'Sanskrit is considered difficult, but is easy to learn' | Nagpur News - Times of India (2023)

She took over the mantle of Ramtek-basedKavikulguruKalidas Sanskrit University (KKSU) from one of the most experienced and renowned educationist who was at the helm of affairs for over one and half decades. But for UmaVaidya, who has been appointed as the second vice chancellor of the university after PankajChande, the journey ahead is a tough one. With help from her team, she is confident of making a difference. In tête-à-tête with TOI, she spoke at length about her city connection, the future and efforts to make Sanskrit popular.
Q. In what way are you connected with Nagpur?
A. I was born in Nagpur and spent my childhood in the narrow lanes of Sitabuldi. However, I pursued my school education in different cities due to my father's transferable job. He was with the state education department. I did my graduation and post graduation from Pune and joined as a lecturer in 1974. At the same time, I also got a scholarship and completed my PhD from Mumbai University after getting married.

Q. What are your first impressions even though it's been just a week since you took over the mantle of the university?
A. It's fantastic. I'm privileged to have got such a talented team to work with. My team members are sincere, dedicated and more importantly, they are committed to work for the betterment of Sanskrit. Having said that, I do know that there are big challenges ahead of us. There are plenty of expectations as well. I'm confident that with my team's support our ship will sail smoothly even in rough waters.
Q. Have you reviewed the courses offered by the university?
A. Of course. After taking over the reins, I gathered information about courses and facilities offered by the institution. I was told that KKSU offers its courses in about 94 colleges across Maharashtra and this includes 66 degree, diploma and postgraduate courses. The university also has MPhil and PhD courses.
Q. What are the challenges that lie ahead?
A. The first challenge is to get more land from the government to expand the university. We want to introduce new courses and also provide facilities like transportation, staff quarters, guesthouses and hostels. Moreover, our offices are spread over different areas. This affects efficient administration. As the university is located in a mofussil area, we face a lot of problems, especially transportation.
Q. What are your immediate priorities?
A. There are many. My focus will be to get grants from UGC and other government departments for research. We recently got 12(b) status for receiving such grants and we will go out all out to get them. The grants will also help in improving our facilities. There are some problem areas but we will sort them out once we start receiving funds.
Q. Sanskrit is considered a tough language to learn due to its complicated grammar. How do you plan to popularize it?
A. I agree that Sanskrit is considered tough, but if taught in a proper manner, learning the language can be fun. I conducted many workshops for Sanskrit teachers. I informed them about various activities through which the language can be taught in a simplified manner. I plan to organize seminars and conferences so that students can get a chance to learn new techniques to understand the language better. Some universities in the north also use Sanskrit to operate computers. I want to introduce the same here.
Q. You have been involved in lot of research activities. How do you plan to promote research?
A. My focus will be to promote ancient Indian literature written in Sanskrit. There's been hardly any effort to study this old literature and translate it to other languages. Out great philosophers wrote about the planetary and solar systems when science had not developed the way it has today. There are many things in this literature which are yet to be reported. We plan to bridge the gap.
Q. Sanskrit is popular among students till the school level only. After that, students forget it as there's no scope to pursue the language. Your thoughts?
A. Though Sanskrit is popular till the school level, it would not be proper to say that there are no opportunities for those pursuing this language. Hundreds of students are pursuing different courses from our university. We need to train teachers to popularize this language among students. They need to create awareness. Efforts have to be made from grass roots level.


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