Indian Culture: Education in India: Art, Architecture, Religion and Science (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Culture has different aspects such as art, architecture, religion, science but it՚s most important aspect is Education. Education is a learning experience and a lifelong process . This system changes along with changes in culture.

Education in India
  • In Ancient India learning was imparted by teachers called Gurus to the pupils who came to live with them in their houses called Gurukul (a domestic school) . The relationship of learning between the teacher and student was called as Guru-Shishya Parampara which began with a religious ceremony Upanayana. Education was imparted orally which included memorization of texts like Vedas and Dharmashastras. Later subjects like Grammar, Logic and metaphysics were also added. During this time self education was regarded as the proper method of attaining the highest knowledge.
  • During Mauryan and the post Mauryan period the growth of urban centers and trade , the Mercantile community came to an important position and started to play an active part in providing Education. They festered the knowledge of mining, metallurgy, carpentry, weaving and dyeing . There were new formulations in building and architecture with the emergence of city life. Medical knowledge began to be systemised as AYURVEDA.
  • In the Gupta period, the Jain and Buddhist systems of education assumed different dimensions. Buddhist monasteries admitted students for ten years . There learning began with oral method and afterwards shifted to reading of literary texts. Monastries also had libraries. Monasteries were maintained by kings and rich Mercantile class. The subjects taught included Vedanta, philosophy, study of the puranas, epics, grammar, logic etc. Sanskrit was the court language and medium of instruction. Gradually Jainism and Buddhism lost their royal patronage and their monastries started declining.
  • In Ancient India, the aim of education was for one՚s inner growth and self fulfilment, techniques, rules and methods , increase creative capacity .
  • Sanskrit enjoyed a position of privilege as it was the medium of Brahmanical education and the language for upper castes and Hindu rulers. Prakrit developed as a language of masses with the rise of Buddhism and Pali was one of the earliest variants of it. The Dravidian languages Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam were used in the southern India.
  • During Medieval period with the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate, Islamic system of education was introduced. The institutions of school education were known as Makhtabs and that of higher learning were known as Madrasas . The famous Madarasas were Muizzi, Nasiri and the Firuzi . This system of education was traditional in spirit and theological in content. The curriculum was divided into two categories: Traditions, law and history, literature came under the traditional sciences (MANQULAT) while Logic, philosophy, medicine, mathematics, astronomy came under the rational sciences (MAQULAT) . This period saw the rise of URDU as a language. Akbar patronised many scholars such as Abul Fazal, Raja Todar Mal , Birbal and Rahim. They were among the nine gems of his court who helped in spreading culture and education.
  • In Eighteenth Century, the British were involved in trade and conquest in India. The beginning of oriental scholarship was made by Warren Hastings in 1781 when he started the Calcutta Madarsa . Eleven years later, in 1792 , Jonathan Duncan , a Resident of Varanasi started a sanskrit college to educate native Hindus to assist the Europeans. Christian missionaries were making efforts to introduce western education by opening elementary schools and providing education to the more humble sections of the Society including the Untouchables.
  • The first half of the nineteenth century can be called as a period of educational experiments. The East India Company՚s Charter Act of 1813 enabled the company to set aside one lakh rupees for education. William Bentick adopted English as the official language of the government and Lord Harding employed Indians who had received English education. The objectives of educational policy were given in Woods Despatch of 1854 which suggested that Universities should be set up in Bombay, Madras and Calcutta. In 1857 Universities of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta were established.
  • In 1901, Lord Curzon convened the conference of Directors of Public Instructions which began era of educational reforms. In 1904, the Indian Universities Act was passed to take measures for qualitative improvement in higher education.
  • Literacy and education were more widespread in towns than in villages.
  • Britishers needed people to work in administrative offices so they encouraged the teaching of English Language. Christian Missionaries opened schools where English was taught. Use of English unknowingly helped Indians as it was one language that cut across the entire country and become a common link for people and also helped to get freedom.
  • In Post Independent India adequate measures were taken to spread education, economic inequality, regional imbalance and social justice. In 1966 , the Report of the Education Commission known as Kothari Commission referred to education as the only instrument of peaceful social change. The subject of education was incorporated in concurrent list by the constitutional amendment act of 1976.
  • Elementary education is the crucial stage of education including first eight years of schooling. Article 45 of the constitution provides for the state to introduce compulsory and free education for children up to the age of fourteen. In 2001 , Sarva Shiksha Abhiyana was introduced by central government for universalization of elementary education.
  • Higher Education becomes when students completes their senior secondary education It is important that courses in higher education offers programmes of study and courses closely related to life, aimed at the development of personality, reasoning and learning capabilities of students.
  • The National Education Policy of 1968 aimed at promoting national progress, a sense of common citizenship and culture, and strengthen national integration. It also laid stress on a radical reconstruction of the education system, technology, cultivation of moral values and a closer relation between education and the life of the people.
  • Open and Distance Learning system is meant for those learners who discontinue their education in formal system due to financial, Geographical, academic, or medical reasons. They can learn without any boundary of place and time as per their convenience.
  • Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) is a centrally sponsored scheme for universalisation of access to and improvement of quality education at secondary stage. Its goal is to make secondary education Available, Accessible and Affordable.

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