The implementation of the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020, which mandates the incorporation of Indian Knowledge Systems (IKS) in higher education curricula, has posed challenges for autonomous colleges in Maharashtra. While IKS aims to promote Vedic knowledge, the lack of specific guidelines for the curriculum has led several colleges to integrate yoga as a component of IKS. At least six out of 12 colleges in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) have opted for yoga as part of their IKS curriculum.
Students in these colleges must now participate in practical yoga sessions in addition to theoretical classes. College principals have expressed concerns about potential cultural challenges and controversies while teaching IKS.
Some colleges are working with external organizations to oversee the IKS curriculum, which encompasses yoga and value education. Others are considering collaborating with private organizations to formulate and implement the course, although they have reservations about the content provided by these organizations.
Colleges are appealing to both the state government and universities to provide clear guidelines for the IKS curriculum. Education experts emphasize the need for clear objectives in teaching IKS to avoid it becoming solely a yoga class.
While these challenges persist, some colleges have taken an innovative approach by designing their IKS curriculum. For example, Sathaye College in Vile Parle has developed a curriculum that covers the contributions of Indian scientists and mathematicians, as well as subjects like botany, zoology, geometry, town planning, water conservation, grammar, and lexicography in India.
HSNC University has also designed a special curriculum for IKS, including subjects like humanities, science, culture, history, mathematics, and music, with the goal of sensitizing students about Indian knowledge systems.
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