Satvik food, prana-based solutions among topics to be researched by edu ministry
The Indian Knowledge System division was established by the ministry as an innovation cell at the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in 2020 to promote interdisciplinary research on aspects of indigenous knowledge.
Impact of “satvik” (pure) food on the gut; “prana” (breath)-based Vedic solutions for minimising “suicidal tendencies”; the effects of Pranayama and reciting shlokas (hymns) on the well-being of young students; applicability of Arthashastra to solve current societal problems; and political concepts from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Arthashastra.
These are among the 28 research proposals selected for government funding by the Union ministry of education’s Indian Knowledge System (IKS) division.
The IKS division was established by the ministry as an innovation cell at the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in 2020 to promote interdisciplinary research on aspects of indigenous knowledge.
HT reported on October 9 that the division had invited research proposals for the second edition of the “competitive research proposals programme” under nine broad areas including health and wellness, architectural engineering, metallurgy and material science, and politics and economics. The selected research projects will receive up to â‚¹20 lakh over a period of two years.
The outcome of these research projects will be published in peer-reviewed journals, said Ganti S Murthy, national coordinator, IKS division. “These 28 projects have been selected from over 450 entries after proper scrutiny. We actually selected areas that are relevant for all times and require a lot of innovative thinking. The selected proposals are not just about past glory. They actually focus on how we use the wisdom of ancient India to solve current and future problems.”
Under the health and wellness category, six research proposals have been selected including “Impact of Satvik Food on the Gut Microbiome Diversity: An Ayurgenomics Perspective” and “Prana based Vedic solutions for minimizing suicidal ideation”, according to an internal IKS document reviewed by HT.
Murthy said that there has been tremendous research in “gut-mind access” in the last 10-15 years. “The bacteria in the human gut do not just influence the health of the human gut but also influence things you may not be able to connect with, like causing a tendency to be depressed. There is enough evidence to show that anxiety and depression are caused by bacteria in the gut. And, diet can fix that issue.”
He said that there will be study of the gut microbiome of a person who has had traditional “satvik food” throughout his or her life, and compare it to the microbiomes of those who did not. “So, they (the researchers) are looking at some of the Jain communities in north India who have strict dietary habits. There are generations of people who have not had outside food like pizza and burger. Only then can you scientifically say that satvik food has some positive impact on the gut.”
Suman Kundu, senior professor of Biochemistry and director BITS Pilani, KK Birla Goa Campus, said that it is important to collate scientific evidence on the positive impact of Indian traditional food habits. “The Indian knowledge system is practice based evidence but now the world is moving towards evidence based practice. If you provide evidence for all of this the world will understand the positive impact of disciplined and traditional Indian food habits on human bodies.”
Murthy said that there is enough evidence now that proves that Pranayam (a breathing exercise) is really effective for sound mental health. “Research in this area will help us find solutions from our traditional wisdom and will help the youth in overcoming anxiety and depression that eventually led to suicidal tendencies.”
The topics of some of the other approved projects are: Orientation of temples of South India and their astronomical associations; investigating the role of household savings for economic development; international Relations of the Chola Dynasty; and construction methodology and composition of brick and mortar used in the masonry of Nalanda Mahavihara.
“ A lot of entrepreneurs in India have started their business from the money saved and provided by the women of their families. This needs to be studied thoroughly and should be told to the world,”Murthy said.
Courtesy: Hindustan times