Amrita Values Programme which aims at inculcating life values in students, is now part of the university curriculum. The School of Arts and Sciences, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kochi campus, has begun the program for M.Phil. and III semester UG students from the current academic year offering training in Organic Farming and Sustainability, Yoga and Meditation, Kerala Mural Art and Painting, Lessons from Ramayana and Indian Medicinal system. The students have the freedom to choose any one of the programmes offered.

Visit to Amrita School of Ayurveda Herbal Garden: As part of AVP on Indian Medicine, students from different departments accompanied by faculty members visited the Amrita School of Ayurveda, Kollam on November 16, 2016. The visit was co-ordinated by Dr. James Chacko, Associate Professor, Dept. of Medicine, Amrita School of Ayurveda, Kollam. The students were taken to the Herbal Garden, Production Department and Patient rooms in the campus. The uses of some of the herbs like Thulasi, Neem, Ginger, Onion etc in the treatment of illness were explained to the students. In the Production Department the students saw the steps involved in the manufacture of ayurvedic medicines like Arishtam, Lehyam, Kashayam etc. Sri Jayakrishnan, Head of Amrita Life, explained the benefits and wide acceptance of Ayurvedic Products throughout the world. Br. Sankara Chaithanya Medical Director and Dr. Vasudevan Namboodiri, Principal also spoke to the student

Visit to CMFRI and Kerala Agricultural University Rice Research Station: As part of the AVP, 3rd semester students from various departments, who opted for organic farming, were taken to Central Marine Fisheries Reserch Institute (CMFRI) Kerala Agricultural University Rice Research Station, Vyttila. They were accompanied by Dr.U. Krishnakumar, Director, Dr. Sony Vijayan, Head, Department of Commerce and Management and other faculty members and later the scientist from Krishi Vijan Kendra (KVK) under ICAR-CMFRI handled the classes. They were introduced to Organic farming, pokkali farming and its associated prawn cultivation commonly known as chemmeenkettu. The scientists there shared their knowledge and experiences with the students.

Mural Art and Painting: Kerala has a rich devotional art tradition of mural painting, usually done on the walls and ceilings of the temples and palaces. In the contemporary art world, there is a transformation from the static walls and ceilings to the canvas. The objective of the course was to introduce the traditional art forms to the younger generation. The class was a heterogeneous group of untrained and trained students. It began with the basic lessons of mural painting and gave theoretical as well as practical orientation. The individual attention paid to the students helped them grasp the lessons thoroughly and they performed well in the practical sessions. The paintings exhibited at the auditorium were well appreciated by the campus community.

Lessons from Ramayana: Ramayana, traditionally held to be a basic text both in the devotional culture and life is replete with parables, fables and anecdotes which serve as guiding principles for a good way of living. The classes held at the campus as part of AVP have been intended to illustrate the above aspects providing basis for a principled way of life and inculcating in the students the spiritual knowledge for enlightenment in respect of domestic life, public life and cultural sphere.

Yoga and Meditation: M.Phil. and III semester Under Graduate students of different disciplines who opted for Yoga and Meditation under AVP were given a glimpse of Raja Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga. They were given theoretical as well as practical sessions on basic yoga techniques in breathing, asanas, pranayama and meditation. As said in ‘The Bhagavad Gita’, “Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self”. Classes helped the students to be energetic, alert, build up positive attitude; make aware of themselves and the world around them.

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