Come June and students of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will learn about Indian traditions through an elective course. After a successful pilot project last year, the board will introduce "Knowledge traditions and practices of India" for Classes XI and XII from this academic year.
The course has been devised using an interdisciplinary approach such that it includes topics from various fields of study such as astronomy, metallurgy, dance, drama, language, literature, architecture, martial arts, education and others.
Class XII students will also have a module on ethics that includes Indian concepts of Karma and Dharma.
Schools reacted to the plans with enthusiasm. "Westerners have always been fascinated by the rich heritage of India while the Indian school education boards were ignoring it. Students will now learn to appreciate our culture," said Deepshikha Shrivastava, principal of Rajhans Vidyalaya, Andheri.
CBSE said that the course has been introduced with a view that students can use the traditional wisdom of India to relate to current times.
"The course is a comprehensive compendium of survey articles, followed by extracts of primary texts. The student will be learning through various modules and develop an objective insight into the traditions and practices," said Sadhana Parashar, director of academics and training.
Through a research project and viva voice students will explore Indian values, tradition systems and seats of wisdom by going to various places of historical significance.
Nearly 30% weightage will be reserved for such projects. The course does not require teachers to have any special qualification.