IIT Gandhinagar Offers Indian Knowledge System Course on Precolonial Literatures, Available for non-IITians Too

After five successful seasons, the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) discipline of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar is back with the sixth edition of its unique elective course, Introduction to Indian Knowledge Systems (IKS). The course will be conducted in hybrid mode from January to April 2022, which would enable interested students to register and attend it from anywhere in the world.

The theme of this edition is ‘Precolonial India’s Treasure House of Literatures’. Throughout this edition, about 12 eminent scholars and experts from India and abroad will explore not only the great developments of Indian literature but also some of their lesser-known features and ramifications, claims the IIT. The first lecture of the course will be delivered on January 13, by Mana Shah, Lecturer of Sanskrit at IITGN, on the subject “One Tale, Two Tongues, and the Sacred Jain Site of Shatrunjaya”.

The course is open to students and anyone truly interested in India’s knowledge systems and cultural heritage. They can join the course for free after online registration on the website. Starting January 13, 2022, lectures will be held generally on Thursdays and Fridays from 5:05 to 6 pm. The course’s website will carry regular announcements and updates on the speakers and lectures.

IKS 2022 will include sessions on: Narrative literature in Prakrit by Dr JR Bhattacharya; Urdu Literature by Dr Hamid Chopra; Indian Literature by Prof Kapil Kapoor; Kavya Literature by Dr K Ramasubramanian; Malayalam Literature by Mr BR Krishnakumar; Tamil Literature by Isaikkavi Ramanan; Telugu Literature by Prof Srinivas Reddy; Jain Itihasa Literature by Ms Mana Shah; Sacred Geography by Ms Arya Adityan; Technical Literature on Performing Arts by Ms Ankita Nair; Classical Literature in Comics and Graphic Novels by Ms Shivani Sharma; and Children’s Literature by Dr Diti Vyas.

IIT Gandhinagar in its official statement said, “the precolonial India not only had a great diversity of languages, from pan-Indian Sanskrit to hundreds of regional languages, but it also encompasses a plethora of themes, literary techniques, and sociocultural functions. This “literaturescape” deeply impacted the Indian continent at all levels and was highly instrumental in the shaping Indian civilisation”.

Elaborating the idea behind IKS 2022’a theme, Prof. Michel Danino, Visiting Professor, HSS, IITGN, said, “Indian literature is colossal. It is one of the vastest literatures of the world, with its epics, texts of philosophy and spirituality, dramas, poetical compositions, repositories of stories, folktales, technical texts on medicine, mathematics, astronomy, architecture, governance, and numerous such works in regional languages. It has been a powerful social tool to connect people, share concepts and values, and ultimately a certain worldview. IKS 2022 aims to provide students with some taste of this ocean that reflects India’s identity.”

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