GUWAHATI, Sept 13 – “Our educational institutions need to understand that the education they are imparting must blend with the needs of the society. We can take examples from the past when knowledge centres of India attracted scholars from other regions due to their proficiency.” Delivering the Professor Maheswar Neog commemoration lecture today, Professor Dinesh Singh, Vice-Chancellor of University of Delhi said that Indian institutions have a long way to go before they can be true knowledge centres of 21st century. The commemoration lecture, sixteenth in the series, was organized by Professor Maheswar Neog Memorial Trust and Forum for Sankaradeva Studies at Vivekananda Kendra.
“Thousands of years ago, interdisciplinary approach was promoted by the educational institutions and knowledge was not compartmentalised. The idea was to promote true learning through practical experience and not a structured formal education,” he added.
Delivering on ‘India in the 21st century: the role of education and the youth’ he mentioned that at one hand, the country is celebrating economic resurgence, but on the other side the ‘Idea of India’ that was followed in the past is fading away. “In the past, people flocked to this geographical region of Indus and beyond as they understood that this was the land of ideas and liberalism. Widespread and sophisticated Indus Civilization existed thousands of years before Christ. Paninian method of grammar was so perfect and mathematical that Noam Chomsky took inspiration from his works. Pythagoras and other Greeks came to India and were inspired by Indian philosophy. Russian historians spoke about India’s progress in medicine and surgery. But unfortunately the scholars and historians of India did not delve deeply into our heritage and past accomplishments,” professor Singh explained.
He further went on saying that inspiring Indian youth is no difficult task and Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement has proved it once again.
Professor Maheswar Neog, a scholar par excellence, gave the studies of humanities a new energy. He belonged to the class of scholars produced by the nineteenth century Indian Renaissance. Some of his outstanding contributions are Sankardeva and His Times, Rhythm in the Vaisnava Music of Assam, Sattriya Dances and Their Rhythm, among others.
The function was presided over by Prof Nagen Saikia, president of the trust. Prof Birendranath Datta released two publications – Asomiya Bhasha aru Bhashar Adhyayan and Anandaram Dhekial Phukan: Plea for Assam and Assamese – by Prof Maheswar Neog.