New Delhi: India may integrate traditional knowledge and philosophy propagated by scholars, such as Patanjali, Panini, and Bhaskaracharya, with liberal arts education. The final draft of the new education policy of the human resource development (HRD) ministry underlines that the policy, which comes after a gap of almost 30 years, has been guided by the rich heritage of ancient Indian knowledge.
“These rich legacies to world heritage must not only be nurtured and preserved for posterity, but also enhanced and put to new uses through our education system. For instance, they can be integrated into liberal arts education to help develop the creativity and originality of students, and to encourage them to innovate," says the draft education policy, which will be sent to the cabinet soon. Mint has seen a copy of the final draft.
According to the final draft, the Indian education system produced scholars such as Charaka, Susruta, Aryabhata, Bhaskaracharya, Madhava, Chanakya, Patanjali and Panini.
“They made seminal contributions to world knowledge in diverse fields such as mathematics, astronomy, metallurgy, medical science and surgery, civil engineering and architecture, shipbuilding and navigation, yoga, fine arts, and chess. Indian religion and philosophy has had a strong influence on the world," it adds.
“The rich heritage of ancient Indian knowledge has been a guiding light for this policy," says the draft, adding that the aim of education in ancient India was not just acquisition of knowledge as a preparation for life in this world or for life beyond schooling, but for complete realisation and the liberation of the self.
India is working on bringing in a new education policy for the past five years. A final report by the K. Kasturirangan Committee on the new education policy was made public on 31 May. The ministry and its committees have had more than 115,000 meetings and, since June, has received more than 200,000 public suggestions.
The HRD ministry has been working on the Kasturirangan Committee report since June 2019 to prepare the final policy draft, which will go to the Union cabinet for approval. Thereafter it will be notified.
The Indian education system is one of the largest in the world with nearly 300 million students pursuing education at over 1.4 million schools and over 49,000 colleges, besides 900-plus universities. India spends less than 3% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on education, against the decade-old demand for 6% of GDP by academics and experts.