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Introduction

Sanskrit is the oldest surviving language in the world and it also contains the oldest surviving text in the world, that is the Ŗg veda. It is the repository of five thousand years of knowledge base of this country. Sir William Jones in his third annual discourse before the Asiatic Society on the history and culture of the Hindus (delivered on 2 February 1786 and published in 1788) said, ‘The Sanscrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either’. Friedrich Max Müller, one of the most respected Indologists of his time, had called Sanskrit the “language of languages”.

Sanskrit is an indispensable tool for the study of ancient Indian texts and the wealth of knowledge contained therein. It is equally relevant in the modern times for harvesting the indigenous knowledge systems and applying it in the present context. With its vast resource material in different disciplines it has the potential to give India the lead in the field of intellectual property right. Among the learned in India it continues to be a lingua franca across different states and serves as the binding force in a multilingual and multi cultural society.

The seed of the Department of Sanskrit was sown in 2014, when the honorable Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Talat Ahmad on behalf of JMI expressed his interest in the establishment of the Department of Sanskrit to the then Minister of Human Resource Development. A Coordination Committee was set up by the Vice-Chancellor to do the ground work and to take care of the details of setting up of the Department. Finally, after a lot of deliberation and consultation with scholars, the department was set up with the appointment of a Professor, an Associate Professor and two Assistant Professors in Feb-March 2017.

The members of the Department immediately got down to work and after serious deliberations, in a short time painstakingly prepared the curriculum of B.A. (Hons.) Sanskrit, M.A. Sanskrit, M.Phil/Ph.D Sanskrit Programme and CBCS Sanskrit Courses. The courses were further scrutinized and approved by the Board of Studies.

The Department is pleased to announce that with unstinted support from the University administration, Dean Faculty of Humanities and Languages and Members Board of Studies, courses in all four programmes are commencing from the academic year 2017-18. The curriculum of these courses emphasizes not only the linguistic and literary merit of Sanskrit texts, but also makes an effort to bring to light relevant material in both social and physical sciences through introduction to original texts.

Thus, while considerable space has been provided to traditional fields of study such as Vedic and Classical Literature, Grammar and Indian Philosophy, Literary Criticism etc. Lesser taught fields, such as Manuscriptology, Self management in Gita, Indian Social Institutions and Polity etc. have been given adequate place. The courses also aim to incorporate fields like Indian Scientific Heritage, Psychology, Vedic Mathematics, Indian Epigraphy and Paleography. Modules from modern fields like Sanskrit Journalism and Computer tools for Sanskrit have also been incorporated. The curriculum also emphasizes study of the links between Sanskrit, Persian and other Indo-Iranian Languages. The Department considers it important to constantly evolve and assess the curriculum in order to promote new directions in Sanskrit research and to keep it relevant to the needs of the society.

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