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Sanskrit Grams Programme: Uttarakhand
- 09 Sep 2020
- 6 min read
Why in News
The Uttarakhand Government has decided to develop 'Sanskrit Grams' across the state.
- The decision was taken after noting significant progress in a pilot programme to teach Sanskrit to residents of two villages in Uttarakhand.
- Sanskrit Grams Programme:
- Aim: To teach people to use Sanskrit regularly.
- Villages Selected:
- Several villages were selected according to the availability of Sanskrit schools so that teachers may visit the villages often and motivate residents to learn and use Sanskrit.
- Villages were selected at the meeting of the Uttarakhand Sanskrit Academy, chaired by the Uttarakhand Chief Minister.
- It has also been decided to rename the academy as Uttaranchal Sanskrit Sansthanam Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
- The academy was established in 2002.
- Implementation Strategy:
- The focus will be on the school-going children so that they can learn the language from a young age.
- The programme will start by teaching people smaller sentences which are used most commonly.
- The programme will run first at the district level and then at the block level for promotion of the Sanskrit language.
- About the Pilot Programme:
- Earlier, villages of Kimotha in Chamoli district and Bhantola in Bageshwar district were developed as Sanskrit villages.
- Residents have started using the language in their daily communication and they also sing folk songs in Sanskrit.
- Usage of Sanskrit in Uttarakhand:
- Sanskrit is the second official language in Uttarakhand after Hindi (Article 345 of the Constitution: Official language or languages of a State).
- The state government currently runs 97 Sanskrit schools, where an average of 2,100 students study each year.
- It is an old Indo-Aryan language in which the most ancient documents, Vedas are composed in what is called Vedic Sanskrit.
- Classical Sanskrit, a language close to late Vedic as then used in the northwest of the subcontinent, was elegantly described in one of the finest grammars ever produced, the Aṣṭādhyāyī (“Eight Chapters”) composed by Pāṇini (c. 6th–5th century BCE).
- Sanskrit has been written both in Devanāgarī script and in various regional scripts, such as Śāradā from the north (Kashmir), Bāṅglā (Bengali) in the east, Gujarātī in the west, and various southern scripts, including the Grantha alphabet, which was especially devised for Sanskrit texts.
- There are also major works of drama and poetry, although the exact dates of many of these works and their creators have not been definitively established. Important authors and works include:
- Bhāsa (for example, his Svapnavāsvavadatta - Vāsavadatta in a Dream), who is assigned widely varying dates but definitely worked prior to Kālidāsa, who mentions him.
- Kālidāsa, dated anywhere from the 1st century BCE to the 4th century CE, whose works include Śakuntalā, Vikramorvaśīya, Kumārasambhava and Raghuvaṃśa.
- Śūdraka and his Mṛcchakatika (“Little Clay Cart”), possibly dating to the 3rd century CE.
- Bhāravi and his Kirātārjunīya (“Arjuna and the Kirāta”), from approximately the 7th century.
- Māgha, whose Śiśupālavadha (“The Slaying of Śiśupāla”) dates to the late 7th century.
- The two epics Rāmāyaṇa (“Life of Rāma”) and Mahābhārata (“Great Tale of the Bhāratas”) were also composed in Sanskrit, and the former is esteemed as the first poetic work (ādikāvya) of India.
- Sanskrit is a classical and an eighth schedule language.
Promotion of Sanskrit by the Central Government
- The government has established the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan in Delhi as a nodal authority to promote Sanskrit. The Sansthan has been allocated Rs 643.84 crore in the last three years.
- Providing financial assistance to Adarsh Sanskrit Mahavidyalayas/Shodha Sansthans.
- Award of merit scholarships to students of Sanskrit Pathasala to College level.
- Financial assistance to NGOs/Higher Educational Institutions of Sanskrit for various Research Projects/Programmes.
- Retired eminent Sanskrit scholars are engaged under the Shastra Chudamani scheme for teaching.
- Sanskrit is also taught through Non-formal Sanskrit Education (NFSE) programme, by setting up Non-Formal Sanskrit learning centres, in reputed institutions like Indian Institutes Technology, Ayurveda institutions, Modern Colleges and Universities.
- Presidential awards for Sanskrit Language are awarded annually to 16 senior scholars and to 5 young scholars.
- Financial Assistance for Publication, Reprint of rare Sanskrit books.
- Ashtaadashi containing eighteen Projects for sustaining the growth of Sanskrit has been implemented.