Education ministry identifies 9 areas of research under IKS programme this year

Published on Oct 09, 2022 05:29 PM IST

“The idea is to build a community of researchers in each broad area,” said Ganti S Murthy, national coordinator for IKS. “Through IKS, we are aiming to rejuvenate the Indian traditional knowledge system. Therefore, we are trying to encourage research in clusters and broad and focussed areas,” Murthy siad. “We will select 5-6 high quality proposals in each area.”

The IKS division was established by the ministry as an innovation cell at the All India Council for Technical Education in 2020. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The IKS division was established by the ministry as an innovation cell at the All India Council for Technical Education in 2020. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
By, New Delhi

Study of ancient Indian approach to economics, politics and foreign policy; historical development of mathematics and astronomy through study of the ancient texts; new universal sociological models based on insiders’ perspective; and recreation of eco-friendly pigments and dyes used in traditional Indian textiles are among the nine broad categories under which the education ministry’s Indian Knowledge Systems (IKS) programme has invited the research proposals this year.

The IKS division was established by the ministry as an innovation cell at the All India Council for Technical Education in 2020 to promote interdisciplinary research on aspects of indigenous knowledge. This is its second edition of the “competitive research proposals programme” to provide grants to promote research in the field.

The winning proposals will receive up to 20 lakh over two years. The last day of submission of proposals is October 30. The names of the selected proposals will be announced in December.

The nine areas have been identified with the help of expert after taking feedback from researchers, according to an IKS document, a copy of which is with HT.

“The idea is to build a community of researchers in each broad area,” said Ganti S Murthy, national coordinator for IKS. “Through IKS, we are aiming to rejuvenate the Indian traditional knowledge system. Therefore, we are trying to encourage research in clusters and broad and focussed areas,” Murthy siad. “We will select 5-6 high quality proposals in each area.”

Research in some topics like those in universal sociological models will help India to show its own frameworks to the world, Murthy said. “Why should we subscribe to the western sociological theories? There is a need to study whether digital or social media be studied from an Indic sociological perspective to curb certain vices and encourage certain virtues,” he said. “What can an Indic sociology offer that helps individuals embody a unique potential for wonder, connection, inspiration, and even joy and delight?”

Under the political and economic thought and foreign policy category, the division is looking to find answers to the several questions including on an Indian approach to economics, politics and foreign policy.

“India is the land of great wisdom in the study of polity and economy, the Rajaneetishastra and Arthashastra, as expounded in our great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata and in the profound works of thinkers such as Shukracharya and Acharya Vishnugupta,” it said. “Indian empires of the last few millennia consisted of Maurya, Guptas, Cholas, Pallavas, and Vijayanagara who had flourishing economies, transcontinental trades, sent cultural ambassadors to all corners of the known world, and even sent military expeditions to safeguard economic and political interests.”

“These aspects need to be studied in detail to understand India’s political, and economic thought and foreign policy.”

The medieval period should also be covered while doing research on IKS, said Tanvir Aeijaz, associate professor of political science at Delhi University’s Ramjas College.

“For instance, in the case of political science, IKS should not just take into account the ancient and vedic time but also consider medieval and modern historical knowledge of India,” Aeijaz said. “Also, these researches should be done without any preconceived notion or agenda. However, we welcome the fact that the government is trying to push research under this project, provided it will be done in a democratic manner.”

Under the traditional mathematics and astronomy category, the IKS division has invited proposals to investigate the historical development of mathematics and astronomy through study of the original texts or of ancient structures and instruments.

“Most of the mathematics taught in schools today either originated or was developed in India,” the IKS document said.” There is a need to study the relationship between the astronomical phenomena and the Panchanga for determining the timing of the festivals and agricultural operations, traditional methods for periodic correction of the astronomical models, study of the simplicity and optimality of the algorithms developed in Indian mathematics and astronomy are a priority.”

The other areas of research could include historical artifacts obtained from the archaeological excavations, replacement of pesticides with traditional alternatives, and the areas of Ayurveda, vipasana (mindfulness) approaches of Buddhists, health, wellness and consciousness studies based on the Indian traditions. Sustainable agriculture and food preservation, and approaches for management of water resources are also among the topics.

Get Latest India Newsalong with Latest Newsand Top Headlinesfrom India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Fareeha Iftikhar is a principal correspondent with the national political bureau of the Hindustan Times. She tracks the education ministry, and covers the beat at the national level for the newspaper. She also writes on issues related to gender, human rights and different policy matters.

SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, January 29, 2023
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals