The Rajasthan government is mulling a centre for Gandhian philosophy in the state’s only Sanskrit university in Jaipur.
Minister for Sanskrit education Subhash Garg has called a meeting at the secretariat on Monday to deliberate upon the form and structure of the centre.
“We want to amalgamate Gandhian philosophy with Sanskrit education. The meeting on Monday will discuss in what form and at what level Gandhian philosophy can be taught to students,” Garg said.
Rajasthan’s only Sanskrit university – Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Rajasthan Sanskrit University (JRRSU) – was established by the Ashok Gehlot government in its first tenure on February 6, 2001.
The minister said the government is keen on teaching Gandhian thoughts in Sanskrit schools and colleges as well. The government, he added, was also thinking of starting model Sanskrit schools at district or divisional headquarters levels.
Apart from the Gandhian centre, the government wants to open a department of Ayurveda at JRRSU, Garg said. “Sanskrit is in the root of Ayurveda. We cannot have universities operating in silos and not have a multi-disciplinary approach. So even engineering students should study liberal arts,” he said.
Officers of the Sanskrit education department, JRRSU and directorate of Sanskrit education will attend Monday’s meeting which will also deliberate upon memorandums of understanding (Mous) with other universities where Sanskrit is taught.
The Sanskrit university in Jaipur has been going through a bleak phase for the last few years. It doesn’t have a full-time vice chancellor since February 13, 2018, and has only 250 students against 1,500 seats in undergraduate and postgraduate courses. University’s top decision-making bodies, the syndicate and the academic council, have not met for more than a year.
The minister said Monday’s meeting is to review circumstances leading to students losing interest in Sanskrit education. “We want to promote Sanskrit in Rajasthan, which is the only state in India to have a Sanskrit Education department,” Garg said.
The department of Sanskrit education was established in Rajasthan in 1958 to work for promotion and propagation of Sanskrit language in the state.
The minister said Sanskrit is the lifeline of the spiritual consciousness of India. “It is not merely a language. It is the lifestyle of India. Enriched with Indian scriptures, Sanskrit gives the divine message of world peace and prosperity of mankind,” he said.
Garg said the government will also think about employability of PG students of Sanskrit. “Unless the government focuses on employability, it cannot draw students to Sanskrit,” he said.
Recently, the university invited applications for 8,210 seats in 74 Sanskrit teachers’ training colleges for the Shiksha Shastri (equivalent to a B.ED.) degree but only 5,800 applications have been received so far.
Shastri Kousalendradas, assistant professor in JRRSU, said innovations such as the one the government was mulling will go a long way in promoting Sanskrit education, especially the traditional knowledge of the subject, in the state. “It is true people are losing interest in studying Sanskrit. It is heartening that the government is aware of this trend and is serious about bucking it,” he said.
Jun 17, 2019 13:36 IST