Almost a year after it launched “Introduction to Indian Heritage”, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI) is coming back with the fourth edition of the course, scheduled to start on 19 April.
Encouraged by the massive participation in earlier batches, Bhandarkar Institute decided to bring back the course for the general public.
“More than 2,400 people have participated in our courses so far in the last 12 months. And the response has far exceeded our expectations,” says Chinmay Bhandari, coordinator of digital initiatives at the institute.
The course has attracted interest beyond India as well. Individuals from 13 countries have signed up for these online programmes in the pandemic.
This time around though, new lectures have been added to the course content.
Over the course of 25 sessions, a participant will get acquainted with the extensive landscape of India’s civilisational heritage with the help of experienced teaching faculty, which includes 16 renowned scholars of Indology and Oriental Studies.
The main themes covered in the course will be the importance and sources of heritage, history, literature, art and architecture, religions, Ayurveda, sciences, and food.
The emphasis will be on making India’s heritage (history and philosophy of Indic religions, ancient literature) accessible, but without compromising on academic integrity.
“The idea is to provide an authentic account of India’s long history and civilisational heritage in a way that is palatable to people from all walks of life,” Bhandari says.
“In an era when there are conflicting narratives about Indian identity and history, often misrepresented in both ways, an institute like BORI has the responsibility of presenting an honest and most-likely account,” he adds.
There are no eligibility requirements for this course as such. As long as a participant has an interest in learning about Indian heritage and civilisation, this introductory course will be useful.
Participants from previous batches are said to have walked away with fresh perspectives on India’s past. According to Bhandari, they were able to gain a more grounded perspective on the literature of the four Vedas and the society which existed at the time.
Bhandarkar Institute is a pioneering institute of orientology in India. Since its establishment in 1917, it has worked to spread the knowledge and wisdom of the East, especially India. Along the way, it has become a treasure trove of manuscripts and rare books too.
The institute has been organising short online courses with an Indic focus throughout the pandemic. For the "Introduction to Indian Heritage" course, it is working with Heritage India and Nyansa.
The classes will be held on the Zoom video conferencing platform every week day from 7 pm to 8 pm, starting 19 April and ending on 21 May. The course fee is set at Rs 2,500 or US $40.
The course incidentally is starting around the time of the International Day for Monuments and Sites, better known as World Heritage Day, observed on 18 April every year since 1982.
More information on the course can be sought by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karan Kamble writes on science and technology. He occasionally wears the hat of a video anchor for Swarajya's online video programmes.
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