The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is considering starting part-time courses on Indian culture and yoga, offered by its Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies.
“There will be a basic study of Indian culture to establish Indian rituals and values in the world and derive ways from these sources to make human life better. Indian culture can’t be understood without the help of Indian literature, which are generally written by sages,” reads the course background on Indian culture formulated by the department and sent to centres/schools for comment.
The centres and schools were to submit their views by Wednesday, before it was placed before the Academic Council on October 30. Despite repeated attempts, Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies chairperson Upendra Rao could not be reached for information on whether he had feedback from all centres/schools.
In the Indian culture course, students will study Vedas, epics and Jatakas to understand Indian culture’s role in the world to “establish human beings, samskaras, brotherhood and peace in the world”.
The yoga course will teach students not only its spiritual importance but also its contribution in “business and corporate endeavour, excellence in management and development in science and technology”.
Teachers say the demand for the part-time courses came after teachers rejected a demand of the Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies to be turned into a school in the previous academic council meeting.
“In the last meeting, they had said they wanted the centre to be converted into a school, which would mean they could offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses. When that was rejected, they put forward the demand for these part-time courses,” said the dean of a school on condition of anonymity.
Besides these two courses, the Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies is also considering offering a part-time course on Computational Linguistics, described as a “fast emerging multidisciplinary area of study which has tremendous
applications for Indian languages in general and Sanskrit in particular”.