Education: The Culture Of India

“Education not only molds the new generation, but reflects a society’s fundamental assumptions about itself and the individuals which compose it”- Mahatma Gandhi. The Indian education culture exemplifies well this statement of the great Indian thinker and futurist Mahatma Gandhi. The ideal of education has been very grand, noble and high in ancient India. The aim of ancient Indian education is to impart training for the completeness of life and the molding of character of human beings for the battle of life.  In ancient times, the country was known to have been home to the oldest formal universities in the world. The world's first University was established in Takshila. Takshila University was an important Vedic and Buddhist center of learning; but it was not a well organized university like Nalanda. Nalanda University has been called one of the first great institutes in the recorded history.

It was founded in the 5th century AD by the Gupta rulers. Nalanda is one of the ancient centres of higher learning in Bihar and the term Nalanda means, Nalam which means lotus and Da means to give. When both are combined together, Nalanda means the Giver of the Lotus. Since the Lotus is supposed to represent knowledge, Nalanda means the “Giver of Knowledge”.

During the medieval period the Mughals came to India and introduced Madrasah system to the Indian educational system. In addition to that the Persian influence was quite visible in the Indian education system. Another noticeable modification took place during the British period. In this period, stress had been given to impart education to the women section of the country. The British rule during the 19th century did not take adequate measures to help develop science and technology in India, and instead focused more on arts and humanities. One of the prominent characteristics of Indian education system is its simple approach of learning. Open air classes and close relation with nature enriched Indian education and made it livelier. Visva-Bharati University, founded by the great Indian laureate Rabindranath Tagore brought another revolutionary approach to the Indian education system. Offering courses in a diverse number of subjects, this university has become an ideal centre for music, art and cultural studies in the country.

In the post colonial period, the government also has taken grave initiatives from time to time to sustain the high standard of education in the country. Globalization has also made its impact on the present day education system of India. The country is coming up with world class universities, colleges and schools that have set their own standards in the world spectrum. Apart from imparting formal education in the schools, emphasis is also given to the all round development of the children- physical, mental, spiritual and aesthetic. The Indian schools are giving ample prominence on developing a child oriented learning process in close relation with nature. So it can be said that India is imparting education that teach children to share with others, to respect other people and their culture, to preserve and not to give up, to have courage and to stand for the right.

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