Summary of Guidelines for Incorporating Indian Knowledge in Higher Education Curricula

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The University Grants Commission (UGC) has published Guidelines for Incorporating Indian Knowledge in Higher Education Curricula to integrate Indian Knowledge Systems (IKS) into higher education. This initiative aligns with the National Educational Policy (NEP) 2020, which emphasizes the importance of India’s rich heritage and aims to foster knowledge that is rooted in Indian culture and traditions.


The NEP 2020 underscores the significance of IKS, highlighting its role in the pursuit of knowledge (Jñāna), wisdom (Prajñā), and truth (Satya). The policy calls for incorporating IKS into all levels of education to preserve and enhance the legacy of ancient Indian scholars who contributed significantly to various fields such as mathematics, astronomy, metallurgy, medical science, and more.


IKS encompasses a wide range of disciplines and practices that have been developed and refined in India over millennia. These guidelines provide a roadmap for embedding IKS in undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) curricula to fulfill the objectives of NEP 2020. The goal is to systematically study and research various IKS disciplines and integrate them into the education system.


The guidelines recognize the diversity of UG and PG programs and propose a flexible framework for incorporating IKS-related courses. Institutions are encouraged to develop courses that introduce students to IKS relevant to their fields of study. The implementation horizon is set for 10 years, with revisions and modifications every five years to adapt to changing needs.

General Guidelines
  1. Credit Courses: Students in UG or PG programs should take IKS courses amounting to at least 5% of their total mandated credits. Institutions should encourage students to take more IKS credits if interested.
  2. Authentic Sources: Course materials should be based on authentic sources such as historical texts, inscriptions, and other evidence. Sociological records of current practices should also be included.
  3. Continuity of Traditions: Emphasize the historical continuity of Indian Knowledge Traditions up to the 18th or 19th century in the course content.
  4. Characteristic Features: Highlight the unique objectives, methodologies, and core concepts of IKS that distinguish them from other global knowledge traditions.
  5. Contemporary Applications: Where possible, courses should indicate contemporary applications of IKS.
  6. Medium of Instruction: Courses can be taught in any approved Indian language, English, or Sanskrit. Technical terms from Sanskrit should be provided in the Devanagari script and English transliteration for English course materials.
Guidelines for UG Programs
  1. Foundational Course: All students should take a foundational course in IKS, providing a broad introduction to various IKS streams relevant to their UG program.
  2. Elective Courses: Institutions should offer a wide range of elective IKS courses related to student’s major fields of specialization and multidisciplinary courses.
  3. Internship/Apprenticeship: Encourage students to undertake internships or apprenticeships in IKS disciplines.
  4. Project Work: Promote IKS-related topics for project work in the final semesters of UG programs.
  5. Medical UG Programs: Students in medical UG programs should take basic courses on Indian Systems of Medicine, including Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy, during their first year. In the second year, they should take a two-semester course on the theory and practice of one Indian System of Medicine.
Guidelines for PG Programs
  1. Advanced Credit Courses: Students in PG programs should take advanced IKS courses amounting to at least 5% of their total mandated credits.
  2. Additional Courses: Students may opt for additional IKS courses if available and consistent with the PG program requirements.
Guidelines for Sanskrit and Indian Language Universities
  1. Broaden Scope: Sanskrit and Indian Language Universities should broaden their scope to become Universities of the Indian Knowledge System while maintaining their focus on Sanskrit or regional Indian languages.
  2. Mandatory Courses: Students should take a two-semester foundational course in IKS and a multidisciplinary course on “IKS and Contemporary Knowledge in a Selected Discipline.”
  3. Manuscriptology: Offer a course on manuscript handling and critical editing.
Guidelines for PG Programs in IKS Disciplines
  1. Redesign Courses: Existing PG courses in IKS disciplines, such as Indian Music, Philosophy, and Systems of Medicine, should be redesigned to ensure they are anchored in the IKS perspective, rather than primarily teaching Western methodologies.
  2. NET Examinations: Once redesigned, these PG programs should be used to conduct NET examinations in respective IKS disciplines.
Suggestions for Effective Implementation
  1. Promotion and Nurturing: Universities should promote and nurture UG and PG courses in all IKS disciplines.
  2. Philosophical Foundation: Expose students to the common philosophical foundations underlying various IKS disciplines.
  3. Faculty Training: Conduct introductory lectures on fundamental IKS terminology for faculty.
  4. Primary Texts: Provide access to primary IKS texts to deepen understanding.
  5. Resource Development: Develop and provide authentic, scholarly IKS materials for teachers and students.
  6. Regional Languages: Compile and make available IKS content in regional languages for teachers’ benefit.
  7. Contemporary Scholars: Share the contributions of contemporary scholars and innovators in IKS to motivate faculty and students.
  8. Oral Tradition: Include practical sessions on ancient memorization techniques and oral traditions in IKS courses.
  9. Experiential Aspects: Arrange immersive sessions in Yoga, Meditation, Ayurveda, Classical Music, Indian Craft traditions, etc.
  10. Integrated Curriculum Development: Align curriculum development closely with teacher training in IKS.
Model Curricula

The document provides examples of model curricula for foundational courses and elective courses in various IKS disciplines. These models serve as templates for institutions to design appropriate courses.

Foundational Courses
  1. Introduction to IKS: Overview of IKS, its scope, and significance.
  2. Bharatavarsha: Natural endowments and geographical features of India.
  3. Foundational Literature: Vedic Corpus, Itihasas, Puranas, and other foundational texts of Indian civilization.
  4. Indian Mathematics: Development from the Vedic period to modern times, including key texts and contributions.
  5. Indian Astronomy: Observations from the Vedic corpus, planetary models, and significant texts.
  6. Indian Health Sciences: Principles and practices of Ayurveda and other Indian health systems.
  7. Classical Literature: The nature and purpose of Kavya and other classical literature in Sanskrit and regional languages.
  8. Indian Education: The role of education is to preserve culture, tradition, and dharma.
  9. Purpose of Knowledge: Concepts of Para Vidya and Apara Vidya, and their relevance in Indian knowledge systems.
  10. Methodology of IKS: Systematization of knowledge fields as Sastra, including methodologies and means of valid knowledge (Pramanas).
  11. Indian Architecture: Town planning, architectural principles, and significant examples from ancient and medieval India.
  12. Indian Fine Arts: Basic concepts and important texts on Indian music, dance, and painting.
  13. Indian Agriculture: Agricultural practices, irrigation, and historical significance.
  14. Indian Textiles: Varieties of textiles, dyes, and India’s historical role as a leading exporter.
  15. Indian Metallurgy: Mining, metalworking, and significant texts and specimens.
  16. Indian Polity and Economy: Conception of polity and economy, foundational texts, and key principles.
  17. Outreach of IKS: Historical and contemporary global influence of IKS in various fields.
Elective Courses
  1. Indian Mathematics: Detailed study of mathematical concepts from the Vedic period to modern times, including significant texts and contributions.
  2. Indian Astronomy: Advanced topics in Indian astronomy, including planetary models, eclipses, and significant contributions.
  3. Specialized Topics: Courses on Indian Algebra, Astronomical Instruments, Iconography, Musical Instruments, Water Management in Pre-British India, and other specialized topics.

The guidelines provide a comprehensive framework for integrating IKS into higher education curricula, emphasizing flexibility, authenticity, and contemporary relevance. The goal is to ensure that students thoroughly understand IKS while pursuing their academic goals, thereby preserving and promoting India’s rich heritage. Institutions are encouraged to adopt these guidelines and continuously evolve curricula to foster holistic learning.