New Delhi: The Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas (SSUN), an RSS-affiliated organisation, has proposed that “Vedic maths” should be included in the school curriculum of the draft National Education Policy, according to a report in The Print.
The SSUN provided feedback and suggestions to the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD) for the draft NEP. According to The Print, the organisation will also discuss these suggestions at an upcoming seminar called ‘Gyan Utsav 2076’, which will be attended by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna.
Other suggestions that the SSUN has provided include a demand that the curriculum must have tenets of Indian traditional knowledge system and focus on the Vedas, according to The Print. The philosophies of Swami Vivekananda, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Abdul Kalam and others should also be taught, the RSS’s affiliate said.
Atul Kothari, the organisation’s secretary, told The Print that the inclusion of Vedic mathematics will ensure that “young students will not rely on calculators as their mind will become very sharp”. This would be handy, as competitive exams do not allow calculators to be used, he said.
Earlier this month, an unconfirmed report claimed that scientists of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) allegedly sought advice from Puri Shankaracharya Nischalananda Saraswati, an expert in “Vedic maths” for the launch of the second lunar mission, Chandrayaan 2. The article cited a report in DNA India where Shankaracharya claimed that the scientists had incorporated “Vedic calculations” into the lunar mission.
In January 2019, the MHRD approved a new national board of education called the Bhartiya Shiksha Board (BSB) to standardise Vedic education. The BSB would, in turn, also be allowed to determine its own syllabus, hold and evaluate examinations and issue certificates. Baba Ramdev was among the three applicants who expressed an interest in establishing a Vedic school board.
In the past few years, several leaders have claimed that ancient Indian texts have been unfairly discarded in favour of modern scholarly texts. Concerns have also been raised that the government’s drive to discuss and research “the Indian knowledge system” has fuelled a rise of pseudoscience and pseudoscientific claims in the country.
Previously, Shatrughan Prasad Singh, general secretary of India’s largest teachers’ union and former MP had said that to prevent the centralisation of education, educationists should head the Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog proposed in the NEP, instead of the prime minister.