ICCR to launch online courses on Indian epics, Vedas, art, heritage; portal launched soon

The ICCR will offer short and long-term online courses, ranging from four to 40 hours, from Rosogullah Recipe to Fundamentals of Warli Paintings and more.

ICCR will offer online art classes (representative image: shutterstock)

NEW DELHI: Aiming to spread Indian traditional knowledge, including on its art, architecture, timeless epics and Vedas, among the global community, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations will soon launch online courses, and a dedicated portal is expected to be launched. April 2, ICCR President Vinay Sahasrabuddhe said on Monday.

Addressing a press conference in Azad Bhawan here to share details of the Ministry of External Affairs’ (MEA) plans to hold celebrations as part of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, he also said that a three-day craft fair “Coalescence”, will be held in the city from February 23 to 25, where artists and artisans from 11 states will showcase traditional art forms. The MEA has already organized events like the “GenNext Democracy Network Program” (in November 2021) and many other programs are planned as part of the “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” celebrations, to which delegates from various democratic countries have been invited, he said.

Read also | UPES Dehradun will offer up to 100% merit-based scholarships; 50% reserved for girls

When asked by a reporter if Pakistan was an invitee, he replied, “As I said, only democratic countries were invited.” On a question regarding several Afghan students who had received ICCR scholarships and wanted to come to India, Sahasrabuddhe said, “These are cross-disciplinary issues, involving the MEA and the Ministry of Interior. And that is their work, whether it is to give or extend visas, so our work is limited to providing scholarships and facilitating their entry into India, and that is what we do whenever they get permission.

The situation in Afghanistan has changed since the Taliban took power last August, leaving the fate of many students uncertain. The MEA has planned multiple celebrations in the coming days as part of the “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” celebrations. Due to COVID-19, the schedule has been impacted, but by early April the situation should improve, he said. During the ongoing celebrations to mark 75 years of India’s independence, “We will also be launching the Universalization of Indian Traditional Knowledge System or UTIKS, under which people living in foreign countries will be able to learn more about traditional knowledge of our country through courses and appreciate our art, culture and epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana,” said Sahasrabuddhe.

Read also | The Kashmir Shaiva Institute will be the first center for research, study and research on Kashmiri Shaivism

Courses offered by ICCR

Asked about the courses to be offered, Sahasrabuddhe, also a member of Rajya Sabha, said: “It will be our own way of running an edX or a Coursera on Indian traditional knowledge.” “There will be short and long-term online courses, ranging from four hours to 40 hours, on everything related to Indian culture. From the recipe for rosogullah to the fundamentals of Warli paintings, Madhubani art, in enjoying the art of Ajanta and the Ellora Caves, understanding the basics of the Vedas, introduction to the Ramayana and Mahabharta, the life of Babasaheb Ambedkar, among other topics,” he said.

The academic partner of this program is Savitribai Phule Pune University, he added. “Other institutions may join later, but to start with, Savitribai Phule Pune University is our partner. This permanent course is open to all, and there is no age limit or anything. else. And the fee will be very minimal,” Sahasrabuddhe said. .

Read also | Bar Council of India distances itself from online law course allegedly from IGNOU

The President of ICCR said that a portal for UTIKS is ready and is expected to be launched on April 2. Asked who will launch the portal, he replied: “We have asked our foreign minister to do so.” The portal will allow people from all over the world to register online and register for these courses. One can complete one course and move on to another too, the Rajya Sabha member said. As part of the celebrations, the ICCR will also offer an “Indian Alumni i-card” to foreign students who have learned music or musical instruments from “gurus” in India and have completed their apprenticeship, a he declared.

Regarding the artisanal mela, he said, it is perhaps for the first time in the history of the ICCR that an event of such a nature is organized by it, because “the art and culture are essentially represented in soft diplomacy through music and dance”. A senior ICCR official said the Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture, Meenakshi Lekhi, is expected to inaugurate the event at Bikaner House. Several diplomats were invited for the event. The opening ceremony will only be attended by the diplomatic community and general visitors can visit the fair later, he said.

Read also | Alliance University’s new liberal arts school will offer a transdisciplinary UG program

Artisans from 11 states will exhibit several forms of traditional arts and crafts such as bamboo art, textiles, traditional and folk art, beauty herbs and recycled products. Over the three days, participating artisans will take turns giving 45-60-minute lectures with demonstrations of the craftsmanship or showing videos to explain their creative processes to visitors, said the ICCR, the cultural wing of the MEA. The lecture-demonstration will focus on the Gond art of Madhya Pradesh; the miniature art of Rajasthan; Delhi bamboo handicrafts; Kalamkari art from Telangana; moonj grass baskets from Uttar Praesh; Warli art form from Maharashtra and natural dyed cotton from Gujarat among others, he said.

The “Craft Mela” aims to highlight how Indian artisanal practices can help balance the planet’s ecology while preserving India’s cultural heritage, local livelihoods and achieving the Millennium Development Goals, said the President of the ICCR. The “mela” was organized by Jaya Jaitley of Dastkari Haat Samiti, New Delhi, the ICCR said.

Follow us for the latest education news on colleges and universities, admission, courses, exams, schools, research, NEP and education policies and more.

To contact us, email us at [email protected]

Karen O. Fielding