Can’t teach religion, jingoism for Indian Knowledge Systems – Times of India | IIT EXPERT

PUNE: Officials in the state’s steering committee for implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 observed that in many higher educational institutes, “religion, jingoism and blind heroworship” were being taught under the Indian Knowledge Systems (IKS) course subjects. They plan to make changes to curb this trend.
The committee has decided to make several shifts in NEP implementation from the academic year 2024-25, based on a review of the same in some autonomous colleges in the last academic year.
Asub-committee has been formed to prepare a broad outline of dos and don’ts in subject design for the IKS basket. Nitin Karmalkar, chairman of the steering committee, told TOI, “We reviewed the implementation of NEP 2020 in autonomous institutes and found that in approximately 50% of them, subjects taught under IKS were not up to the mark. Religion, jingoism, and blind hero-worship cannot be taught under IKS. The idea is to impart ancient knowledge of our civilization, like mathematics, science and technology, medicine, astronomy, architecture, philosophy, arts, languages, literature, culture, etc.”
Karmalkar added, “A subcommittee is working on some guidelines in this regard. This report with guidelines on what can be taught will be published in a few days. While colleges have all the autonomy to design courses, the report will serve as a rough outline of the expected outcome from subjects under IKS.”
Also, at present, major and minor subjects are decided by students in the first year in many autonomous colleges. The new circular issued on March 13 this year by the state’s higher education department changes this crite-rion. It allows students to take amaximum of three subjects in FY of their UG programme and choose the major and minor in the next year.
“The question arises whether students have the experience and intellectual capacity to pick and choose a major and minor in FY itself. We also saw some courses in a few colleges getting less response from students, like mathematics, microbiology and more,” said Karmalkar.
He added, “NEP talks about flexibility. Our circular is illustrative and not prescriptive. The culture is yet to set in. Colleges still feel rules must come from the government. So, we felt the need to issue a circular this month. It is not binding on colleges.”

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