BSM Wants The Government To Merge Ministries Of Human Resource Development And Culture


New Delhi: An offshoot of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) that works in the area of education, the Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal (BSM), wants the Union government to merge the ministries of human resource development (HRD) and culture.  The BSM believes this will help the cause of a truly Indian curriculum.

On its website, the organisation, founded in 1969, defines its objective as “a national resurgence in education” and says it wants to create a “National Education Policy, Curriculum, System &Methodology based on integral Bharatiya vision, rooted in its eternal ethos and centred at overall development of the country”.

BSM has suggested renaming the clubbed ministry as the ministry of education. The suggestion to rename the HRD ministry as the ministry of education was also aired in the draft national education policy put together by a committee under the chairmanship of scientist Dr K Kasturirangan, and released by HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal in May.

In a 19-point wish-list, conveyed to the Union government through an information interaction, BSM has said that since there are about 150 institutes under the ministry of culture that also provide education in the field of art, it makes eminent sense for the two ministries to be clubbed.

“At the time of Independence, the department of culture was under the ministry of education; this was later changed during the 1980s when the ministry of HRD was carved out. Bringing the two ministries together will make the process of imparting education and culture more reflective and complete,” said a functionary of BSM who asked not to be named.

A senior official in the HRD ministry said the ministry is yet to formally receive the proposal from the offshoot. However, Neera Chandhoke, a former professor of political science in Delhi University, said the suggestion mooted is worrying.

“The objective of education is to enable students to critically engage with history, culture and the present, not to further the power of the dominant groups; this will impair their ability to be reflective human beings. The merger is a terrible idea.”

The offshoot of the RSS, the ideological parent of the BJP, has also been pushing for including cultural heritage and practices, including ancient Indian texts such as Natyashastra and Nyaya Shastra, in the curriculum; making research India-oriented; imparting early education in local languages; and making Sanskrit mandatory till class 8.


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