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Conference on Pedagogy and Educational Heritage of India

Conference on Pedagogy and Educational Heritage of India

INDICA is pleased to announce a conference on Bharat’s ancient and time-tested pedagogy, which has contributed to her rich educational heritage. The conference will be held from October 27 to 29, 2023, in the historic city of Ujjain. The conference aims to explore the traditional Indian knowledge systems, decolonize the Westernized modern education system, and examine the potential for applying traditional pedagogies to modern education systems.

Background and Context:

Until colonizers ravaged the land, Bharat’s high-quality educational systems set standards for the world to follow. A unique ecosystem of learning, in which the entire society honored and supported scholars, had spontaneously led to the sprouting of a variety of educational institutions such as Gurukulas, Pathshalas, Mathas, Agraharas, Viharas, and Mahaviharas. Scholars flocked from neighboring countries and beyond to learn from the famed Gurus who taught at Takshashila, Nalanda, Vikramshila, Ujjain, Kashi, Vallabhi, Kanchipuram, Sringeri, Hampi, and a plethora of centers of advanced education.

However, the advent of invasions and colonizing expeditions led to the destruction of thousands of indigenous schools and colleges that imparted high-quality education in native languages. The European model of education was imposed via the English Education Act of 1835, designed to disconnect Indians from their traditions and customs.

76 years after India’s Independence, as the planet gets more crowded, conflicted, and polluted, many Indians have realized that modern education is not helping to create well-rounded, skilled, problem-solving, and employable individuals. Ill-equipped with tools to achieve mind-body balance and anchoring in the civilization, many students are struggling with mental health issues as they worry about their uncertain futures.

At the same time, a realization of India’s unparalleled educational heritage has prompted a desire to revive traditional models of education. Many startup Gurukulas, have been attracting students, and we can witness an awakening of interest in Indian Knowledge Systems.

Call for Papers:

The conference invites papers that offer a critical analysis of Bharat’s traditional education system and pedagogy. The papers should focus on the relevance of traditional pedagogical tools to modern times, the decolonization of education, and the potential for incorporating traditional pedagogies into modern education systems.

The following themes will be of particular interest, but we welcome papers on other topics related to the conference theme as well:

  1. Decolonizing the meaning of education in terms of concepts like Jnana, Vidya, Kala
  2. Time-tested pedagogical tools from ancient India
  3. Interdisciplinarity of education
  4. Pedagogy of science, math and language learning
  5. Assessment methodologies
  6. Curriculum Design
  7. Memory training techniques
  8. Debate as a tool of learning
  9. Educational games
  10. Story-telling down the ages as an effective tool of pedagogy
  11. Jaatis as social groups of hereditary occupations formed for professional home-based training in skills and preservation of knowledge
  12. The role of Indian folk/tribal lore such as story-telling, proverbs, riddles, songs, prose and theatrical folk performing arts including Jaati puranas in inter-generational knowledge transmission
  13. The role of tribal versions of Itihasa/Purana in disseminating the knowledge in Sanskrit Itihasa/Purana
  14. The role of Itihasa/Purana in disseminating the knowledge of Vedic corpus and as alternatives to difficult Yajnas and rituals.
  15. The role of Brahmacharya in education
  16. Educational tours
  17. Education and mental health
  18. Environmental sustainability as a core component of academic disciplines as well as professional skills

The conference will be curated by Dr. Nagaraj Paturi, Senior Director of INDICA, and author Sahana Singh.

Submission Guidelines:

Abstracts of 300 words (font size 12, Times New Roman, 1.5 line spacing) must be sent by email to with the title of the Conference mentioned in the subject. Abstracts should provide a brief description of the topic and, if required, the theoretical focus, objectives, study area, and research methodology. Acceptance of the abstract will be notified to the author. Last date for submissions of abstracts is 15th August 2023 and for the final papers is 10th October 2023. 

About the Venue:

Ujjain, the city which stands on the zero meridian of the pre-colonial world, was once an important center of astronomy, attracting the finest mathematical minds of the time. It is also the city of Mahakaaleshwar, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of India, known to protect Bhaktas from untimely death.