Sunday August 19, 2018

Anticipated implementation of ‘three-language formula’ to open gates for Sanskrit learners

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Chennai: The Ministry of Human Resource Development, around three months ago, constituted a 13-member expert committee, with former Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami as its head. The core agenda of committee was to suggest measures to integrate the study of Sanskrit with subjects such as Mathematics, Science and Law.

The committee suggested setting up of an independent Sanskrit cell in country’s premier institutions while making a ‘three-language formula’ mandatory for all schools.

Tabled by the committee on 4 February, the report according to Gopalaswami contains suggestions which if implemented, would open up avenues for students, who want to pursue Sanskrit.

The final decision on implementing the suggestions is expected to be taken by HRD Minister Smriti Irani shortly.

Clarifying contrary reports which announced the committee’s decision to make Sanskrit a mandatory subject, Gopalaswami clarified in an interaction with reporters that it is not true since nobody is forcing them to opt for the ancient language.

“All we have said is that there should be an option made available for students so that those wishing to learn Sanskrit can opt for it,” he asserted.

Under the two-language policy, Gopalaswami feels students who desire to learn Sanskrit are faced with the dilemma of choice. He said, “This is because they are forced to learn English and the native language (mother tongue), meaning even if they want to learn Sanskrit, they are not able to.”

Gopalaswami told about the flexibility of the three-language policy under which students can choose among a plethora of languages. He said, “In the report, we have made it clear that the option must be made available for eight scheduled languages and the students can, in turn, decide the three languages they wish to opt for.”

He stated about the abundance of information pertaining to medicine, architecture, science and technology available in Sanskrit, which could only be understood if the language is learnt first.

If you close your eyes, it doesn’t mean that light is non-existent. All the knowledge in Sanskrit texts has been existing for ages and there is a dire need to comprehend them and use them for the collective welfare of the nation,” he said, reiterating, “The suggestions are only for those with an inclination to learn Sanskrit and there is no compulsion on anyone to opt for the language against one’s choice.”

Since a huge amount of informational material is available in Sanskrit, Gopalaswami believes that implementation of the report will bring a positive impact in the educational system, beneficial for the common welfare of the people.

“Otherwise, somebody else will do it and you will start running behind,” he added.

Stating the report’s purpose, Gopalaswami further said that establishing a Sanskrit cell in premier institutions of the country, including the IITs and IIMs, is a significant step in opening up a platform for those willing to research in the ancient language. (Inputs from newstodaynet.com)

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More Than 1000 Gene Variants Linked to Educational Attainment Identified

However, the total influence of the genetic variants is small, explaining about four per cent of the variation in educational attainment across individuals, the scientists said

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The team analysed a combined 71 datasets comprising over 1.1 million participants with European ancestry from 15 different countries and who were least 30 years old. Pixabay

An international team of scientists has identified nearly 1,300 genetic variants associated with how much education someone may complete.

Educational attainment is primarily influenced by environmental and social factors, but it is also influenced by genes associated with, for example, cognitive function such as memory and personality traits such as conscientiousness.

“We found that many of the genes associated with educational attainment are influential in virtually all stages of brain development and in neural communication within the brain,” said Peter Visscher, Professor at the University of Queensland in Australia.

Genetic variants on the X chromosome explain virtually identical amounts of variation in men and women.

This finding, published in the journal Nature Genetics, lends support to the hypothesis that there are no genetically based sex differences in the amount of variation in educational attainment.

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Genetic variants on the X chromosome explain virtually identical amounts of variation in men and women. Pixabay

However, the total influence of the genetic variants is small, explaining about four per cent of the variation in educational attainment across individuals, the scientists said.

“Even variants with the largest effects predict, on average, only about three more weeks of schooling in those who have those variants compared to those who don’t,” said Daniel Benjamin, Associate Professor at University of Southern California (USC)- Dornsife.

“Yet, when we analyze the combined effects of many genetic variants, taken together they can predict the length of a person’s formal education as well as demographic factors,” he added.

Also Read: New Link Found Between Alcohol, Genes And Heart Failure

While the new number is far more than the 74 variants initially discovered in a smaller study two years ago, there are many other genetic variants associated with educational attainment that have not yet been identified, the researchers said.

For the study, the team analysed a combined 71 datasets comprising over 1.1 million participants with European ancestry from 15 different countries and who were least 30 years old. (IANS)