The University Grants Commission of India or UGC has asked higher study institutes like colleges and universities to introduce degree courses in astrology and Vedic maths. The purpose of this initiative is to attract international students and learners who are interested in learning Indian subjects.
Indian subjects as degree courses
In this initiative taken by UGC, the commission has also asked the institutes to introduce courses in subjects of Indian dance, philosophy, ethics, music, etc. In addition to that other Indian subjects like Ayurveda, Sanskrit, and Yoga are also included in these courses.
Subjects like holy geographical regions of India, Indian architecture and art, Indian stage, Indian inscription, Indian folklore, Indian manuscript system, Indian languages like Sanskrit, pali, and Prakrit, Indian literature, Indian food, and fashion, etc will also be introduced as courses in Higher Education Institutes.
The UGC has taken this step to spread knowledge about the culture of India and its heritage to international students as well as Indian students. Through these courses, students will get an insight into the educational past of India in detail.
However, the choice of some subjects like astrology has some raised questions. Since most do not consider astrology as a scientific subject, most people are skeptical about introducing a degree course in this subject.
According to UGC, these courses are being introduced in higher education institutes or HIEs under the National Education Policy 2020. One of the guidelines of the policy is to promote the culture and heritage of India among the student and learners.
Under the guideline, UGC has insisted all HEIs across India introduce these courses in their institutes and encourage students and learners to pursue degrees in such courses.
These courses will also include activities like debates and conversations with acharyas of the subjects, meetings with different devotees and religious people, practical knowledge about the folk culture, and visits to heritage and cultural places across the country.
UGC’s statement about the courses
In support of the introduction of these courses, UGC stated that these courses are a revival of the ancient education system of India. The ancient education system of India consisted of remarkable universities like Nalanda, Vikramshila, Tashashila, Vallabhi, etc.
UGC said that these ancient universities were a point of attraction for international learners as people from across the world came here in pursuit of knowledge.
Through this initiative, the UGC attempts at bringing back the quality education that was provided in these universities many centuries ago. Thus, the aim is to revive the ancient Indian education system and its culture.
The UGC also said that all these courses will be flexible. This way students can take up these courses as secondary courses while pursuing degrees in other fields.
These courses are structured on modular programs. These modular programs are based on credit systems. Thus, the courses will be short-term and multi-tiered.
UGC further stated that these courses can be completed in a 60-hour duration and students can opt for offline or online mode. The flexibility of the courses will encourage more and more students to pursue these subjects as secondary courses.