The human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has constituted a 13-member expert committee exclusively on Sanskrit in its attempt to revive interest in the ancient language.
Headed by N Gopalaswami, the former chief election commissioner (CEC) and now Chancellor of Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth in Tirupati, the committee has been asked to recommend measures to integrate the study of the ancient language with other disciplines such as physics, chemistry, mathematics, medical science and law, suggest changes in Sanskrit education in schools and universities and recommend ways to impart Sanskrit education through modern tools. The committee is also tasked with charting out an action plan to develop the language in the next 10 years.
This is the second committee set up by the Smriti Irani-led ministry on Indian languages. Although the first panel’s broader brief included promotion of classical languages, the second one is exclusively dedicated to Sanskrit. Notified on November 18, the committee is expected to submit its report in three months.
Confirming the constitution of the committee, Gopalaswami told The Indian Express, “I have been sounded out by a government official about such a panel, but I am yet to receive it in writing. We’ll decide on when to hold the first meeting as soon as I receive the letter.”
HRD ministry spokesperson Ghanshyam Goel did not respond to the questions sent by The Indian Express.
Other members of the panel include NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy, former government of India secretary V V Bhat, Chairman of National Skill Development Corporation Dr Ramadorai, Delhi University professor Ramesh Bharadwaj, UGC Chairman Ved Prakash and Chamu Krishna Shastri of the RSS-affiliated Samskrit Bharti.
This development comes two months after the 13-member Sanskrit Commission — set up by the UPA-II government just months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections — submitted its final report to the HRD ministry. Led by Padma Bhushan awardee Satya Vrat Shastri, this commission had recommended a host of measures to revive interest in the language, including the establishment of special laboratories where scientists and Sanskrit scholars can work together to corroborate ancient beliefs such as the power of Vedic sacrifices to induce rainfall and the healing qualities of sacrificial ashes (yajna-bhasma).