Bengaluru February 03: “If attempts of bringing in Indian values in education, then a section of people will criticize it as Saffronisation of education. If it is Saffronisation of education, then there is nothing wrong in it ” said Governor of Karnataka, Hon Vajubbhai R Vala in Bengaluru on Tuesday morning.

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He was delivering the inaugural address at a gathering of educationists  at the two-day national conference on ‘Value initiatives in institutions of Higher learning-key to Youth empowerment’ at Maharani Lakshmi Ammanni College for Women in Malleshwaram, Bengaluru. Disha Charitable Trust, an RSS inspired NGO of Malleshwaramon Value based education co-organised the event along with Maharani Lakshmi Ammanni College for Women in Malleshwaram.

Governonr VR Vala added “The student today gets today has information from all corners, but from where the values he will imbibe? The need for value education to be a part of the modern-day education system which currently focuses only on bestowing literacy and knowledge of technology. People paint any attempt at moral education as saffronization, we inculcate the eternal values of universal love and brotherhood as enunciated in the concept of  ancient chantings like ‘Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, Krunvanto Vishwamaryam or Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.”

“Youth should focus more on character building than spending time-money on cosmetics and luxuries. Than spending money on such fashion items, better to purchase books to read about the life and teachings of inspiring leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhai Patel and Bhagat Singh who sacrificed their lives in the service of the nation” said Governor VR Vala.

“Today we all has to understand and practice the sentence Satyam Vada-Dharmam Chara, meaning speak truth and do works honestly and ethically. Simple living and high thinking is the need of the hour. Gandhiji lead a simple life and his his thoughts were of high and wider standards. Education should provide such a value for each person, which also makes a person socially active” added VR Vala.

Hon. Governor also released a compendium on the conference theme.

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Prof. N. V. Raghuram, President of DISHA, delivered the presidential address. He pointed out that the entire world is looking towards India for moral and spiritual guidance and underscored the role of organizations like DISHA in this endeavor.

The keynote address was delivered by Swami Atmapriyanandaji Maharaj, the Vice Chancellor of Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University, Kolkata. Quoting examples and verses from the scriptures, Swamiji drew attention to the fact that self-enquiry and a scientific spirit have always been the edifice of all ancient wisdom. He underscored the need for education to be directed towards understanding the purpose of human life.

Educationists Dr NR Shetty and Kru Narahari, Vidya Bharati’s National Vice President and RSS Kshetreeya Karyavah Dushi Ramakrishna Rao, RSS Kshetreeya Pracharak Mangesh Bhende, RSS Pranth Pracharak Mukunda CR, RSS Kshetreeya bouddhik Pramukh V Nagaraj, Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal’s Dr KV Acharya, Disha Charitable Trust’s Rekha Ramachandran, Rajesh Padmar, Subramaniam, Kshama Naragund and several others were present during the conclave. Nearly 300 educationists of Karnataka and nation are participating.

Values are caught not taught: Ramakrishna Rao

Addressing the need of reforms in education at the national conference, Vidya Bharati’s National Vice President and RSS Kshetreeya Karyavah Dushi Ramakrishna Rao said “Values the one which are always are caught but not taught. The student community should be producers of the thought, not just consumers. Our approach of education system should be learner-centric. The youth today are not useless but are used less”

“Research integrated curriculum is much need today. Each institute should dedicate 20% of its curriculum for research activities. Internship programmes should be mandatory. Technology is a boon for the mankind today. We gained so many things. But technology is never a substitute for values. 50% of theoretical teachings can be  taught within class and the rest can be learnt by practice. Under sky teaching methods helps much to add values on education”, added Rao.

‘Yoga can be a good tool to promote values in learning. At any level of learning the Yoga can be taught, at all institutes which promotes the skills of learning. For mental and intellectual learning, spiritual teachings should be made compulsory. The teachers should be trained well before he teaches, otherwise  the students should forced to compromised their thouhts” said Ramakrishna Rao.

First Day sessions:

This was followed by technical sessions that saw presentations and a lively discussion on themes such as

  • Holistic approach and policy initiatives to content development focusing on Indian values in the global context
  • Traditional versus modern approaches towards delivering value education and their effectiveness and impact
  • Use of information and communication technology in value education
  • Subjective and objective methods of assessment and quality of value education
  • New paradigms in assessing quality of value education

Eminent resource persons chaired and participated in these technical sessions. Notable among these were

  • Prof Jagmeet Bava, Head, Department of Human Values, Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar
  • Sri Ramkrishna Rao, Vice President, Vidya Bharathi
  • Prof N. R. Shetty, former Vice Chancellor, Bangalore University
  • Prof Bhagavati PrasaP. Sharma, President, Pacific University, Udaipur
  • Prof B. K. Kuthiala, Vice Chancellor, Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication, Bhopal
  • Prof Meena Chandavarkar, Vice Chancellor, Karnataka State Women’s University, Vijayapura, Karnataka
  • Dr Gururaja Karajagi, Director, Academy for Creative Teaching, Bengaluru
  • Teams from NIMHANS and S-VYASA University (Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana)

This was followed by paper presentations in 5 parallel sessions by 30 faculty members and Ph. D research scholars representing reputed higher education institutions and non-governmental organizations across the country along with one paper from the USA.

  • Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru
  • S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bengaluru
  • KLE Society’s Law College, Bengaluru
  • PES College of Pharmacy, Bengaluru
  • BMS College for Women, Bengaluru
  • Presidency College, Bengaluru
  • RV Institute of Management Sciences, Bengaluru
  • Seshadripuram College, Bengaluru
  • Manipal University
  • Mysore University
  • Jain College, Belagavi
  • Swami Vivekananda Study Centre, Udupi
  • Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Anantapur
  • Sri Krishna Arts and Science College, Coimbatore
  • Theivanai Ammal College for Women, Villupuram
  • Sri Malolan College of Arts and Science, Madurantakam
  • SCSVMV University, Kanchipuram
  • PSGR Krishnammal College for Women, Coimbatore
  • Essae Chandran Institute, Bengaluru
  • Tribhuvan Holistic Healing Centre, Bengaluru
  • Dharma Civilization Foundation, USA

The papers covered a wide spectrum of profound ideas and sought to highlight vital areas such as

  • The pressing need for value education in institutions of higher learning
  • Role of teachers in this endeavour
  • Practical ideas to implement such value education given the present-day scenario in the education sector.