The “Knowledge Traditions and Practices of India” has been introduced as an elective subject at the Senior Secondary level w.e.f. 2012-2013 in class XI as a pilot and introduced in all schools w.e.f. 2013 in classes XI and XII. After ten years of general education, students branch out at the beginning of this stage and are exposed to the rigours of the various disciplines for the first time. This is the stage when they are made to start reflecting over their future life and decide on a career. At this point, they also become aware of certain knowledge traditions and practices of India that are being followed in their families and society around them but few students get an opportunity to lay hands on the vast treasure of knowledge that lies hidden in the form of literature or books.
This course aims at providing a broad overview of Indian thought in a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary mode. It would not seek to impart masses of data, but would highlight concepts and major achievements while engaging the student with a sense of exploration and discovery. It would be an introductory course so that students who take this course are prepared for a related field in higher studies in the universities. The course will cultivate critical appreciation of the thought content and provide insights relevant to promoting cognitive ability, health and well-being, good governance, aesthetic appreciation, right values and appropriate worldview. The course will therefore comprehensively deal with the all-round personality development of the students and increase their knowledge about their country.
Concept of the Course
The knowledge traditions of India are continuous and cumulative. They are textual and exegetical traditions in different areas of thought and experience: philosophy, medicine, grammar, architecture, geography, literary theory, polity and political economy, logic, astronomy and mathematics, military science, metallurgy, agriculture, mining and gemmology, and shipbuilding, among others. Concepts and technical vocabularies of these traditions are still a part of the thinking and the languages of modern India.
The tradition is also non-egocentric. The 5th century philosopher of language, Bhartrihari, states in his Vakyapadiya, a cardinal principle of knowledge constitution: The intellect acquires critical acumen by familiarity with different traditions. How much does one really understand by merely following one’s own reasoning only?” (Bhartrihari, Vakyapadiya, 11.484). The traditions are therefore, intrinsically polycentric; Indian thinkers have constantly engaged in internal debate and dialogue and have also interacted with traditions outside India.
Aims and Objectives of the course:
Students will be able to:
- get familiar with Indian thought in different disciplines.
- get familiar with major Indian thinkers in different disciplines.
- get familiar with the primary texts of Indian thought through an organized study of short extracts in translation of those texts.
- develop a better appreciation and understanding of not only the knowledge traditions and practices of India, but also of many contemporary questions and issues that they handle in their course work in related disciplines.
- enhance self awareness and self-esteem.