Committee for Sanskrit promotion set up by HRD Ministry

New Delhi: A 13-member committee with experts on Sanskrit was formed by the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry in order to promote the fast-receding ancient language.

Former chief election commissioner (CEC), N Gopalaswami, who is currently the Chancellor of Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth in Tirupati, is heading the committee.

The committee has been given the task to recommend ways in which the study of Sanskrit can be integrated into the curriculum along with the study of other subjects such as medical science, law, physics, chemistry and mathematics. They have also been asked to think about how knowledge of the ancient language can be imparted through modern tools and methods, and what changes are to be made in the process of Sanskrit education in school, college and university levels.

The committee has to come up with an action plan within three months, as notified on November 18, for Sanskrit development in the next 10 years.

The first committee set up by the HRD Ministry, led by Smriti Irani, focused on the promotion of Indian classical languages while this second committee focuses solely on Sanskrit, which has contributed to the vocabulary and grammatical base for all Indian languages.

“I have been sounded out by a government official about such a panel, but I am yet to receive it in writing. We’ll decide on when to hold the first meeting as soon as I receive the letter,” Gopalaswami told The Indian Express, confirming news of the committee constitution.

No quote could be obtained from Ghanshyam Goel, HRD ministry spokesperson

Other panel-members include V V Bhat, former government of India secretary; Bibek Debroy, a member of NITI Aayog; Dr Ramadorai, Chairman of National Skill Development Corporation; Delhi University professor Ramesh Bharadwaj; Chamu Krishna, member of Samskrit Bharti which is affiliated to the RSS; and UGC Chairman Ved Prakash.

This move came just two months after the 13-member Sanskrit Commission submitted its final report to the HRD ministry. The UPA-II government had set up the panel just months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

To bring back interest in the ancient language, this committee, headed by Padma Bhushan awardee Satyavrat Shastri, has several recommendations, which include putting together laboratories, where scientists and Sanskrit scholars can study and validate early beliefs, such as the healing properties of sacrificial ashes (yajna-bhasma), and the power of Vedic sacrifices to bring rain.