The job oriented courses which are in some or the other way linked to Indian culture and traditions have started getting approval from the University Grants Commission. The approval has been warm heartedly welcomed by the institutes or the faculties concerned. Till date few of the courses which have been approved includes courses on Karam Kand, Vedic mathematics, yoga, astrology and Vidyapati Sangeet.
Reports reveal that in a reply given to RTI which was filed by Gopal Prasad, an activist by UGC, it was stated that “it has also approved certificate and diploma courses in performing arts in many colleges in the country”. The very first examples are Telugu folk performing art forms; Yakshagana and drama and Temple Tourism which are being taught at in a college located in Madurai.
Another Activist Dinanath Batra, who was also in the same queue demanding the inclusion of components of Indian culture and tradition in educational curriculum, said “this would encourage the youth to take up these courses as a career option.”
A ray of excitement flown in the breath of those people who have been demanding the inclusion of such components of Indian culture and traditions in educational institutes and courses since last so many years. The people were of the view that if such courses will be taught in the colleges it will not only promote the Indian Culture but also it will serve as a means of livelihood for many children in the long run.
Karma Kand is one of the courses amongst all the courses that have been approved and has also been introduced in some of the colleges located in Deoria, Kushinagar and Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh while Vedic mathematics which has also been approved has been introduced in a college in Porbandar, Gujarat. Karma Kand is nothing but the the study of performing rituals as per Hindu traditions by chanting mantras in Sanskrit. These rituals are performed especially after the death of a person. The course also includes the study of astrological charts or kundali.
Other courses which have been approved by UGC includes some Yoga related courses such as Yoga and Mental Health, Yoga and Health Management which have been introduced in few colleges in Punjab’s Fazilka, Chandigarh and Kerala’s Thrissur. Moreover the Holistic Yoga Therapy has been approved in a college in Ernakulum in Kerala. A course in Jyotish Shastra (astrology) has been approved in a Varanasi college.
In the list of approved courses there is course Vidyapati Sangeet which is very much famous in Darbhanga and Madhubani in Bihar. Now the folk songs are based on the poems composed by the renowned Maithili poet Vidyapati. The UGC has also approved a course in Translation Skills in Arabic and English, as well as courses in Arabic for Tours and Travels, in Darul Uloom Arabic College, Malappuram, Kerala.
Cultural activist Anshuman Pandey said the move would encourage “Indianness” among the young generation, which has a “tendency of aping the West”. Further he added that “till the courses are linked to livelihood or jobs, Indian culture will not be able to sustain in the long run and hence the UGC decision is quite welcome.”