The government is working on a proposal for a museum that would depict India's educational history and tradition that go thousands of years back, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said Wednesday. The Human Resource Development (HRD) minister said the government was working on a policy to bring a change in the nomenclature of "deemed universities" to get rid of the word "deemed".
"Museums and memorials will also become important for invoking pride in our history, tradition and heritage. They are also a major part of our success," Mr Javadekar said.
"It is 10,000 years of history. How did people study earlier and how we progressed later. There was a time when universities of Nalanda, Takshashila and other Indian institutes were in the position where American universities are today, attracting students from all over the world. Earlier, India was the destination and students would come here for knowledge. This is our heritage," he said.
The HRD minister made the remarks during the inauguration of the new building of the National Museum Institute of History of Art, Conservation and Museology in Noida in presence of Union Culture Minister (independent charge) Mahesh Sharma.
"During years of freedom movement, leaders such as (Bal Gangadhar) Tilak and (Madan Mohan) Malviya opened colleges and schools so that by the time the country achieved freedom, people should be prepared with education," he said. "We have such huge, rich history of education, so we are also working on a proposal that national museum of educational history should also be made and India should be proud of its educational tradition," he said.
Prakash Javadekar, who turned 68 on Wednesday, said in Narendra Modi, the country has for the first time got a prime minister who is interested in working for the heritage and assets of the land. "This is the first time that we have got a prime minister who is passionate about heritage and assets and intends that the people should take inspiration from it and work for the betterment of society," he said.
The minister said several museums and memorials dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, B R Ambedkar, Sardar Patel, Subhas Chandra Bose, the 1857 uprising, Jallianwala Bagh incident, have been made by the present government, while some such as the War Memorial and a Police Memorial are under-construction.
"New technologies have been used along with heritage works and assets in these museums. This not only enriches people's knowledge but also fills them with a deep respect for our history," he said.
Mr Javadekar exhorted people to engage with art, culture, nature and history and not only run after money. "Only earning money and spending it is not life. The meaning of life is realised when engaged with books, art, culture, and nature. This is a meaningful life because if you don't read books, don't visit museums, or zoo or engage with nature, that life is incomplete," he said.
"There have been debates and discussions on whether or not to write "deemed to be university". There are legal aspects involved. But soon we will have a policy to make sure that a university is called university. We will work for that and come out with a solution," he said.
On the new campus of the National Museum Institute, the HRD minister said it would be an impetus to quality education in the field and the museum will also be worth visiting.
"History of Art, Conservation and Museology are important subjects dealing with the understanding of history and heritage and about conservation and maintenance of heritage and artefacts. There is a demand world over of people skilled in these fields," he said.
At present, there are 250 students in the institute and the number is likely to double up in the near future, he said, adding that some new courses will also be introduced here and the institute would be imparting knowledge on conserving the country's heritage.
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