Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday said there was a need to reform the Indian education system to include value education, life skill education, creative skills and physical education for students.

“Education is not accumulation of information,” the minister said at the Virat Gurukul Sammelan in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain city. “Education is all about understanding, and we have decided to do away with components that are burdening the current system and structure a curriculum that offers value education, life and creative skills, experiential as well as physical education.”

He said the ministry had called for citizens’ suggestions for the overhaul of the education system. “We have already received 34,000 suggestions in this regard. Citizens have sent suggestions to which components should be done away with to provide time for other activities that will help in achieving a successful life,” Javadekar said.

He said the government’s motto was “Sabko Shiksha, Achhi Shiksha” – good education for all.

Javadekar supported combining ancient Indian education systems with modern systems. “We would like to have a subject ‘Bharat Bodh’ that will contain lessons on ancient India,” Javadekar said at the Virat Gurukul Sammelan in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain city. “We will structure it in a way that students of Class 11 and 12 will feel encouraged to opt for it.”

Gurukul is a form of residential schooling system that was prevalent in ancient India in which the students lived with the teacher in the same home.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan pledged his support to the gurukul system of education. “The state will register gurukuls and treat them equivalent to mainstream schools,” said Chouhan, according to ANI. “Every district will promote the gurukul system and the government will help trusts to open new gurukuls.”


Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat, who addressed the conference earlier in the day, claimed that there was a broad consensus that the current education system should change. While the western education was guided by the spirit of competition, the ancient Indian tradition was based on a spirit of welfare of the world, he added. “The traditional system of education should be brought back, with or without the help of the government.”

RSS General Secretary Suresh Bhaiyaji Joshi told The Economic Times that the Sangh was trying to create an inclusive Hindu society. “The gurukul way of learning that we are trying to encourage now will have no space for any discrimination between people based on caste or birth,” he said. “It is nothing but sinful to discriminate anyone based on his birth or caste.”

Corrections and clarifications: The story has been edited to reflect that Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar did not say that the suggestions of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat and educationists associated with the gurukul system would be incorporated in government’s plans of reforming the education system.