NEW DELHI -- The need for a "real nationalist narrative" focusing on the Indian perspective in higher education was deliberated upon by over 700 academicians, including the vice-chancellors of 51 universities, during a two-day workshop hosted by an RSS-affiliate body here.
The lack of "Indianness" in the educational system of the country has been pointed out by various commissions and the Supreme Court too has called for incorporating Indian views into it, said J Nand Kumar, national convener of Prajna Pravah which hosted the event.
The participants of the event, including vice-chancellors (VCs) of 20 central and 31 state universities, also interacted with RSS head Mohan Bhagwat.
"The exercise is not an alternative to the present educational system which is aping the West, but it's a real nationalist narrative to imbibe Bharatiya perspectives in it," Nandkumar said, quoting the RSS chief.
The participants also presented their suggestions about creating a non-governmental and autonomous academic ecosystem in education during interaction with Bhagwat.
"This 'Gyan Sangam' (event) is an effort to provide a platform to academicians working on Bhartiya perspectives in various academic disciplines and to work for their capacity building," Nandkumar said.
The event was divided into three parts in which themes such as cultural onslaught on educational system, intellectual colonisation, and resurgence of nationalism in higher educational institutions were discussed by the participants.
S Gurumurthy spoke on cultural onslaught in a session chaired by Banaras Hindu University (BHU) VC Girish Chandra Tripathi.
Nandkumar said cultural onslaught on the education system is having a "poisonous" effect on the students and added that those who did not believe oneness of India were its example.
Prof. V P Nanda of Denver University presented a comparison of resurgence in nationalism in the East and the West.
The academicians also explored possibilities of imbibing Indian perspectives in subjects of art and culture, political science, management, pure sciences, journalism and mass communication, archaeology, law and economics among others.
Delhi University professor and convener of 'Gyan Sangam' Prakash Singh said that similar events will be held at state capitals.
He also emphasised that the initiative had nothing to do with the government and it was a move to bring about a change in the "mindset" of the people.
"When we will say something and point out shortcomings (in educational system) with evidence, it will have to be accepted," he said, adding that this initiative was going on even before the BJP dispensation assumed office at the Centre.
The event concluded with an address by Mohan Bhagwat.
It was also attended by Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) chairman Sudharshan Rao and senior RSS functionaries Suresh Soni and Krishna Gopal.
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