The 21st century is indeed an era of Knowledge. Human wisdom and knowledge has become transnational and is being transferred globally in an unprecedented way by dint of amazing process of science and technology. The world has almost become a ‘Global Village’. Human mind is being explored and exploited to its fullest in the domains of knowledge and learning world over. When India is going to be a global leader and a torch-bearer to the world in days to come, it is expected that every citizen of India is able to take initiatives on his own and is aptly equipped with rich and noble values of our glorious cultural and historical heritage.
This global image of Gujarat follows our practices in science, technology, research, education, trade and commerce, proper administration and our traditions. In the light of this scenario that the Higher Education of State emphasizes new policies and action plans to infuse and instill within the youth of Gujarat the spirit of global competition and to encourage them to display their talents to meet challenges of the newer changing order of the world.
Swarnim Gujarat Mission for Excellence coincides with Gujarat celebrating its 50th years since the establishment of the state. The Government plans to launch Swarnim Gujarat Mission for Excellence to celebrate this milestone. By 2010, the State proposes to induce renewed spirit and to introduce newer action plans encompassing all walks of life for the betterment of the society by. Under the auspices of Mission for Excellence, the colleges and universities across Gujarat will have to focus various areas of education, art and knowledge for the manifold progress of the youth. These areas of focus are known as Band/Cluster/Spectrum/Continuum/Symphony of Activities(Dharas):
(a) Knowledge Band (Gyan Dhara)
(b) Creative Expression Band (Sarjanatmak Abhivyakti Dhara)
(c) Fine Arts Band (Rang, Kala, Kaushalya Dhara)
(d) Theatre Band (Natya Dhara)
(e) Music and Dance Band (Geet, Sangeet, Nrutya Dhara)
(f) Yoga and Sports Band (Vyayam, Yog, Khel-kud Dhara)
(g) Community/Social Service Band (Samudaya Seva Dhara)
Colleges have to see to it that students partake in the process of acquiring knowledge as active learners. To lead an accomplished life, every one of us should find answers to the following questions. Young students need to be part of this process of inquisition to make their life worthy of higher goals:
The colleges should celebrate Swami Vivekanand Jayanti on the 12th January as the ‘Yuva Jayanti and Gyan Jayanti’. On this day, teachers and students will share their knowledge and experience of various spheres of learning. Colleges can also organize ‘Gyanotsav: Knowledge Forum’ wherein students can participate in debate, elocution and essay competitions. Participants can be encouraged with felicitation by the college. More than organizing competitions, colleges should encourage students to express and exhibit ideas, views and independent thinking in the process of their personality development.
Under this cluster, skills for elocution, debate, creative writing and translation have to be inculcated into the students. Elocution or debate is not merely a matter of fluency or oratory. It actually means the pursuit of truth and is practiced to express truth. The search for truth yields qualities of patience, courage and strength. Resultant effect is the real skill of elocution or debate.
This cluster aims at inspiring students to explore their faculty of imagination in the pursuit of absolute beauty through colours and shapes. Imagination and creativity in Fine Arts will enable the students explore further the horizons of cosmos and qualities of the soul. Their creations in Fine Arts will thus be external manifestations of the inner self. Under this cluster, colleges will conduct activities in Fine Arts painting in particular. At an advanced level, we can also establish productive and constructive rapport between Fine Arts and industry to promote traditional fine arts as small scale industry. The artists will hugely be benefited out of such tie-ups. At its best, we may attempt at creating conducive atmosphere where basic skills in Fine Arts, apart from the qualities associated with artistic expressions, will be of much use for students as far as their employability and self-sufficiency are concerned.
Theatrical activities to be organized under this cluster will expose the students to the intricacies of the theatre as a form of art and ultimately lead them to the path of knowledge of inner-consciousness. The scripts for enactment will be based on Sanskrit plays, standard translations of great plays from other languages of the world and scripts that heighten the level of consciousness of the students. Scripts, inferior in taste, meaning and implication, must not be selected. The teacher in charge of this cluster will select only such scripts as reflect noble ideas and inspire students to higher goals in life
Under this cluster, it is essential to include fundamental values and practices of Music, Arts and Poetry through which one can attain the Knowledge of Soul. Among the three, Music is doubtlessly predominant. However, the modern youth of India need to know the origin, history, development and meaning of music in India as well as the world over. The main objective of this cluster would be that of making students understand the innate and deeper meaning of music and enabling them to enjoy the spirit and sense of music from the depth of heart.
Talent Programmes of colleges should be aimed at bringing out inner talent of students. However, it is found many a time that so called talent programmes are not organized in the righteous design. Such events have to be reformed. Colleges can arrange musical events for three to four days and provide platform to students as well as teachers to express their talent so as to consolidate our faith in cultural values and to experience the richness of cultural and historical heritage of India.
It is compulsory for the teachers and students to take part in the activities under this group. All the teachers and students have to belong to this cluster.
Yoga is the best medium to experience the characteristics of the Sthitapragya or the one who has steadfast intellect as expressed in Indian culture. This cluster aims at imparting upon the students true knowledge of physical education as it is distinctly related with the mental and spiritual processes. The prayer, too, has high significance for our inner development.
Having its majority of people living in villages, it is necessary for a country like India to make her students aware of the realities of rural India. Rural development is the right parameter of our progress. Eradication of rural problems has been our priority. We have to aim at maximizing students’ participation in activities under this cluster. Following activities/efforts can be taken up:
1) Students should have firsthand experience of the life in villages.
2) They should visit the villages with constructive messages.
3) They will carry out survey on geographic, educational, economic and social aspects of people in rural India.
4) Students should be educated on the developmental work/plan for rural welfare with the help of machineries for rural welfare like Centre for Environmental Education (CEE), Providing Urban Amenities for Rural Areas (P.U.R.A.).
Moreover, efforts have to be directed upon inculcating philosophy of nationalism and understanding of internationalism among students. Schemes like adoption of a plant, a village and environmental awareness will be special focus of this cluster. Every college will form an ‘Eco Club’.
Structure Of Saptadhara At College Level
Every institution has to form committees for each of the above activities. Following programmes and activities have to be carried out in accordance with the abovementioned clusters:
5) Every student of the college will have to be a part of any one of the seven clusters.
6) Every student, if so desires, can take part in more than one activity.
7) The college will form steering committees for each of the seven clusters under the guidance of the principal. Each committee will consist of one teacher and two students- one boy and one girl as its members. The existing committees of the college have to be reorganized as per the above clusters while retaining their existing members or introducing new ones from among the existing teachers.
8) Every student will have to fill up the Admission Form for his/her participation under above cluster/s. After due acceptance of the same by the teacher concerned can the student be a part of a particular cluster/s.
9) Every teacher will also be a part of any one of the above clusters as per his/her own interest/expertise in the respective fields. Two students will invariably be included in each of the committees as student representatives. The principal will keep interest/expertise of teachers as well as students while selecting them under above clusters.
10) Teachers can be part of more than one cluster if they have interest/expertise in respective clusters.
11) Each cluster will be managed by the respective Steering Committee. However, the college will have an Executive Committee consisting of the principal as the Head of the committee and the in-charge teacher of College NSS Unit and General Secretary of the Student Union of the college as its members. The Executive Committee will be responsible for implementation of the Mission for Excellence and the same will be answerable to the Department of Higher Education in this regard.
12) Every college is supposed to introduce a chapter on SPIC MACAY (Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music & Culture Amongst Youth). Through this activity, students will have better exposure to the Indian Classical Music, Dance and its Maestros. SPIC MACAY provides ideal platform for students to experience and realize Indian culture through performances of music and dance. Visit the website www.spicmacay.com for more details on SPIC MACAY.
13) Colleges have to submit detailed report on all programmes and activities carried out under the Mission for Excellence to their respective university and the Commissioner of Higher Education. College will also have to include the same report in their Annual Magazine and will have to display the same on their websites for easier documentation of these activities across the State.
14) Colleges are supposed to plan out their Academic Calendar in such a manner that they carry out activities and implement practices under the aforesaid seven clusters not only during the current academic year but also in the years to come.
The ultimate aim of this mission is to make our students enable to experience the joy of aesthetic pleasure and to learn from our great traditions of knowledge by way of taking up activities of Sapta Dhara. We have to create such an ambience that students find it easier to explore the beauty of knowledge and existence through the path of wisdom and various forms of arts. We hope that such a mission will ensure that along with higher education, our students will also attain higher goals with multisided development. In order to accomplish this noble goal, we hope to have complete and constructive cooperation from principals, teachers and students who are, in fact, our real human resources.
The main function of the MMI is TO PLAN, IMPLEMENT, MONITOR AND REGULATE all State Government initiatives in an efficient and effective manner. To achieve this, an in-depth analysis, a mechanism to have constant feedback and most importantly to benefit students, who are the end target of all schemes, has to be resorted to.
There are nearly 900 colleges and for smooth functioning of the saptdhara progrmme they are divided in to certain catogeries such as clusters, districts and zones. One cluster consists of five colleges and there are about 180 clusters. A group of 5 clusters constitutes one district and there are about 36 districts. These districts are devided in to five zones of the state such as East, West, North, South, and central.
Saptshara activities are carried first at college level and the students which are selected at this level participate at cluster level and the same way students selected at cluster level participate at district level. And students selected at district level participate at zonal level and then finally a state level event takes place. The winners at this level are felicitated with certificates and medals.
We hope that such a mission of saptdhara will ensure that along with higher education, our students will also attain higher goals with multisided development. The intention of saptdhara is a mass and maximum participation of students and not only competition.
A fifteen week programmed manual for various activities of each dhara has been designed and sent to all colleges of Gujarat state. Each student of the college has to participate at least in one of the dharas. In the academic year 2009-10 a competitive programme was held at college, district, zone and state level successfully. State leval activities were held during 27th Janjary to 30th January at Vallabhvidyanagar, Anand, in which nearly 1300 students participated. This will be followed every year. A set consists of ten DVDs has been prepared and sent to all colleges of the state which not only describes glory of Gujarat but also serves as tutorials and guide to learn about singing, dancing and acting.
1) Short Term Goals
The academic year 2010-11 is the second year of the implementation of Saptdhara activities. Last year yielded about 50% success as out of around 900 colleges almost 400 colleges participated in Saptdhara activities. In the current year, Sapthdara activities at the college level and cluster level are already completed.
2) Medium Term Goals
By the end of the month January 2011 activities at district level, zonal level and state level will be completed.
1) Long terms Goal
At present only Granted and Grant - in –Aid colleges are actively participating for Saptdhara activities. The response of self financed colleges is extremely poor. We will put efforts in the coming year to see that all colleges of the state participate.
Moreover we have prepared a manual in the form of DVDs with well depicted modular templates for each ‘Dhara’. Trough this, we suggest minimum activities for each ‘Dhara’ to be carried by all colleges. This would encourage mass participation of students.