materialistic focus of education has resulted in significant damage to our society, with devastating consequences for both the environment and culture. Therefore, in the future, education will need to be rethought in such a way as to ensure that it does not upset the delicate balance that exists in nature. In addition, the moral and ethical foundations that have been so central to the development of our civilization for so long need to be reclaimed by the educational system.
As philosopher and educationist Krishnamurti argued; “The right kind of education is not concerned with any ideology, however much it may promise a future utopia: it is not based on any system, however carefully thought out, nor is it a means of conditioning the individual in some special manner. Education in the true sense is helping the individual to be mature and free, to flower greatly in love and goodness. That is what we should be interested in, and not in shaping the child according to some idealistic pattern. The highest function of education is to bring about an integrated individual who can deal with life.”
There have been several attempts made to mainstream Indian Knowledge Systems (IKS) in post-independence India. The 1970s were the period when the conscious seeding of ideas and efforts towards the reclamation of IKS into mainstream academia started. Though these attempts were haphazard, they were located at the periphery as there was hardly any political will to implement the ideas emerging from such attempts. The speeding up of the IKS implementation and integration started only after the publication of the National Education Policy (NEP). The policy acknowledged the need for concerted efforts toward the conceptualization and operationalization of programs and schemes.
With the National Education Policy (NEP) being implemented and the work on the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) being at an advanced stage, there is a growing vibrancy in the whole IKS movement in India. Many individuals, organizations, and institutions are engaged in the task of popularizing IKS and making their attempt to integrate it across school and college curricula. The IKS division of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has done some commendable work in reorienting higher education policies toward IKS integration. The book, titled Introduction to Indian Knowledge System: Concept and Applications, co-authored by Prof. B. Mahadevan of IIM Bangalore, Vinayak Rajat Bhat of Chanakya University, and RN Pravana Nagendra of Chinmaya Vishwa Vidyapeeth, has given impetus to IKS discourse both in academia and practice field. The book was released by the minister of education, Dharmendra Pradhan, in the presence of other dignitaries, and is targeted at higher educational institutions, including engineering institutions. The IKS division of AICTE recently organized an IKS Mela where organizations across the country participated, with Bṛhat being one of the key participants. The Union Grant Commission, the highest body regulating higher education in India, is planning to launch an IKS-specific course under the UGC-NET, and it has taken several other positive measures to popularize the IKS and facilitate its integration. Bṛhat has been a key partner in a number of these efforts and participated in the Faculty Development Program (FDP) that was organized by the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT-KGP) last year.
The IKS division at AICTE accepted thirteen proposals to establish IKS centres and 21 proposals to rejuvenate IKS research. The centres would receive 40 lakh rupees over a two-year period. The committee selected funded proposals in six disciplines: Mathematics and Astronomy, Metallurgy and Material Science and Technology, Chemical Science and Technology, Health, Wellness, and Consciousness Studies; Political and Economic Thought, Economics and Foreign Policy, and the Arts and Culture. In addition, seven IKS research proposals were selected from the centres’ applications. The research proposals would receive Rs 20 lakhs over two years.
Among the selected institutions are JAIN University, Bengaluru, Trinity College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram, IIT-BHU, IIT Madras, Bharatiya Darshan Kavikulaguru Kalidas Sanskrit University, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham; and Sampurnanand Sanskrit University, to name a few.
There have been some fantastic efforts from non-state actors to popularize the IKS. Prominent among them is the commendable work done by D.K. Hari and D.K. Hema Hari, a husband-wife duo of Management and IT professionals, are the founders of Bharath Gyan, a civilizational study initiative to compile and present the knowledge of India, its traditions, its culture, its global ties – in short, its ethos, from an Indian perspective.
The following are some of the initiatives that are currently being undertaken; Current forays into IKS across educational segments;
- Agastya Gurukulam- Offers program for homeschoolinghome schooling and co schoolingschooloing (after school) apart from complete schooling (Gurukulam). Age- 3.5 to 18 years. [US based, only offers online courses in India]. Contact: [firstname.lastname@example.org]
- Chinmaya International Foundation
- Bharatiya Shiksha Board under the Patanjali Trust (Under Progress)
- Chinmaya International Foundation
- Indian Knowledge System- Indian Knowledge System (IKS) is an innovative cell under the Ministry of Education (MoE) at AICTE, New Delhi. It is established to promote interdisciplinary research on all aspects of IKS, preserve and disseminate IKS for further research and societal applications. They cover a vast array of topics from literature to astronomy to biodiversity conservation. They offer internships, grants, and set up IKS centers in various institutions (mainly STEM). This wing has also been organizing IKS based conferences and symposiums to make IKS integration possible in university curriculumscurrilculums.
- IIT KGP, Centre of Excellence for Indian Knowledge System- their research areas include Cognitive Psychology, Indian Knowledge Systems, Language Communication, Language in Society & Culture, Literature, Philosophy of Mind, Positive Psychology, Science of Happiness, Sociolinguistics, Yoga, Patañjali Yoga Sutra
- IIT Guwahati- Center for Indian Knowledge Systems
- Bhishma School of Indic Studies- Masters in Indian Knowledge Systems (Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads, Arthashastra, Architecture, S&T)
- MIT School of Vedic Sciences- MA in SanskritSamskrit, M.A and PhD in Vedic sciences
- Chanakya University- School of Ccommerce and Management, Maths and Pphysical Ssciences, and Humanities and Social Sciences
- Apex Professional University, Arunachal Pradesh-Arunanchal- Centre for IKS
- Narmada College of Management- 3 months certificate course on IKS. Touching upon Llanguage, Ssciences, Ttradition, Eenvironment, management, etc.
- Chanakya University in Bangalore
- Indus University in Ahmedabad
- IIT Madras establishes a Centre for Indian Knowledge System
- Auro University in Surat
- Recently IIT Madras announced to establish a center dedicated to studies on Indian Knowledge System
- Indica Academy- Conducts online courses across multiple disciplines of global Indigenous Knowledge Systems
- Anaadi Foundation
- Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute- Research in the field of Orientology
- Bharat Gyan- D.K. Hari and D.K. Hema Hari