Sanskrit cells in IITs: Unfolding mysteries of ancient Indian literature

The education ministry has come up with a 10-year roadmap for developing Sanskrit language. Premier institutions for engineering and scientific studies, including IITs, will have a Sanskrit cell to help study ancient Indian literature. This cell will help students explore the depths of Indian literatures related to their faculty.

In a meeting last month, the panel set up by the ministry has come up with few suggestions. The panel suggested the formation of Sanskrit Cells in the institutes of national importance. This panel is headed by a retired IAS officer N. Gopalaswami. Gopalaswami is a Padma Bhushan awardee and former Chief Election Commissioner(CEC) of India. The panel emphasised the need to fathom the profoundness of ancient Indian literature. This cell will also facilitate the in-depth study of science and technology in Sanskrit. These colleges will also offer internships in Sanskrit language which will be included for credits in the regular course work. IIT Delhi has taken a lead in this educational saltate. The panel hinted at embodying Sanskrit as an optional subject for undergraduate studies. It was also connoted to establish model Sanskrit medium schools across the country in future.

Ancient Indian literatures are treasure-chests of knowledge in various fields. To name a few, we have Siddhanta Shiromani, Atharavaveda, Vaisheshika Darshana, Bhagavad Gita, Ayurveda, Charaka Samhita, Arthashastra, , et al. Scholars across the globe reach out to remote corners of Indian subcontinent to learn art forms and scientific methods practiced by the locals. Nalanda University, the oldest university in the world has always attracted scholars for centuries. And now, archaeologists are still trying to study this epitome of Gurukula Culture and the time-flow of its associated knowledge and culture. It has been proved that many equations, theorems and concepts that are believed to be discovered somewhere else were already been etched in these literatures centuries and even millennia before the western world actually came to know of them. Harappan civilisation had also established in those days, many landmarks for other civilisations to follow. It is believed that these ancient scriptures could prove to be instrumental in the progress of many contemporary inter-disciplinary studies.

For engineering students it is a new avenue to look at. Who knows what young Indian brains could unravel while swimming through these colossal oceans of knowledge? This endeavour has no down side though. As already established by researchers, unfolding the mysteries of these scriptures will only broaden our horizons. But, even at the least, we will be able to connect to Indian culture.

We will perceive the economic stands, medical advancements, scientific systems and art forms being practiced at those times. Even for a pessimist how could there be a scope to take a cynical stand in this regard!

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