May 27, 2024

BENGALURU EXPRESS

Truth Triumphs

Indian Education-The past glory, the downfall, and an attempt to rise again-1

GUEST COLUMN

Bengaluru, June 12: A thousand years ahead of Europeans, Indian savants knew that the zero and infinity were mutually inverse notions.

India has been the centre of learning since ancient times. The fame of Indian culture, wealth, religions, philosophies, art, architecture and its educational practices had spread far and wide. The education system of ancient times, traditions and practices guided and encouraged human values.

The system focused on the moral, physical, spiritual and intellectual aspects of life. It emphasised on values such as humility, truthfulness, discipline, self-reliance and respect for all creations. Students were taught to appreciate the balance between human beings and nature. Some of the notable universities that developed during that period were Nalanda, Takshashila, Valabhi, Odantapuri, Vikramshila and Jagaddala. 

The glory of Indian education!

A closer look at the education system of India will reveal one startling fact. That despite all challenges, it continues to flourish and churn out some of the exceptional brains of the world. From Aryabhatta to Bhaskaracharya to Sir CV Raman to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, India is home to some of the best brilliant minds in world history.

It is home to

• 36% of scientists of NASA

• 36% of employees of Microsoft

• 38% of the medical doctors in USA

• 28% of employees of IBM

• 10% of programmers all of the world are Indians 

• Nearly a million scientists and engineers of Indian origin reside in the US alone.

The World’s first University was established in Takshila, India, in 700BC. More than 10,000 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects. The University of Nalanda built in the 4th century BC was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education. UNESCO has declared these universities as heritage sites. They were considered the best centres of learning in the world. India had a very rich history of nurturing mankind through holistic education. Our ancient universities not only provided education for living but also for self-enlightenment.

The Gurukul System of Education was India’s Tradition and Pride. The main sources of teaching came through the Vedas, Puranas and other religious texts. Importance was given to the all-round development of shishyas. This system of Education aimed at overall development of personality and character. Education during ancient times was sacred. It was a venerated and revered field.  

The ancient Indian astronomers had tabulated the movement and positions of the sun, planets and the stars in space without the gadgets available to the current generation. 

• The Number system was invented by India – Aryabhatta invented the digit zero.  

• The Art of Meditation and Yoga originated from India. 

• Martial Arts (karate and Judo) originated from India, not China

• Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus are studies which originated in India 

• Bhaskaracharya was the first to calculate the time taken by the earth to orbit the sun accurately in the 5th century – Time taken by earth to orbit the sun – 365.258756484 days. It stands undisputed even today!

• Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to humans

Indian Education – We should integrate India’s heritage!

Few countries boast such a rich cultural heritage as India, yet the average Indian student is exposed to almost nothing of it – the painful paradox of “modern” Indian education. The degenerated outcome of colonial policies has been reinforced rather than reformed after Independence. The unspoken line of thinking is that India’s cultural heritage is basically useless to students in the rat race for jobs. We have become slaves to everything western.  

Next column- the down fall and the crisis in Indian education!
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