April 14, 2011
Health Sciences Campus, Kochi
Whether it is engineering or medicine or arts and sciences or some other discipline of study that an Amrita student pursues, there is one thing that he or she is definitely exposed to: India’s rich cultural heritage.
Cultural Education classes are mandatory and part of the curriculum in most programs of study at Amrita.
At the Health Sciences campus, students of medicine, dentistry, nursing and pharmacy attend these mandatory classes. In addition to faculty from Amrita, eminent scholars invited from all over India interact with students and share perspectives with them, as part of these classes.
In the classes, students learn about the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. They learn the epics, Mahabharata and Ramayana.
They learn about the contribution of ancient India in the fields of sciences, astronomy, chemistry, medicine, astrology, ship building, aerodynamics, sculpture and architecture.
Also taught to the students are the contribution of different Indian saints and seers including Lord Buddha, Veda Vyasa, Sri Shankara, Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda.
An overview of the world’s major religions including Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam is provided.
“These classes help students frame a context through which they can understand the importance of Indian cultural traditions,” stated a faculty, who teaches the class.
The classes also serve as a foundation to help students better understand the life and work of their Chancellor, Amma.
At an examination conducted recently at the Health Sciences campus on Indian Culture and Values, nearly 500 students participated.
Thirty-six students were shortlisted to compete in the next round. Questions also included those on Amma’s teachings and her speeches at international forums.
N. R. Archana of the 2007 MBBS batch won the first prize; she received a gold medal, a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 5000.
The second prize was shared by two students, Lakshmi Raj of BDS 2010 batch and Parvathy N. L. of BSc (Nursing) 2007 batch. Both received certificates and cash prizes of Rs. 1500 each.
Elizabeth M. Koshy of BPharm 2007 batch and Devika R. Krishnan of BDS 2008 batch, both came in third and won certificates and cash prizes of Rs. 1000 each.
Consolation prizes were awarded to Nimisha of BDS 2010 batch, Niveditha of MBBS 2010 batch and Anju Krishnan of BSc (Nursing) 2007 batch.
The students could hardly contain their joy when they received their prizes from none other than Chancellor Amma herself, during the Ernakulam Brahmasthanam Temple Festival.
“We thank our teachers and others who helped us understand the true meaning of education and what it really implies in our Indian culture and context,” stated the winning students.