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Hindu schools sprouting in India
Women’s Power Book
Women’s Power Book
Women’s Power Book
Women’s Power Book
Women’s Power Book
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Prof. N.S. Ramaswamy the founder director of some of India’s finest B-schools (NITIE, Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Business Management, Mumbai, IIM-Bangalore) and currently director of the Indian Heritage Academy, Bangalore also believes the subcontinent’s hitherto rubbished culture is beginning to reassert itself, not only within the country but around the world. "There’s an ocean of wisdom locked within India’s ancient thought and texts which is beginning to be appreciated in India and abroad. Over 100 years ago Swami Vivekananda had predicted: ‘For centuries aliens and barbarians conquered and humbled us. In the 21st century, the descendants of the same people will come to India on their own and pay homage to India’s wisdom’. Likewise the British historian Prof. Arnold Toynbee had foreseen that in this millennium India will conquer the world with its ancient thought and wisdom. The promotion of culturally rooted education institutions across the country is the beginning of the process of unlocking India’s ancient knowledge to provide holistic education with ethical and moral content," says Ramaswamy.Certainly the growth in the number of so-called ‘swamiji’ education institutions across the country during the past two decades in particular has been dramatic. For example, the Mandya (Karnataka)-based Sri Adi Chunchanagiri Maha-samasthana Math (trust) headed by the revered seer Sri Sri Sri Balaganga- dharnath Swamiji has promoted over 375 education institutions dispensing primary to tertiary level education mainly in rural Karnataka, but latterly in Bangalore as well where it has established an ayurvedic college and the state-of-the-art BGS International School at an estimated cost of Rs.15 crore. Likewise the Bangalore-based Art of Living Foundation through its Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidya Mandir presided over by the eponymous new-age, feel-good guru which began delivering formal education only three years ago, has already promoted over 110 schools, a fine arts college and an institute of media studies. And up north the Delhi-based Vidya Bharati Akhil Bharatiya Shiksha Sansthan (est.1977) which bills itself as "the world’s largest voluntary organisation in the field of education", runs 20,993 education institutions with an aggregate enrollment of 2.64 million students. Of course most Hindu religious trusts dispensing education have been doing so for several decades. But hitherto they tended to focus their attention upon the needs of rural children who, neglected by the government school system notorious for absentee teachers and crumbling infrastructure, were content to receive less-than-wholly contemporary education with high spiritual content. However what’s new in recent times is that pontiffs of religious maths have come out of their rural strongholds to offer their brand of education — an attractive combination of the traditional wisdom and culture of the East with state-of-the-art technology-driven pedagogies of the West — to urban elites. And according to all indicators Indian-style new age schools such as Chinmayananda International Residential School, Coimbatore; Jain International and BGS International, Bangalore and similar institutions are attracting increasing numbers of students from India’s newly emergent middle class and the Indian diaspora.
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