Lecture on "The Crisis Within: On Knowledge and Education in India"
P.C Saxena Auditorium,
IIT Bombay, Powai


Event Name (Full/Detailed):

The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay is organizing an Institute lecture on January 31, 2024. The details of the lecture are provided below:

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Title: "The Crisis Within: On Knowledge and Education in India"

Speaker: Prof. Ganesh N Devy, Indian cultural activist and former Professor of English, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda


About the speaker: Prof. Ganesh Narayandas Devy (born 1 August 1950) is an Indian cultural activist, literary critic and former professor of English. He is known for the People's Linguistic Survey of India and the Adivasi Academy created by him. He is credited with starting the Bhaashaa Research and Publication Centre. He writes in three languages—Marathi, Gujarati and English. His first full-length book in English is After Amnesia (1992). He has written and edited close to ninety books in areas including Literary Criticism, Anthropology, Education, Linguistics and Philosophy.

Prof. G. N. Devy has received several Lifetime Achievement Awards. He was awarded Padma Shri on 26 January 2014 in recognition of his work with denotified and nomadic tribes and endangered languages. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award (1993) for After Amnesia, and the SAARC Writers’ Foundation Award (2001) for his work with denotified tribals. He was given the reputed Prince Claus Award (2003) for his work for the conservation of tribal arts and crafts. His Marathi book Vanaprasth received eight awards including the Durga Bhagwat Memorial Award and the Maharashtra Foundation Award. Along with Laxman Gaikwad and Mahashweta Devi, he was one of the founders of The Denotified and Nomadic Tribes Rights Action Group (DNT-RAG). He won the 2011 Linguapax Prize for his work for the preservation of linguistic diversity

Abstract: Nearly one in every twelve humans is a young Indian for whom meaningful education is of critical importance. A good education will not only help our youth get jobs and build fulfilling careers, it will also lead to the widening of our collective imagination and the shaping of the way we think; for all these reasons it ought to be an important concern of our time. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There is a lack of infrastructure, adequate funding and genuine autonomy within educational institutions, departments within those institutions and individuals who teach in those departments. And this is not all. There is also the question of the nature of knowledge that is relevant to our rapidly modernizing country that needs to be dealt with. If knowledge is the core of education and if education lays the very foundation of a nation, Prof. Devy argues that it is of critical importance that the plight of educational institutions and the need to generate knowledge appropriate to India are addressed without any delay. The talk offers a clear picture of the mistakes that have been committed in the past, and confronts the present decline of knowledge and education in the country