UGC directed to set up Sanskrit learning centre in Varanasi


Prof Ved Prakash, UGC Chairman

Prime minister’s constituency is all set to become international center for Hindu learning. On the aegis of Banaras Hindu University, Human Resource Development Ministry has been directed to set up an Inter University Centre (IUC) to cater to Sanskrit and Hindi scholars from across the globe. The HRD ministry is likely to make a formal announcement for the same on December 25.

University Grant Commission’s has decided to set up an IUC for teacher education in Varanasi.

Those close to the RSS, however said that this teacher education involves teaching Sanskrit and opening more research avenues for scholars and historians working on Hinduism and Hindu history.

Taking Varanasi to the global level has been an agenda of the RSS, ever since PM Modi won the Lok Sabha seat. “Our historians and scholars are working independently across the globe. IUC at Varanasi will become an international center for these scholars. It will also give direction to many more young people, who cannot find the right path,” said a senior member associated with the Sangh.

Some in the RSS also suggest that this IUC is the brain child of RSS senior functionary Indresh Kumar. Kumar had recently made headlines for making hate speech, challenging the education imparted in Madrasas. Kumar is the head of regional RSS center at Varanasi and is known to share proximity with the PM. He was also the main campaign manager for Modi, when he contested Lok Sabha elections from Varanasi.

The proposal for setting up an IUC has to first get clearance from the University Grants Commission (UGC). The UGC follows a rigorous process before it approves of any such center. However in case of Varanasi, not one discussion ever took place. In fact UGC members on Monday received a letter from UGC Chairman Ved Prakash asking the members to give their consent on the same by Wednesday, failing which the UGC will assume that they have no objection. “It came to us from nowhere. In two paragraphs we were asked to give approval. We do not have any details of this IUC,” said a UGC member.

The meeting of UGC members is scheduled on December 22. HRD which is likely to make a formal announcement on December 25, is pressed for time. Initiating a debate on IUC will delay the announcement by six months. But the ministry has to set up the center within a year and so it cannot afford a debate.

RSS ideologue and founder of Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas, Dinanath Batra said that a university at this scale has been long awaited. “I am hopeful that IUC will be able to clear the prevailing
misconceptions about Hindusim. People will be able to understand and interpret Hindi and Sanskrit in a better way.”

Autonomous system
IUCs are autonomous systems created within the university. Such centers groom researchers, provide teaching facilities and research material. They also provide the required equipment and assist other
universities and similar centers to excel. The estimated cost of setting up such centers comes to about 200 crores.