Jawaharlal Nehru University may soon offer a course to train students in performing religious rituals, regardless of their caste and gender, News18 reported on Saturday. The new School of Sanskrit and Indic Studies has also proposed postgraduate diploma courses in religious tourism and vastu shastra.
“The idea is to make Sanskrit students employable,” the school’s Dean Girish Nath Jha told Scroll.in. “In school, people leave Sanskrit after Class 9 because there are no jobs. But there is a lot of business potential in Sanskrit.”
In December, the university upgraded the Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies to the new full-fledged school. A committee met in February and gave in-principle approval to some courses such as religious tourism and vastu shastra, Jha said.
The planned courses will be one-year certificate or diploma courses, he said. If JNU’s Academic Council approves the courses, the school will start the additional courses from the academic year that starts in 2019, according to News18.
The proposed course in “kalpa vedanga”, which refers to Vedic rituals, will be open to pandits across castes and genders. The course in vastu shastra is expected to help students get jobs with civil engineering companies that want experts in the ancient Hindu science of architecture. An undergraduate course in Ayurveda and a postgraduate course in yoga have also been proposed.
The school may later introduce courses in Sanskrit journalism and the traditions of classical music.
“I am sure JNU, which is such a liberal university, will certainly accept the radical proposal and take the lead in making Sanskrit an employable option,” Jha told News18.