Indic thought and wisdom has been in greater demand over the last decade with the world increasingly realising the flaws and limitations of the current model of individual and societal development. With sustainability, inclusivity, and values being the buzzwords, there has been great enthusiasm and initiative to explore and understand the knowledge traditions of ancient India which modeled themselves on the very principles. The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 also captures this spirit and has given a much needed thrust not only for the inclusion of Indian Knowledge Systems (IKS) in the national curriculum and pedagogy but also for promoting authentic research and innovation in the domain to address the challenges and concerns of the 21st century. It is essential to encourage, guide, curate platforms and opportunities , especially for the young scholars and researchers.
The 3-day National Youth Conference on Indian Knowledge Systems (NYC IKS) organised by Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth (CVV) in collaboration with the IKS division at the Ministry of Education, AICTE, Government of India, is a step in this direction. The objective of the conference was to encourage deep study of the different themes of Indic knowledge, provide a platform for young scholars and researchers to present their learnings, facilitate a bridging of ancient and modern perspectives on Indic knowledge and aid an attitude shift towards the contemporary relevance and future possibilities of IKS.
The conference invited young scholars in the age group of 15-28 years to present their thoughts and understanding on the following themes:
- Application of Indian Knowledge Traditions in everyday life
- Science, Technology and Architecture
- Health, Wellness and Psychology
- Public Administration and Governance
- Arts, Music and Dance
- Wisdom through the Ages
The conference received nearly 280 registration and 200 abstracts. Of these, 130 were selected for presentation.
The conference brought together distinguished personalities and young scholars from across the nation to discuss their innovative ideas and diverse topics pertaining to the intersection of ancient and modern perspectives of Indian Knowledge Systems.
The inaugural session began with a beautiful rendition of the CVV kula geetham by Krishnapriya (Final year, BA Sanskrit), Vinamra Herle (Second year, BA Sanskrit) and Hridya S (Final year, BA Sanskrit). This was followed by lighting of the lamp by the dignitaries. The welcome address was delivered by Dr. Sunitha Grandhee (Dean – Academics, CVV), followed by the presidential address by Prof. Ajay Kapoor (Vice chancellor, CVV). Dr Apparao Mukkamala (Trustee, CVV) introduced the keynote speaker Prof. Ganti S. Murthy, the National Co-ordinator of IKS @ MoE, AICTE, GoI. He spoke about the existential challenges and possible solutions for the crisis of the world like the climatic change, the increased population etc. through a multidisciplinary and holistic approach grounded in reality and hoary traditions of rigorous enquiry and innovativeness. He stressed the relevance and need for IKS based education. He was felicitated by Prof. Pasala Geervani (Pro Chancellor, CVV). The vote of thanks was proposed by Dr. Rahul Sharma (Registrar, CVV).
This was followed by the plenary sessions. The first plenary session was by Shri. Raghava Krishna, Co-founder and CEO of Brhat LLC, who spoke on ‘Civilisational Design Thinking’. He spoke on the holistic nature of Indian civilization which included all living beings. He discussed principles, mindset, techniques, and practices of civilization and also highlighted the importance of ‘vision of integral education’ in the IKS. This was followed by the second plenary session of Smt. Sahana Singh, renowned author and commentator, on ‘IKS–The Importance of being Civilisationally Rooted’. She discussed the important reasons to be rooted in IKS given its potential to give enormous happiness, to solve environmental issues, and to avoid the huge danger of being erased. The final plenary session was by Shri. Karthik Sharma (Asst. Professor, CVV) on ‘Logic, Anumanapramana and Advaita Vedanta’. He provided definitions of logic, arguments, their types, connections with pramanas of tarka shastra. He also elucidated how the understanding of contemporary logic can be applied in the study of Advaita.
This was followed by poster presentations and technical sessions in the afternoon. Then concurrent paper presentation sessions took place in three different venues.
Carnatic music performances enlivened the evenings. There was a veena recital by Sneha Gomathi (First year, BA Sanskrit). Pavan R. Mohan (First year, BA Sanskrit) played the flute. A group performance of Carnatic bhajans was presented by Vinamra Herle (Second year, BA Sanskrit), Hrudya S. (Final year, BA Sanskrit), Krishnapriya PS (Final year, BA Sanskrit), Sandhra KR (Final year, BA Sanskrit), Swastika Suresh (First year, M Sc Psychology), Sneha Gomati, Deekshita Muthukumaran ( First year, MA Sanskrit) and Anirudh Sharma (Final year, MSc Psychology).
There was a Carnatic music concert by Dr. PN Prabhavathy (Assistant Professor, CVV) and a jugalbandi by Anirudh Sharma and Arjun Deshpande (Second year, BA Sanskrit). The performances concluded with the popular Tyagaraja Kriti ‘Entaro Mahanubhavulu…’ by all the participants of this event with Dr. Sunitha Grandhee on the flute.
Day two started with a Kalaripayattu session in the early morning by Mahesh Gurukkal, Agasthyam Kalari. The morning session had two workshops in a series. The first one was by Prof. Gauri Mahulikar , Academic Director, Chinmaya International Foundation, on Manuscriptology. She explained how essential it is to be rooted in IKS to understand manuscripts. She also gave exercises to the participants to help them appreciate the concepts.
The second workshop was by Dr. Sudarshan Chiplunkar (Asst. Professor, CVV). He dealt with the details of evolution and technicalities of manuscripts. He enlightened the participants on the right eating habits based mainly on the work Bhojana-kutuhalam. He also enumerated some traditional Ayurvedic remedies.
This was followed by a panel discussion led by students on the topic ‘A World Powered by Indic Knowledge’. Dr. Sunitha Grandhee set the context for the discussion. Ms.Lakshmi Sivaraman (Junior Psychologist Atha Centre & Research Assistant, Brhat), moderated the discussion. The panel had eight delegates from different parts of India, including Pune, Chennai, Bengaluru, Dharwad and Odisha. The delegates were : Sriprada Indrakanti(Student, SDM College of Ayurveda & Hospital), Pooja A Hoogar (Student, SVYASA Yoga University), Bishnupriya Pani(Student, Shiksha ‘O’ Anusandhan), Karunya G (Student, IIT Dharwar), Gurumurthy Seethu (Student, SRM Institute of Science & Technology), Shivadi Kumar Mishra( Student, CVV) and Alok Kumar (Student, CVV).The panel discussed definitions of IKS, integrating IKS in one’s lifestyle, challenges for IKS in the contemporary times and possible solutions.
In the afternoon there were poster presentations followed by paper presentations.
In the evening, the third workshop on Indian Board Games (Buddhiyog) was conducted by Shri. Aman Gopal Surekha, Director, Kohl Khel Pvt. Ltd. All the participants received the Buddhiyog kit. Though it looked similar to snakes and ladders, it had unique and intriguing features which ignited the curiosity of the participants.
Later in the evening, a Kathakali performance was presented by the Chalakudy Kathakali Club on Kuchelavritham.
Day three, too, began with a Kalaripayattu session in the early morning. This was followed by a keynote talk by Prof. B. Mahadevan, Professor, IIM Bangalore and Founder Vice Chancellor of CVV on ‘Treasure in the Wooden Box: Inspirational Ideas from IKS’. He made the audience curious about the wooden box. He spoke of the need for IKS and the proper understanding of the term. He threw light on how knowledge represents wisdom and insights arising from deep experiences, observation, experimentation and analysis. When validated further by formal and informal systems it becomes a structured methodology. He also pointed out the reasons for the decline of IKS. Towards the end, through an eye-opening story of a beggar, he explained the curiosity associated with the wooden box. The final keynote address was delivered by Dr. Anuradha Chaudhary, Coordinator, IKS division, MoE, AICTE, GoI on ‘The Secret of Secrets: The IKS Way’. She explained the subtle pedagogical aspects of Upanishads. The manner in which engagement of students is encouraged to acquire learning by reasoning was pointed out. She also drew attention to the inter-disciplinary and holistic approach in our traditional education.
This was followed by a discussion on ‘A World Powered by Indic Knowledge–Make it Happen Now’ by a panel comprising dignitaries. The discussion was moderated by Shri. N. M. Sundar (Executive Trustee, CVV). The experts spoke about what they see in the World powered by IKS, what it is to be seen as ‘cool’ in being based on IKS.
A drama based on Vishwamitra Nadi Samvada Sukta, staged by CVV students left the audience enthralled.
Following this, the prize winners were announced. Eminent Academicians evaluated the oral (paper) and poster presentations based on merit. After the evaluation, three winners from each of the categories emerged, as follows:
I. Oral (paper) Presentation
First Place: Ramkumar D & Gunturu Vamsi Krishna
Second Place: Vinamra Herle & Samskruthi Shastry
Third Place: Sai Avaneesh Raghuram & Hanuman Shivaji Dhondge
II. Poster Presentation
First Place: Sriprada Indrakanti
Second Place: Provat Kumar Mondal
Third Place: Gurumurthy Seethu
The prizes were announced by Dr.Sunitha Grandhee and the prizes were given away by Prof. Ganti S. Murthy.
The conference came to a close with the valedictory session which was addressed by Prof. Pasala Geervani.
Conference Advisory Committee
- Patron: Prof. Ajay Kapoor, Vice Chancellor, CVV
- Dr. Pasala Geervani, Pro Chancellor, CVV
- Dr. Apparao Mukkamala, Member, CVV Trust
Conference Organising Committee
- Convenor: Dr. Sunitha Grandhee, Dean–Academics & Director, Centre for Excellence in Applied Indian Knowledge Systems, CVV
- Coordinator: Shri. Srinath Mohandas, Assistant Professor, School of Ethics, Governance, Culture and Social Systems, CVV
- Dr. Anusha S., Research Associate, Centre for Excellence in Applied Indian Knowledge Systems, CVV
- Ms. Gayathri Sankaranarayanan, Coordinator–Centre for Excellence in Applied Indian Knowledge Systems, CVV
- Ms. Rupal Shukla, Semester 9, IM Advaita Vedanta, CVV
- Ms. Kavita Verma, Semester 9, IM Advaita Vedanta, CVV
- Mr. Sai Avaneesh Raghuram, Semester 5, BSc BEd Mathematics, CVV
- Mr.Anirudh Sharma, Semester 3, M.Sc. Applied Psychology, CVV