As per the National Educational Policy (NEP), 2020, Madhya Pradesh government has decided to include epics of Ramayana, Ramcharitmanas, and Mahabharat in the Engineering syllabus for the first-year graduate students. The students will have to learn about Ramsetu– ‘Construction of the Ram Setu bridge.’
Madhya Pradesh Higher Education Minister, Mohan Yadav while speaking on the decision said, “Whoever wants to learn about Lord Ram’s character & contemporary works can do so in engineering courses.” He further added, “Teachers of our study board have prepared the syllabus under the NEP 2020… If we can bring our glorious history forward, no one should have any issue with it.”
According to Higher Education Minister, there is a lot to learn for Ramcharitmanas and Mahabharata and it will inspire students to live a dignified life with good values, “We learn a lot from Ramcharitmanas and Mahabharata. The students will bring inspiration from it to live a life with dignity and values. Now, we just don’t want to educate the students but we want to develop them as great human beings.”
Mahabharat by C Rajagopalchari has been included in the first-year engineering syllabus. The state government has also introduced Yoga and meditation as the third foundation course, which includes ‘Om Dhyan’ and reciting of mantras as part of the syllabus, officials from the state education department said. As per the NEP 2020, chapters of the ‘Applied philosophy of Shri Ramcharitmanas’ subject will include topics such as ‘spirituality and religion in root sources of Indian culture’; ‘four ages in Vedas, Upanishads, and Purans’; ‘difference between Ramayana and Shri Ramcharitmans’; and ‘incarnation of divine existence’.
The government has also decided to teach Ramcharitmanas and Mahabharata in higher education. ‘Ramcharit Manas ke Vyavharik Darshan’ a course syllabus has been prepared by the department of higher education. However, the subject will be optional. The revised syllabus will teach about personality development and strong character and include topics like ‘capacity to bear divine qualities and sign of higher personality’; and ‘highest qualities of human personality including Shri Ram’s obedience towards his father and extreme devotion’.
Besides Ramcharitmanas, there are 24 optional subjects, including those on Urdu songs in Madhya Pradesh and about Urdu language.
The opposition attacked the move claiming that BJP is imposing their ideologies in the curriculum, “We don’t have any problem with the teaching of Mahabharata, Geeta, and Ramcharitmans, but they should also include Bible, Quran, and Guru Granth Sahib in the syllabus to develop communal harmony among students. But they won’t do so, because it doesn’t suit their ideology,” said PC Sharma, Congress legislator.
Similar to this move, the government in 2011 had announced to introduce Geeta in the syllabus. The decision was strongly opposed which lead to the withdrawal of the decision.