Updated: September 29, 2018 5:06:51 am
A DAY after All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) came under flak for endorsing a book based on “unsubstantiated scientific claims” for its new course ‘Ancient Indian Knowledge Traditions’, publisher Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan on Friday said that while not all concepts in the book are scientifically proven, students should be able to experiment to prove or disprove the same.
The statement comes a day after scientists and educators in Mumbai started a campaign against the AICTE’s plan to endorse the book ‘Bharatiya Vidya Saar’, published by education trust Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, as part of the syllabus for the elective course to be started next academic year in around 3,000 engineering colleges. The online petition has garnered over 650 signatures so far.
On Friday, AICTE Chairperson Anil Sahasrabudhe, also came out in support of the book. In reply to text messages sent by The Indian Express, he said: “People are trying to do experiments world over to unearth the truth. Then how can someone dogmatically reject without experimenting. Is this scientific way of rejecting without even attempting?”
Professor Shashibala, Dean of Centre of Indology at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, said: “The idea is to give students the option of choosing to explore the knowledge left behind in ancient scripts. While not all the concepts in the proposed book are scientifically proven, students should have the choice to experiment and prove or disprove the concepts.” She said content for the course was reviewed by the AICTE committee under chairmanship of Professor P B Sharma, founder V-C of Delhi Technological University.
Aniket Sule from Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, who had started the petition, said: “We don’t have a problem with the course but the way it is designed… the curriculum and the textbooks are not scientific.”
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