Govt to set up Sanskrit cells in IITs to research ancient science

Premier engineering and scientific institutes run by the Centre, including the IITs, should have a Sanskrit cell to help students study ancient literature related to their fields, a panel set up by the education ministry has recommended.

The panel also wants these institutes to let students opt for internship in Sanskrit institutions for credit during the course of their study.

“If financial support is provided to such students their talent could be utilised in unravelling the scientific knowledge hidden in Sanskrit literature through small but focused projects,” the panel headed by a retired IAS officer N Gopalaswami has told the government.

Gopalaswami was the culture secretary and home secretary during the NDA government and was appointed to the election commission after his retirement. As the senior-most election commissioner, he was elevated as the chief election commissioner in 2006.

The panel – that was tasked with coming up with a 10-year roadmap for developing the language – recommended introducing Sanskrit as an optional language in undergraduate programmes and integrating it with other subjects.

In some ways, it is an unfinished agenda of the BJP-led government started by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA. IIT Delhi had undertaken a project to introduce Sanskrit courses for undergraduate students.

The cell would facilitate study of science and technology in Sanskrit literature and inter disciplinary study of various modern subjects and its corresponding subjects in Sanskrit literature.

“Atharavaveda, Vaisheshika Darshana etc. are, it is acknowledged, the treasure house of scientific concepts which are hitherto studied from Science point of view. There are hundreds of works like Siddhanta Shiromani, Vriksha Ayurveda.., which are of great relevance in the context of research and innovation,” the Gopalaswami panel said.

The committee recommended the proposed cell offer various types of Sanskrit courses for the students in the campus for credits.
The panel also advocated setting up model Sanskrit-medium schools in every state.