In response to the growing demand from the student community, University of Mumbai will be starting two new master's degree courses this academic year. Students of history now have the option to enroll for an MA in Ancient Indian Culture and Archaeology (MA-AICA) and MA in Buddhist Studies (MA-BS). Introducing the MA-AICA Suraj Pandit, chairman, Ad hoc Board of Studies in Ancient Indian History Culture and Archaeology, University of Mumbai, said, "Although ancient Indian culture is taught at the under graduate and postgraduate level at various colleges and research institutes affiliated to University of Mumbai, there is no comprehensive course available in any institute across Maharashtra."
He elaborates, "The syllabus of this course has been thoroughly revised in line with the credit based grading system. It comprises papers ranging from stone-age India to history of theatre and performing arts in India. There are even applied papers like epigraphy, manuscriptology, cultural tourism, etc. This course has an interdisciplinary approach in the true real sense." "As for the MA-BS, there is no course in the subject offered by the university or affiliated colleges. And while courses in Pali literature, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese and other South East Asian languages do form a part of Buddhism, there has always been a lack of an inclusive study of the subject. This course offers a comprehensive study of the Buddhist religion and philosophy, art-architecture, epigraphy, ethics, literature, etc." informs Pandit.
Ancient Indian Culture and Archaeology: The MA-AICA course will be taught with an indological and archaeological approach, constituting a variety of elements ranging from pre-historic India to literature and archaeology. It will involve a study of all aspects of Indian culture beyond historical methods and events. Practicals and field visits will be conducted for applied and professional subjects taught.
Buddhist Studies: The MA-BS course will be taught with multiple methodological approaches, including a study of Buddhist literature in Pali, Tibetan, Sanskrit, art and architecture in India and abroad, development of Buddhist ethics and philosophy, etc. There will be a definitive focus on the Buddhist worldview and its socio-cultural analysis. Field visits wherever required, will be also be included.
Department Woes: Due to an absence of departments for ancient Indian history, culture and archaeology, as well as for Buddhist studies, these courses are being offered through an ad hoc committee, Board of Studies in Ancient Indian History Culture and Archaeology. "These are some of our oldest subjects, taught in the affiliated institutes of the university since 1939. Yet, no department in lieu has been set up by university till the day," explains Pandit. "The board has submitted a proposal to set up respective departments for integrated studies in the above subjects to the vice-chancellor of the university. Apart from requests from many students and teachers for a department, even K Sankarnarayan, director, KJ Somaiya Centre for Buddhist Studies, has extended his support to our initiative."
Application: Interested applicants will be required to hold a bachelor's or equivalent degree from the University of Mumbai or any other UGC-recognised university. Admissions will begin following the BA results announcement this year. Forms will be available at St Xavier's College, Mahapalika Marg, Mumbai and the admissions process will be conducted at the postgraduate section of the Fort campus, Main Building, First Fl, University of Mumbai.
MA-AICA: The course constitutes a variety of elements ranging from pre-historic India to literature and archaeology.
MA-BS: The course will include a study of Buddhist literature in Pali, Tibetan, Sanskrit, etc, art and architecture in India and abroad, development of Buddhist ethics and philosophy.
Courtesy: Times of India