The government has invited private players to help set up a “Bharatiya Shiksha Board” to standardise education in Vedic tradition.

Interested parties were given just eight days to send their proposals. The government normally gives at least two weeks for accepting such applications, according to The Indian Express.

A letter inviting expressions of interest was released on February 11 by the Maharshi Sandipani Rashtriya Vedavidya Pratishthan, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Human Resource Development. It has its headquarters in Ujjain. The deadline to apply is 5 pm on February 19.

The invitations come months before the Lok Sabha elections. The model code of conduct is expected to kick in soon.

The document describes the objectives of the board as “standardising education in Indian traditional knowledge, especially in the field of Vedic education, imparted with or without modern education”. The board will conduct examinations, develop pedagogy and curriculum.

Applicants should be “involved in preservation, conservation, promotion and propagation of Indian traditional knowledge which includes Vedic education, Sanskrit education, yoga in schools for at least five years”. They should have a net worth of at least Rs 300 crore and should commit a corpus of Rs 50 crore.

The governing council of the institution, led by Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, had given its in-principle approval to set up such a board on January 11. On February 12, the government agreed to let private players set up the board.

The Bharatiya Shiksha Board will be the first private board to be recognised by the Centre, according to The Indian Express.