Using Indian traditional knowledge systems to solve contemporary problems
Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank chaired a meeting on Research in Indian Traditional Knowledge Systems in New Delhi yesterday. Minister of State for HRD Shri Sanjay Dhotre was present in the meeting. Dr Sonal Man Singh, Member of Parliament; Principal Scientific Advisor, K. Vijay Raghavan; Secretary, MHRD, Amit Khare; Secretary AYUSH, Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha and senior officials of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Ministry of HRD were present in the meeting. Eminent persons from the field of Arts, Science, Culture, Medicine, Technology who have demonstrated special achievements in the traditional Knowledge system of India also attended the meeting. The Heads of Premier institutions like IITs, IIMs, IISERs, CDAC among others also participated in the meeting through Video Conferencing.
Speaking on the occasion, the HRD Minister Pokhriyal said it is a matter of pride for us that the traditional Indian knowledge system has stood out in the fields of science, technology, art, architecture, culture, mathematics, medicine, etc. Citing the example of Yoga which is recognised by the United Nations and almost all the countries of the world, the Minister said it has been proved from time to time that our traditional knowledge is not only logical but also scientific. He added that it is the need of the hour to accept the vastness of the Indian disciplines and use this knowledge to solve the present-day problems by connecting them to modern research and innovation.
The Minister informed that the objective of this meeting is to ensure the development of the society by coordinating the ancient and modern genres of knowledge. The basic goal of all of us is a public welfare and we should find ways to deal with the current challenges with the help of our research in the Indian Traditional System.
Pokhriyal highlighted that with traditional knowledge, our horizons of research will broaden and become naturally more innovative and inventive. The ideas contained in our ancient texts and traditions have diverse dimensions. They touch countless possibilities and help us think imaginatively. They provide us with innumerable opportunities to find solutions.
The Minister also advised various steps to promote research in Indian traditional knowledge which includes Inter-disciplinary research, find ways through which the best and brightest students and professors are invited for research, assess whether the current educational model is flexible enough, developing educational materials, appropriate course materials and texts that may be available everywhere, financial assistance from the Government, evolve an administrative system to encourage researchers among others.
Union HRD Minister also reviewed the ongoing research works of different institutions on the traditional knowledge system and appreciated their efforts in this direction. He said that currently, various institutions are doing their research work in silos which needs to be interconnected for better results. He emphasized for better coordination among all the institutions for this purpose. He also said that we need to connect with foreign institutions who are working on our traditional knowledge system. It will be beneficial not only for India but also for the entire world.
The Minister further said that by conducting research in traditional Indian knowledge systems we can learn many cost-effective and innovative ways to solve various national and global problems. There are many fields of Indian knowledge science which are still very important for us. He said that Ayurveda, Yoga, Panini'sAshtadhyayi explanation and Bhartrihari'sSphotha-Siddhanta (ie the principle of cognition) are some such examples. Research in these areas can help us improve our health.
During the meeting, it was suggested that a Division may be formed in MHRD, which will handle all research and Innovation related to the traditional Indian knowledge system. Also, it was suggested that one IIT may be nominated as Nodal Institute for coordinating research work of various Institutes/Organizations.