According to a recent report issued on Tuesday on the NCrF (National Credit Framework) by the UGC (University Grants Commission), students will now be rewarded credits for their knowledge of old Indian texts like the Vedas and Puranas, which have been included as a part of the IKS (or Indian Knowledge System).
Keeping relevant alignment to the NEP (National Education Policy) 2020, which promotes “no hard separations” between vocational and academic courses, the NCrF was launched by the UGC in October 2022. According to this framework, the school education system can be brought under a single credit system.
The framework allows students to earn credits through school education, higher education, and vocational and skill education. A total of 30 hours have been allotted for learning each credit and will vary based on the learning hours from Class 5 to PhD level.
Credits will be rewarded based on the assessment of a large number of skills, including classroom learning/teaching, laboratory work, games and sports, yoga, performing arts like music, dance, etc; fine arts like painting, handicraft; social work, NCC, and many more.
UGC Chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar has stated that students will now get a chance to study the IKS as a part of their school curriculum.
The final draft of the NCrF has included IKS under the “special achievers” category, unlike its first draft released in October. It has named 18 “vidyas” (or theoretical disciplines) and 64 “kalas” (applied sciences, vocational skills and crafts) as eligible for creditization.
According to the final document, the 18 major sciences in ancient India were formed on the basis of a number of texts, including the four subsidiary Vedas – Ayurveda (medicine), Dhanurveda (weaponry), Gandharveda (music) and Shilpa (architecture); Purana, Nayaya, Mimansa, Dharmashastra, Vedanga, the six auxiliary sciences, phonetic, grammar, metre, astronomy, ritual, and philosophy.
The UGC Chairperson had also added that plans of integrating IKS to the higher education systems were also in full swing.
Besides IKS, the other skills that are eligible for creditization are personalized arts; master craftsmen of heritage and traditional skills; social work in high-impact areas such as education, health care, and anti-drugs; innovation and start-ups. The final draft of the NCrF has stated that the credits must be awarded on the basis of a pre-defined requisition to hone any skill, along with the criteria for “special achievements” in all skills.
The draft further clarified, “The special achievement could be winning medals or holding positions in national or international events, Padma or other awards conferred by central or state governments or other recognised bodies, high-impact high-priority social work which could be duly assessed through independent assessment methods.”
The Ministry of Education has been planning on integrating the IKS into the educational curriculums for a fairly long time, and this draft poses as one of the many initiatives for that purpose. The government has already been proactive in creating an IKS division in the AICTE since 2020, to promote interdisciplinary research based on types of indigenous knowledge. This division in the AICTE has accelerated the growth of research centres and designed various IKS courses for students to pursue.