Shravanabelagola, January 1, 2006: The All India Conference of Jain Scholars and Researchers that concluded here on Sunday resolved to establish two deemed universities at Shravanabelagola, one for promotion and preservation of Prakrit language and another in the arena of higher education promoting professional courses.
In the ‘Shravanabelagola Declaration’ adopted by more than 150 scholars who attended the Five-day Conference, the scholars were unanimous about the importance of disseminating traditional as well as modern knowledge in the present day knowledge society. The time has come where a new breed of scholars have to be nurtured by educating them in modern disciplines even while imbibing the best of traditions and culture.
The scholars opined that efforts should be made to strengthen the teaching and research in the field of Prakrit language and literature, with a view to popularize the same and increase the number of persons, who can write, speak and understand the language, with a good amount of proficiency. In this direction, the scholars resolved to establish a deemed university or National Institute of Prakrit at Shravanabelagola.
The proposed Institute or University will focus on teaching Prakrit at the Post Graduate level; diploma in spoken Prakrit; research in Prakrit language and literature; offering refresher courses and organizing various meets and conclaves of scholars; establishing a library with e-linkages; creating cyber facilities for teaching and research in Prakrit; exchange programmes for teachers and students; translation facilities; online helpline services; development of software support systems; creation of quality manpower; creating an FM radio station on the campus; and broadcasting popular musical programmes in Prakrit.
The conference further resolved to establish a separate Deemed University for promoting professional courses in higher education with Shravanabelagola as the Headquarters, which will have a provision to open its campuses in other places in India and abroad.
This University while offering up-to-date professional education will incorporate modules on value education based on the Jain doctrines. The proposed university will offer courses in Medicine including the Indian system of medicine; nursing and physiotherapy; dentistry; architecture; fashion and jewellery design; Engineering including Information Technology; Management; Nanotechnology; Biotechnology; Bioinformatics; Material Technology; Law; Disaster Management; Agriculture including Floriculture; All social sciences; and Humanities including languages.
The conference also decided to make organized efforts to remove the language barrier for facilitating the flow of information as most of the Jain literature is currently spread over Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Gujarati, Hindi, Sanskrit and Prakrit. – Jain Heritage Centres News Service (JHCNS)