The ‘India ki Khoj’ is a unique
module at Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (IITGn) which aims to
introduce engineering students to an academic life beyond numbers and
entrepreneurship. India ki Khoj is a ten day module through which students
explore different facets of India’s diversity. Apart from students of IITGn,
those from universities in US and Japan also participated in the programme. The
programme is conducted in the month of December every year.

As a part of the programme,
scholars from across the globe introduce students to diverse topics such as,
India through Art and Ahmedabad: Trajectories of Urban Transformation. The last
edition of the program included a visit to 15th century Adalaj
stepwell and a heritage walk in Ahmedabad.

Talking about diversity is not
limited to showering praises, but challenges emanating from it are also discussed.
Students are made aware of issues like social exclusion. “We want students to
broaden their perspective of looking at academics. Academics should not be
limited to technical knowledge,” said Prof Jaison Manjaly, Dean of Student

PaGaLGuY spoke to Yash Pratap
Singh, a fourth-year student of IIT Gandhinagar who participated in the
December, 2015 edition of the module. “My experience has been exhilarating. We
visited the Bhasha Trust at Vadodara and discovered that there are over 780
languages and 66 different scripts in India. That is the scale of our diversity,”
said Yash.

He further added, “Every student in the group had some or the other prejudices and through our interaction with overseas students, many myths about our own country were broken. We learned to appreciate what the real India is with all its travails and achievements.”

Ching-Yun Chloe Hsu, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), described ‘India ki Khoj’ in the following words, “These ten days gave us a sip of India more holistic than the famous masala chai.”


Participants of India ki Khoj

Aleena Patel also from Caltech
said, “India cannot be understood from one visit to one city. Each new Indian
experience offers something more to appreciate. India is a place deeply
seated in its traditions, has a long, ancient history, and is a vitally
important global citizen. I look forward to returning someday.”

A program which grooms
engineering students academically through the example of a diverse country like
India is commendable!

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