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History
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An ancient model

on the cutting edge

A brief history of the
Indian Education Model

The mission of Akshar Foundation is to spread the Indian Education Model throughout the world.

 

The Indian Education Model is the foundation of an ancient system of knowledge gathering and transmission, a continuous culture spanning nearly 5000 years in the past to the present. The Indian tradition can be contrasted with the Occidental tradition of the West, which emerged from Ancient Greece. The Occidental tradition believes in mind-body separation. The mind is treated as a separate entity, the focus of Western education.

 

The Indian model of holistic education promoted by Akshar Foundation dates back to antiquity, a model that develops the whole child, mind, as well as body. The Indian Education Model views mind-body separation as false, an assumption which modern science is increasingly confirming. As such, education was designed to focus as much on abstract academics (Languages, Maths, Science, etc.) as on practical arts and hands-on learning — experiential learning, skills development, and physical conditioning by developing muscle memory. Boiled down to its simplest form: Learning by Doing.

The Indian tradition balanced mind and body to produce and export quasi-secular knowledge systems like Buddhism, Yog, and Kung-Fu all over the world. Hu Shih, a late scholar and former Ambassador of the Republic of China to the US once stated, “India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border”. This cultural hegemony extended to most of Asia, not only China. Today, these ideas are gaining more and more prominence in the West, including a mainstream belief in holistic approaches, Eastern medicine, Eastern philosophy, Karma, and of course, “Yoga”.

The Indian tradition exported the counting system that the whole world uses, decimals that cycle through 10 digits — forming the basis of modern algebra and all modern mathematics and science — as well as producing major innovations in the foundations of mathematics, physics, medicine and other sciences.

 

Schrodinger, Heisenberg, Bohr, and Oppenheimer were among the chief founders of Quantum Physics, the field of science which split the atom and birthed the transistor, creating the dual Nuclear Age and Computer Age that we live in. Their ideas about the nature of reality emerged from the mathematics, but when they needed the concepts to understand their equations, to understand Quantum Mechanics, they turned to the Indian knowledge tradition for conceptual clarity.

Erwin Schrödinger, known for “Schrödinger’s Cat”, a thought experiment explaining the counter-intuitive quantum superposition of particles, reportedly said “The unity and continuity of Vedanta are reflected in the unity and continuity of wave mechanics.”

 

Werner Heisenberg, known for the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle dictating the quantum mechanics of sub-atomic particles reportedly remarked, “After the conversations about Indian philosophy, some of the ideas of Quantum Physics that seemed so crazy suddenly made much more sense.”

 

Niels Bohr, who created the atomic model used by scientists, reportedly stated “I go into the Upanishads to ask questions.”

 

India contributed many founders of modern physics as well, including Satyendranath Bose, the founder of Quantum Statistics who collaborated with Einstein and after whom the sub-atomic particle known as a “Boson” was named, as well as many others like Raman, Chandrasekhar, and Ramachandran. Few so-called “Third World Nations” could boast such major contributions to modern science, despite being hobbled by colonialism.

The Indian tradition was the foundation of Mahatma Gandhi’s Nai Talim education philosophy, which failed to become official policy during his lifetime. We believe this is because Nai Talim in practice at the time was too rigid, and failed to adapt to the modern requirements of a nation-state.

 

So, the nation opted to implement the Western model instead, leading to the creation of world-renowned centers of excellence like the Indian Institute of Technology, which export scientists and engineers all over the world, but which suffer from staggering inequality and neglect the needs of the average student.

 

Since then, NGOs and schools like Anand Niketan Akhil Bhartiya Nai Talim Samita, and Akshar Foundation, among many others, have worked to promote the adoption of the Indian Education Model. At Akshar, we believed the Indian Education Model should be based firmly in Indian Philosophy, but also integrate the best parts of the Western tradition, like modern science and technology.

In 2019, the Indian Model at Akshar went viral in news outlets all over the world. Niti Aayog, the apex public policy think-tank of the Government India, as well as the United Nations, and the World Economic Forum all showed their support for Akshar's Indian model in press releases and social media.

 

In 2020, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced India's new National Education Policy (NEP 2020), to create the modern Indian Model of Education, and beginning the shift to schools based on the Indian tradition.

 

In 2021, the Government of India agreed to adopt the Akshar NEP 2020 model in five schools in Assam, as a pilot for state-wide implementation.

 

In 2022, the Government of India conducted in-depth assessments of Akshar Forum, our experimental model school, as well as other schools and gurukuls throughout India based on the the Indian Model of Education. A few weeks later, Prime Minister Modiji announced PM SHRI Schools, 14,500 schools based on the new Indian Education Model. Green schools with a holistic approach, focused on vocational skills development and mastery of technology. The paradigm has shifted. 

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Media
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Ideas can spread around the world

The Indian Model in the News

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Akshar on Social Media

Gallery

Team
Trustees
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Prof. Alaka Sarma

Founder & Managing Trustee/ Executive Director

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Co-Founder/ Associate Director (Operations)

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Co-Founder/Associate Director (Curriculum)

Advisory Board
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Shaila Asave

Trustee, Motivation for Excellence

Former MD, Orbit Exports

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Dr. Holly Shaw

International Council of Nurses, Representative to the United Nations DGC

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Chetna Sinha

Founder, Mann Deshi

Co-chair, World Economic Forum, Davos '18

Board of Consultants
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Himanshu Agarwal

Akshar CFO (pro-bono)

Partner, NC Karnany & Co.

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Miguel Galaz

General Manager, Prime Matter Consulting

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Samudra Sarangi

Akshar CLO (pro-bono)

Partner, Law offices of Panag and Babu

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Founder, KEWO

Akshar Government School Liaison, Madhya Pradesh

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Yale Levitae

Cloud Architect, VP Akshar US Board of Directors

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Mihir Bharali

Senior Software Engineer, Walmart Global Tech

Administration
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Anamika Suresh

Administrative Director

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Rulee Phukan

Schools Supervisor

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Munmi Talukdar

Schools Supervisor

Akshar Forum Model School
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Gaurav Das

Senior Teacher

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Gitika Rangshal

Junior Teacher​

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Deepsikha Bhuyan

Senior Teacher

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Geetamoni Tumung

Junior Teacher

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Ai Myachha Chawloo

Junior Teacher

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Nishi Sarkar

Groundskeeper

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Florence Kashyap

Junior Teacher

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Moon Deka

Student Transport/ Chef

Content Team
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Nayana Das

Content Editor

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Chinmay Kher

Content Writer

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Jayeeta Mukherjee

Content Writer

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Reshma Ahmed

Content Writer

Rajdhani Gov't Middle School
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Arpan Teron

Akshar Coordinator

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Sumona Sinha

Junior Social Worker/

Classroom Assistant

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Sirish Mukul

Junior Social Worker/

Classroom Assistant

Lakshminath Bezbaruah Gov't Middle School
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Nishtha Bharati

Junior Social Worker/

Classroom Assistant

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Gitali Boruah

Junior Social Worker/

Classroom Assistant

Natun Fatasil Gov't High School
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Bhrigu Rajbongshi

Akshar Coordinator

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Bhaswat Gogoi

Junior Social Worker/

Classroom Assistant

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Monanki Pathak

Akshar Coordinator

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Satabdi Borgohain

Junior Social Worker/

Classroom Assistant

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Ivylata Saikia

Junior Social Worker/

Classroom Assistant

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Leveraging outstanding partners

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