Why in India
With its large and diverse population, India represents a challenging, and therefore ideal, opportunity for generating transformative models in education. A model proven in India, can inspire global change and be replicated almost anywhere in the world.
Indians are a Global intellectual Resource
India is the land where the "guru-shishya" parampara ( teacher-student tradition) originated. Indians’ capacity to learn, grasp and adapt new techniques is perhaps unparalleled. Indians are the brain resource in major ventures all over the world - in Silicon Valley, Bell Labs, Wall Street, consulting, universities, schools and colleges Indians have made a major impact.
Revitalising Indian Education - A Global Priority
With over 16% of the world's population, revitalizing education in India must be a national as well as global priority.
India lags behind in literacy.
India – a World Leader?
Indians have produced many significant and successful insights, inventions and thoughts known to humanity. Vedic philosophy, the Upanishads, Ayurveda, Yoga, the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, Sanskrit, Tamil, zero, the number system, algebra, arithmetic, astronomy, astrology, temple architecture, metallurgy and chess are just a few examples of India's prodigious contribution. More than a thousand years before Copernicus, 23-year-old Aryabhata wrote in his famous Aryabhatia that the earth rotates round its axis. Chanakya’s Arthashastra was the oldest and most comprehensive treatise on the economy and statecraft. The genius Ramanujan reinvented European mathematics working on his own. Mahatma Gandhi humbled a colonial power through nonviolence.
Reinventing the Genius of a Nation
These unique achievements demonstrate that India's contributions spring from her innate intellectual, cultural, philosophical and spritual genius.
Agastya believes that this dormant genius needs to be reenergized for India to play a leading role in the 21st century.
The Gurukul System
Much of Indian discovery and learning can be attributed to the metaphysical "gurukul" system of education, which encouraged observation, questioning, dialogue, investigation, respect for teachers and the environment.
Despite a tradition of excellence and innovation Indian innovation and invention has fallen behind many countries of the world. The growth of the Indian IT industry, and India's achievements in space and atomic energy suggest that the tide may be turning.
Agastya International Foundation believes that engaging India's neglected 700 million rural citizens is a necessary condition for India to reemerge as a world leader in ideas and action. This can happen by transforming the existing rote-based education system into one that fosters creativity and encourages experimentation, and leveraging the dormant strengths of Indian culture and philosophy.
Imagine the explosion in innovation and creativity if India unleashes the untapped potential of its huge and gifted population!