UGC funding on thinkers moves beyond Nehru

In the midst of the row over ‘saffronisation’ of education kick-started after the introduction of Dinanath Batra’s books in Gujarat schools, the Narendra Modi-led NDA government has stirred up the hornet’s nest yet again.

University Grants Commission (UGC), the fund granting arm of the ministry of human resource development, has started a scheme of ‘Epoch Making Social Thinkers of India’ in various universities/colleges. The scheme aims to introduce various courses on great thinkers and social leaders, their thoughts and philosophies, said a UGC statement.

The exhaustive list of thinkers include Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Pandit Madan Mohan  Malviya, Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Raja Rammohan Roy, Dr S Radhakrishanan, Dr Zakir Hussain, Swami Vivekanand, Rabindra Nath Tagore, Sri Aurobindo and Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. According to a HRD ministry official, the move is targeted at the lopsided growth of the Centres in the name of Nehru and Ambedkar.

At present there are 16 Nehru Centres, 29 Ambedkar Centres and 15 Buddhist Study Centre funded by the UGC. In addition to them, there are 85 Gandhian studies centres.The UGC will provide a sum of Rs 7,50,000 as assistance for research and extension programmes for each of the study centres on annual basis.
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