Friday, December 28, 2012

Reflection of the Inner Self through Spirituality, Humanity and Power -Professor Dr. Ravindra Kumar

Spirituality, humanity and power [or energy], all the three, are, in fact, connected to the inner self of a human being.  In other words, all the three are the subject of the self –the virtues of the soul. Spiritualism, especially from the great Indian viewpoint is a process of searching the self through continuous practices. It is not merely a concept, but an active way of achieving the goal of life by meditation, prayer and contemplation while having high human values as the nuclei.
Further, humanity is not just a word connected to human beings. Rather, it divulges the identity and reveals human characteristics. Along with this, humanity is not only a word covering the whole of human race, but has, simultaneously, the spirit of larger welfare of human beings in its root. Equality of all is its chief attribute.
Power or energy signifies capability. Which capability? The capability of physical strength, or the capability earned by worldly materials? None of them. It signifies that capability, which exists within everyone and which is a subject of realization and continuous development; moreover, which is the best means of all-round development of the self. After the development of the self, welfare of all is expected from this. This very capability is also the education in reality; it is the basis, meaning and purpose of education for which Socrates had said, “ draw out what are already within.” It means to realize and develop the virtues, which are inherent in all humans.
Hence, it can be said in conclusion that spirituality, humanity and power [energy] are the virtues of the soul. They are the subject of realization and development. They call for indentifying the self, inspire for developing the self and after that expect for working in larger welfare of one and all. Spirituality, humanity and power also raise morality and ethics to the highest level on the basis of duty and responsibility and, thus, get a human being capable of successful execution of what is expected from life.
What is expected from human-life has been clarified already –to develop the self on the strength of righteousness to the extent it is necessary and inevitable to make the life meaningful or to achieve one’s goal and thereafter to dedicate her or him to the welfare of one and all by having the spirit of sacrifice as the nuclei.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Internationalization versus Globalization of Higher Education –Professor Dr. Ravindra Kumar

In these days of continuously increasing process of globalization it is but natural that a subject like that of higher education emerges predominantly at international level, or discussions pertaining to internationalization of higher education becomes vital all over the world. It is because globalization and internationalization are, despite being two different subjects –having different meanings, purposes and basic spirits in their roots in particular, connected to one-another.
How are they connected to one-another and how are they different in their respective meanings, purposes and basic spirits which they have in their roots? To be acquainted with answers to these important questions, it is necessary to have clarity about their respective meanings, purposes and basic spirits. By this clarity it will also be easy to proceed further to discuss and analyze the subject in hand.
First about internationalization! The word internationalization is made of international, which generally means involving at least two nations –in political and economic activities in particular. Contrary to it, globalization, made of the word global, covers the whole world –the globe. In other words, all those who are living on this planet are within the scope of the word global, it does not matter which country or state they belong to. Along with academic and educational activities, all other subjects related to life, which can be counted for the larger welfare of humanity, are essentially within the ambit of global –globalization.
Hence, with this acquaintance in short with the word-meanings and purpose of the both –international and global, the spirits which remain in the roots of the words internationalization and globalization become evident automatically. However, for more clarity the following three points can be counted in this very context:
·                     In comparison the scope of globalization is far extensive than internationalization;
·                     Globalization is in its true meaning and purpose fully dedicated to the larger welfare of one and all; for, it calls for ample cooperation. Contrary to it, it is not necessary that activities related to internationalization pave the way for the larger welfare of people or develop the spirit of cooperation at large scale; and
·                     The process of globalization is more natural in comparison with internationalization. Furthering steps of globalization are definitely the outcome of continuously increasing process of development –at all levels and in all walks of life. It is undoubtedly mounting steps towards transforming the ancient Indian slogan of Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam into a reality.
Therefore, I am of the firm opinion that it would be better and more appropriate if any of the events related to higher education is connected to the word globalization, and not to internationalization. I will also try to express my views having globalization of higher education as the nuclei.
In principle education in its real meaning and purpose is a subject of globalization. Therefore, all accomplishments or gains by education should pave the way for the welfare of one and all. Further, education is a subject of realization and knowledge. It paves the way for all-round development of personality on the basis of knowledge with continuously development of study and skill –the two foremost aspects of it in particular. Therefore, paving the way for the welfare of one and all, and gathering people’s cooperation at larger scale are the prime expectations from education. That is why; scholars of repute, while deciding for scopes of the two –globalization and internationalization, keep aspects related to academic and educational fields within the range of the former, and not the later. Thus, the state becomes clear. To say, education is connected with globalization. Therefore, discussions on a subject like that of globalization of higher education stands rather sound. It is important and significant to discuss it widely and properly.
What I am to mention here especially is that there is no harm at all from globalization, or to an extent from internationalization of education if the process concerned goes ahead according to the basic spirit in the root of education itself. Rather, outcomes of this process will definitely be pleasant. This will accord well more or less to one and all. Moreover, the manner the process of development at all levels and in all walks of life is going forward, the globalization of education is necessary and inevitable. It is because causes are step-by-step becoming common now. Effect of any of the events that takes place in any of the nations of world, it does not matter if it is small or major, could be categorically noticed despite its being more or less in quantity on one and all inhabitants of the earth, which is now transforming very quickly into a global village. Therefore, joint ventures and common accomplishments are continuously getting proximity for common achievements. It is but natural and inevitable.
It is the upshot of this very necessity and natural inevitability that many organizations at regional or to say at international, continental and global levels have effectively emerged with a clarion call for collaboration and cooperation in the field of education and higher education in particular, and among them the name of the International Association of Universities1 could be of special mention. This organization for its significant undertaking through the HEDBIB [Bibliographical Database on Higher Education], its chief functioning programme is supported by many known agencies of the world like that of the British Council2, the NAFSA –the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers3 [Association of International Educators], the CONAHE –the Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration4, and the UNESCO and many of its sister organizations in particular. The HEDBIB provides supports, financial in particular, for a number of causes –system, plan, policy, maintenance and development in higher education. It supports sometimes unprecedentedly for studies, research and publications. Today, the number of collaborative research works in different subjects at international-global level is not in some thousands, but in lacs, which divulges itself the significance, necessity and inevitability of internationalization or in fact globalization of higher education.  
Through their gigantic tasks the IAU and other agencies or organizations, names of which have been mentioned above in particular, while contributing unprecedentedly to the process, make the situation quite clear and make known the significance and importance of the subject in hand. They, along with this, call for a joint forum, collaborative works and wide cooperation at the global level. This is for the attention of all of us on the one hand and to step forward with extra care on the other. Extra care, particularly in the sense of proper watch, observation and examination of this process so that this continuously increasing and inevitable development could prove to be productive at large scale, more and more effective and eventually productive and approachable to one and all in the world to accord opportunities in prevailing circumstances of space to rise. For this, it must be accountable if to be proved befitting accordingly. Hopefully, some important points must as guidelines emerge from the broad and prejudice free discussion and analysis by educationists and subject specialists to pave the way for a true internationalization of higher education –globalization in the real sense.  
Note: This article is based on extract of a lecture delivered as the Chief Guest by Professor Dr. Ravindra Kumar at a two days international seminar organized on the theme Internationalization of higher education by the Vivek College of Education, Bijnor [U. P., India] on November 25-26, 2012.
1. Having 601 universities of almost all the continents of the earth as its members.
2. Especially for the fourth global survey for internationalization of higher education covering more than eight thousand institutions around the world.
3. Founded in 1948 with its headquarter in Washington DC [USA], and having currently ten thousands members representing approximately three thousand institutions of higher education. The NAFSA is in fact for the advancement of international education and exchange and for global workforce development in particular. Moreover, the NAFSA is serving well the international educators, their institutions and organizations by establishing principles of good practice, providing training and professional development opportunities, networking opportunities and advocating for international education –to say global education.
4. Founded in 1994 with its current headquarter at the University of Arizona in Tucson [USA], and having one hundred thirty members to advice and connects higher education institutions interested in establishing or strengthening educational-academic collaborative programs in the North American region. It is the largest and most comprehensive network of institutions from the NAFTA region, offering student exchanges, annual conferences, professional development programmes and direct advice to its members.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Education for Peace -Professor Dr. Ravindra Kumar

“Peace must first be developed [through education] within an individual. And I believe that love, compassion, and altruism are the fundamental basis for peace. Once these qualities are developed within an individual, he or she is then able to create an atmosphere of peace and harmony. This atmosphere can be expanded and extended from the individual to his family, from the family to the community and eventually to the whole world.”    –The Fourteenth Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso
Education for peace, a theme or topic, which seems although drawing very much attention of one and all on this planet in general and academicians, educationists and intelligentsia in particular in these days of continuously increasing development at all levels and in all walks of life, or in the era of globalization, yet this has, in fact, been important in all the previous ages. It will be equally significant in all times to come as well. How? It is but natural if a question like this emerges in one’s mind. To get an appropriate and befitting reply to this, it is necessary to comprehend the meaning and purpose of education and peace both, and that too separately.
The English word education is derived from the Latin word Educare, which is further originated from Educere, to reveal expression –manifestation as its basic spirit in the root. If one goes further in depth of this spirit, it will become obvious that through this a human being realizes and learns till her/his last breath and acquires knowledge. Moreover, this divulges the inner capability of a human being to guide her/him throughout at different levels in all walks of life. It is, in the words of Socrates “to draw out what are already within” and Plato “the acquisition of virtue by child.”
From the East, India in particular, whether it is Buddhist teachings of ancient times, or views expressed in this regard by Vivekananda, Tagore, Aurobindo and Gandhi, the four great contemporary-modern thinkers, all of them also seem in one way or the other agreeing more or less to the view that education is to bring out what one has within.1
Hence, as a whole, from the meaning, basic spirit and broad purpose of education [Shiksha] viewpoint, both, the Western and the Eastern concepts pertaining to education are not at all different. Rather, both of them are, to a large extent, similar to each-other divulging that it is a lifelong process for an all-round development of one’s personality.
Now peace! The popular English word peace is originated from the Latin word Pax. The use of this word can also be found in other words like Shalom [Hebrew], Aloha [Hawaiian] and Eirene [Greek]. Along with desiring harmony in day-to-day human practices at individual and social levels in particular, the urge for a state free from civil disorder, especially from conflicts and struggles is derived here. In a broad-spectrum a situation free from strain, struggle, quarrel-clash or conflict, in social and economic spheres precisely, is considered as the state of peace. This fact denotes the absence of fight or war between or among the nations and is usually the accepted notion of peace at the international level.
From the Eastern viewpoint –India in particular, the word Shanti, made of Shant and originated from Sanskrit, if is analyzed in broad perspective, divulges categorically a wish for freedom from spiritual sufferings [especially sufferings of the self and mind], physical sufferings [sufferings-pains of the body, illness-diseases etc.], sufferings caused by natural reasons [specially by earthquakes, floods, and attacks or bites of wild animals-fauna or poisonous insects], and the state emerged of conflicts, confrontations, hostilities, fights and wars.
Hence, similarity between the Western and the Eastern, particularly Indian concepts pertaining to peace, can be well perceived. Despite this, peace in the Indian view is categorically and fully an active and dynamic situation to lead to the pathway to development in an atmosphere free from anxieties and stresses. Further, in a state of peace of the Indian view efforts are made for healthy co-existence to extend the welfare of the people. Peace accords morale and enthusiasm to the people and motivates them to move forward. In this regard, the statement of Vinoba Bhave in which he says, “Shanti [peace] means something dynamic, something that develops the force of the individual, which [further] develops the dynamic strength of the people to a degree that they enable to meet any situation”2 stands sound to a large extent.     
As sufferings-pains are inevitable in life; the state of conflicts is unavoidable in society, therefore, efforts have always been made to get rid of sufferings-pains and for resolving disputes and conflicts to create the atmosphere of harmony to lead to peace. It is a continuous process, a lifelong process.     
Now, what we emphatically observe from the above discussion and analysis pertaining to education and peace, both, from their respective word-meanings, purposes and basic spirits in roots viewpoint precisely is that both of them are necessities of life. Both of them are dynamic states on one hand and on the other they undoubtedly emerge as lifelong processes.
Further, it also becomes quite evident that if education is the foremost basis for an all-round development of an individual, or if it is the chief means of developing one’s personality, the state of peace definitely creates an atmosphere, or prepares the ground to move forward smoothly on the pathway to progress. Similarly, if the process of education greatly helps a human being making her or his life purposeful, the state of peace gets her or him free of confusion and fear, and along with this inspires her or him to seek necessary cooperation of others for the purpose. Therefore, we can say with certainty that education and peace are linked to one-another. They supplement each other as both of them eventually contribute to the progress, welfare and well-being of one and all. That is why; I am of the firm opinion that education for peace is not only important or significant, but it is absolutely necessary for each and every human being on this planet.

After grasping well the significance and necessity of peace education in life of one and all, it is also equally important and necessary to think about practical aspect related to the application of peace education, the way or method of imparting it in current perspective or in ongoing process of education. 
For years, I have been of the firm opinion that peace, which has in fact its root in the supreme, eternal and natural human value of Ahimsa [non-violence]3, should be made an essential part of the process of education of the day. Having Ahimsa as the nuclei special courses related to peace education should be included in all syllabi and peace education should be imparted at all levels of studies, from primary to higher level. Not only this, as I have suggested to the community of academicians, educationists and professors gathered recently in Durban, South Africa, especially to discuss methods of developing pedagogy of non-violence education4  that it does not matter if a particular branch of knowledge is the major of one’s study or research; science, commerce or art may be the field of one’s prime learning, but she or he should necessarily study and analyze issues related to inevitable disputes and conflicts as one of the subjects to enable her or him to contribute to create the state of peace or to take the way to peace that is necessary for progress and welfare of one and all. Accepting Ahimsa as a science for existence and development and as an art of living, a compulsory Ahimsa-centred course under an appropriate or suitable name must be introduced particularly with the sole purpose of growing a culture of peace. Essentially, under this scheme, besides imparting knowledge with the purpose of developing the spirit of duty and responsibility that are the basis of morality and ethics, in theoretical perspective, stress should be laid on settling inevitable day-to-day problems, disputes and struggle related to family, community and society in particular on the basis of non-violent peaceful means, whatever maybe befitting in prevailing situation or as per the demand of time as its practical aspect as is essentially done in almost all the branches of sciences, to accord strength to the culture of peace.
This method can also be introduced in educational institutions; for, I have had a very good experience in Spain where during teaching a short-term UNESCO sponsored peace related course5, I observed students nicely settling their disputes themselves with mutual understanding and following a well established guideline6 without involving or approaching professors and managers. Moreover, it is also in my knowledge that this method is adopted in some other institutions, the European University Centre for Peace Studies of Stadtschlaining, Austria in particular. Hence, it is the time to expect from the communities of professor, teachers and educators that they not only ponder over it, but taking it as their individual as well as the collective responsibility, will step forward.
In this regard, I can also venture to suggest a special and compulsory paper precisely at graduate degree level to study the teachings of leading philosophers-thinkers and practitioners of peace as was the provision in many of the universities to study culture related issues. I do not know as the same provision still exists, but I emphasize the need of provision for a compulsory paper to study peace in theory and practice. I also lay stress on the need of this in these days of continuously increasing process of globalization, when the tempo of development is awfully fast on one hand and disputes and conflicts are increasing in numbers at different levels in all walks of life on the other. Once again, I urge the communities of teachers-professors, intellectuals and academicians to realize and comprehend the significance of the issue and come forward to do something concrete as per the expectation.          
Note: This piece is based on extracts of a proposed keynote address by Professor Dr. Ravindra Kumar at a three days national seminar organized on the theme Education for Peace by the Faculty of Education, the University of Bombay, Mumbai [India] on December 5-7, 2012.
1.                   The Buddhist teachings categorically reveal that in knowledge, true education, the first thing is to know oneself. Vivekananda is of the opinion that education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man and Tagore, while describing the scope of education, includes the high head, free knowledge, and truth coming from the depth, tireless striving arms towards perfection within it. Aurobindo while expressing views on the integer education in particular says that it must help flourish the very best in a human being, the unique and exquisite, something which every individual is born to offer to the world. Not only this, he has also been of the firm opinion that education is meant to bring out the best in man, to develop his potentialities to the maximum, to integrate him with himself, his surroundings, his society, his country and humanity to make him the complete man, the integrated man. Gandhi, the Mahatma points out in this regard, “Real education consists in drawing the best out of yourself.” He while clarifying his viewpoint says further, “By education I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in child and man –body, mind and spirit.” [Global Peace: August, 2012. Special Issue-2]
2.                   Kumar, Ravindra. 2007. Towards Peace, page …. New Delhi [India]: Gyan Publishing House.
3.                   Realizing the fact that Ahimsa [non-violence], is not momentary; it is a subject of continuous development and practice, and moreover, it is the condition of existence, progress and achieving a goal, making life meaningful-purposeful.     
4. Held in August, 2012 at the Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa. 
5. In 2001 at the International Centre for Peace and Development Studies (IBPD) of the Universitat [University] Jaume I, Costello, Spain under the title, Theory and Practice of Gandhian Non-Violence.
6. Any such guideline can be prepared as per the demand of space and time. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Professional Development of Teachers –Dr. Ravindra Kumar

The community of teachers in fact represents the great Guru tradition, which was considered as the backbone of society at least in the East –India in particular. So many distinctive examples of that tradition are still given. It is obvious. The role and contribution of the Guru tradition remained vital in fall or rise, misfortune or fortune or poverty-prosperity of individuals and society. It remains so even today –the community of teachers plays the vital role in the making of life of individuals and society. Further, the importance of contribution of the Guru –a teacher can be well observed from the following Shloka, in which he seems representing the triumvirate –Brahma [the Creator], Vishnu [the Protector or Sustainer] and Shiva [the Annihilator]; the Guru emerges as the Supreme Authority –God, Ishwara or Paramatma, that is formless:                   
“Gurur Brahma, Gurur Vishnu, Gurur Devo Maheshwarah
Gurur Saakshaat Para-Brahman, Tasmai Shri Guruve Namah”
Meaning thereby: “The Guru is Brahma [the god of Creation], the Guru is Vishnu [the god of Protection or Sustenance], the Guru is Shiva [the god of Annihilation]; my salutation to such a Guru, who is verily the Supreme God [Niraakara].”
Furthermore, glorifying the height and value of a Guru he has been declared a guide to lead to the supreme knowledge –the pathway to God:
  “Akhanda Mandalaakaaram, Vyaaptam Yenam Charaacharam
Tatpadam Darshitam Yena, Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha”
It means: “A Guru can guide us to the supreme knowledge of that, which pervades all the living and non-living beings in the entire Universe –Brahman. I salute such a Guru.”
After quoting these two Shlokas, nothing more is required to mention about the importance, place, stature and role of the Guru –a teacher. Moreover, examples of so many Rishis –the  great gurus like Tirthankara Mahavira, Shakyamuni Gautama –the Light of Asia and Adi Shankaracharaya –the Jagatguru in particular, who liked the word Acharya or teacher for them, are well before us.
Now, the subject of discussion in hand is the Professional Development of Teachers. A teacher, as mentioned already, represents the Guru and if his personality is developed as professional, it may seem for a while astonishing and incongruous. It is because the word professional is generally used for one who is paid to undertake a special task to complete. The term professional in simple words elucidates the work for salary, it does not matter what particular category of professional is there. First, doctors –physicians and surgeons both, engineers, legal representatives –lawyers and advocates, architects, army-men and police-men were included in the list of professionals. Later, accountants, nurses of hospitals, planners, people in the field of science and technology, artists, players, social workers and even educators got them enlisted as professionals –teachers who represent the great Guru tradition in particular. Now, the community of teachers also seems categorically appearing within the scope of the word professional.   
But, as this development is the outcome of continuously changing situations; or in other words, it is the upshot of inevitable process of change, it should not surprise anyone, and at least to me it is well observable.                
Further, the word professional is used more or less to explicate determination, promptness, proficiency and sincerity of one. It reflects skill of one in some particular work. It signifies empowerment. Therefore, it emphatically entertains high hopes for accomplishing the task with a sense of duty and responsibility. A professional by applying his mind –intellect and with his soul force accomplishes the task in a planned manner. Due to this, many professionals emerge as trust-worthy and they are considered the best cooperatively. Therefore, if the word professional is connected to the community of teachers, and it further becomes the basis of teachers’ development, it categorically creates a nice situation. Moreover, it can pave the way for a pleasant and welfaristic state.  
Hence, the subject professional development of teachers becomes significant on the one hand and on the other the worth and importance of discussion on a subject like this multiplies many folds. How should the community of teachers in current perspective –as per the demand of time and space apply its intellect with sincerity and firm-determination for the welfare of one and all, the discussion should suggest something concrete in this regard. Not only this, many adaptable and exemplary points must come out from the open and broad discussion as guidelines –for younger in particular. Hopefully, this discussion will not only get success, but will prove to be a milestone simultaneously. While wishing for a grand success of the event, I venture to lay stress on one special thing.
When we enter in an open and wide discussion on different aspects related to the main theme in hand and that too with the sole purpose of the welfare of one and all, keep morality always as the nuclei. Morality is, in fact, essential and inevitable for the proper conduction of the system –from individual life to the universal as it plays the foremost role in performing duties and responsibilities at all levels and in all walks of life. It is also morality that safeguards those values, which ascertain the identity of a human being. Furthermore, morality leads the humanity to righteous acts. Without morality no one can perform her or his duties in real sense, no one can take the righteous path –to follow high human values in particular. All deeds in the absence of morality remain unfair, unjust and unwelfaristic and thus they lead to the fall of humanity. Hence, the importance of morality in life cannot slightly be undervalued. Rather, the significance of morality in the field of education, in a state when the community of teachers is considered as the mirror of society in particular, becomes evident in itself.
I should have no doubt in my mind that all teachers-educators, professors, scholars and subject-specialists who are the part of this worthy and timely discussion will certainly keep this point related to morality in mind. They will take concrete initiatives for a revolution in the field of education through this event on professional development of teachers.          
Note: This piece is the essence of a keynote address by Dr. Ravindra Kumar at an international seminar organized by the Learning Community at Lucknow [U. P.], India.



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Education: Meaning, Purpose, Problems and Expectations -Dr. Ravindra Kumar

Those who educate children well are more to be honoured than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those arts of living well.Aristotle _________________________________________________________________________________
Education is the foremost among the five basic needs of human beings –bread, clothing, shelter, education [itself] and medical aid. Besides being an essential condition of continuity of existence, it can be the only means of man’s development, achievement and attaining the goal.
In his primitive stage on the earth it was due to man’s self-realization based education that he learnt about Ahimsa –an eternal value permanently present in his nature1, and through its constant development he kept pace towards securing existence and making progress. Even today progress is possible only through multifaceted lifelong education process; making this process conducive in prevailing situations of space and time.
Hence, education plays a vital role in man’s life. Recognizing its importance in life Kautilya –a great scholar, statesman and professor of politics and economics at the Takshila University, one of the oldest known universities in the world in ancient times, declares it to be the best friend and says further:
“An educated person is respected everywhere and education beats the beauty and the youth.”2
Undoubtedly, it is more important in making man’s life meaningful and worthy in comparison to any other available means and it is, to reiterate, indispensable for the complete development of man. In the absence of education the state of human life could be equated to that of an animal. 
The following Shloka from the Chanakyaniti, while signifying the importance and inevitability of education in man’s life and even declaring those parents to be the greatest enemy of children who do not arrange for their proper education, categorically, divulges the consequences to be faced by them in the absence of education:   
“Mata Shatru Pita Vairi Yen Balo Na Pathitah,
Na Shobhate Sabha Madhye Hans Madhye Vako Yatha3
[Meaning thereby: The parent who does not facilitate and guide their child for studies is like the greatest enemy of the child. The presence of an uneducated person in the company of educated people is like a goose in the company of swans.]
Undoubtedly, in the absence of education a man is not a human being in the real sense; he is merely of the name and there is no place for him among those who are educated. An ordinary one, who never gets opportunity of attending a school and is deprived completely from the formal education, may be found saying: there is no future without education.
Not only this, words like uncivilized, impractical and directionless are used about those uneducated. An uneducated is declared a body without a soul. Vishnugupta Chanakya has described:
The life of an uneducated man is as useless as the tail of a dog which neither covers its rear end, nor protects it from the bites of insects.”4
Further, in this regard, from the academic world scholars-thinkers of repute have, along with declaring life to be meaningless of those uneducated, mentioned about floating universal order in the absence of proper and capable education process. Hence, to say, if there is no education process or if life is deprived of it, the universal order will not only squeak, but its conduction will also be difficult. In the context of importance and role of education in man’s life nothing more is required to mention, but to accept necessarily that human life can become efficient, meaningful and worthy only on the basis and strength of education.
Education: Meaning and Purpose
Education, the word currently used in English, is, in fact, derived from the Latin word Educare, which is further originated from Educere5 and in its basic spirit, which is at the root of it, this is the manifestation or expression. If one goes further in depth of this spirit, it will become apparent that it reveals the inner capability of man that guides him continuously throughout at various levels in all walks of life.
Socrates, the ancient Greek philosopher has categorically said that education is to draw out what are already within6 while Plato –his chief disciple, states that it is the acquisition of virtue by child.  
Similarly, from the East, India in particular, the Buddhist teachings reveal, in knowledge –true education, the first thing is to know oneself; further, or secondly, to realize the part of us that is pure, wise, full of truth, peaceful, and perfect.
Vivekananda –one of the greatest contemporary Indian thinkers mentions that education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man.7 Tagore while describing the scope of education includes the high head, free knowledge, truth coming from the depth, tireless striving stretching arms towards perfection…within it.        
Aurobindo has talked about the integral education, which must help flourish the very best in a human being –the unique and exquisite, something, which every individual is born to offer to the world. Further, he has pointed out, education is meant to bring out the best in man, to develop his potentialities to the maximum, to integrate him with himself –his surroundings, his society, his country and humanity to make him the complete man –the integrated man.
Further, Gandhi –the Mahatma points out in this regard:
Real education consists in drawing the best out of yourself.” and By education I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in child and man–body mind and spirit. Literacy is not the end of education not even the beginning. It is one of the means whereby man and women can be educated. Literacy in itself is no education.”8
It, as Kishorelal Mashruwala –an eminent Gandhian scholars, has mentioned, “…works for all-round growth of man right from the beginning till end. Its ultimate aim is to turn human knowledge into his ability.”9  
Hence, in brief, from the word-meaning, purpose and basic spirit at its  root, the whole process, which along with leaving impact upon the mind, character and physical strength, plays a vital role in human development, is education. Not only this, it accords continuity to intellect, knowledge and values; it leads one to proceed towards the goal. Further, education [Shiksha] is, from the Vedic viewpoint, one of the six Vedangas.10 Clarity of understanding and systematic method or the orders, which are inevitable and the most important for the all-round development of one’s personality, are within its scope.
Hence, the educational process is fully dedicated to continuity and dynamism. It is for growth or accumulation. It is the means to lead a human being on the pathway to prosperity in prevailing circumstances on the basis of knowledge and accomplishments. For, the statement of Gautama Buddha in which he has said that learning – education, is the endless pursuit of knowledge; one should never be satisfied with the teachings of a single master, but to constantly be on a quest for ever greater knowledge, is contextual and worth mentioning.
Thus, categorically, from word-meaning and broad purpose of education viewpoint both –the Western and Indian concepts are not so different. Rather, both of them are to a large extent similar to each-another.
Dimensions in Education Process: Refinement According to the Demand of Time and Space   
Education, which is, undoubtedly, a process to lead and guide a man well and continuously on the pathway to development, further makes the prevailing situations of time and space conducive. Categorically, making circumstances constantly favourable, giving continuity to man’s progress and taking him to the goal is the purpose of education. For this, education process takes dimensions incessantly –one after the other. Without this, it can neither become fruitful nor meaningful.
Without receding from its basic spirit and also without compromising to its purpose, education is, thus, always a subject of refinements as per the demand of prevailing situations, time and space.11 It is, to repeat, refinement that is inevitable and necessary in education, and it can be known as dimension in the process.
The education system that prevailed in the West, particularly during the time of Socrates and Plato –the two great Greek philosophers, despite being identical from the meaning and purpose viewpoint in theoretical perspective, was not the same in practice in the times of Aristotle or other thinkers of later periods.
Socrates –the teacher of Plato has himself emerged as the core character in Plato’s writings, thinking and philosophy. Therefore, whatever Plato has mentioned that is taken in familiar terms with Socrates. Plato has written extensively on education. His thoughts pertaining to education are still the part of syllabus at different levels of studies including graduation and post-graduation levels, in both East and the West. It is categorically because his views on education, despite being relevant in circumstances of his own time and own land may have importance more or less, in one way or the other, in current perspective all over the world. They however, in his own time, remained relevant even with being grounded in his vision of the ideal Republic, wherein the individual could serve the best by being subordinated to a just society. Plato saw the development of an individual in a just society and therefore focused on education particularly its plan accordingly. In this regard Plato advocated for the rise of the child as a ward of the state, with great care as responsibility being taken to differentiate children suitable to the various backgrounds, the highest receiving the most education, so that he could act as the guardians of the city and care for the less able. Moreover, in his plan education had to be holistic, including facts, skills, physical discipline, music and art, which could be considered as the highest form of endeavour.
After Plato, we could review Aristotle, his own student, giving a new dimension to education in theoretical perspective in particular by stressing that education must not serve any mean or vocational activity as these activities are the functions of slaves. Further he is found advising about those who are to rule in times to come that the subject material must train them in the use of reason. They must learn obedience and responsibility before they come to rule. For this, he stressed on the curriculum of the Academy12 to impart the four type of education –basics, related to natural science, physical and humanities.13 Not only this, for developing a sound moral aspect of personality Aristotle focused on character-building right from the childhood. For this, he even stressed on censorship of that aspects of education, which could, despite being quite important, obstruct his way to character-building.                
This process pertaining to dimensions could not be confined to Greek philosophers –Plato and Aristotle in particular. Rather, it prevailed throughout the West. Thinkers, philosopher, scholars and educationists from the West accorded new dimensions to the field of education from time-to-time through their ideas, suggestions and works. A good account of their contribution is well before us to observe and analyze even in current perspective.           
Likewise, in the East, India in particular, the education systems existed in the Vedic and later Vedic eras,14 prior to Gautama Buddha and Tirthankara Mahavira and during the lifetime of Shakyamuni and Vardhamana themselves15 were different to one-another.
In the later Vedic era in particular the system of education despite being confined to some particular sections of society seemed to be well-planned and based on sound guru-shishya tradition in which a student while living in his teacher’s house as Brahmachari with simple living and high thinking was expected to study the Vedas –grammar, mathematics, mineralogy, logic, morality-ethics, sciences in general and Brahmanvidya, along with knowledge of Atman and self-realization in particular.
During the time of Tirthankara Mahavira and Siddhartha Gautama education system seemed to be receiving a new dimension in which besides maintaining the pre-established, to a great extent, monks, from the Buddhist fold in particular, congregated in monasteries and providing itinerant teaching for common men. Moreover, the elders amongst the monks were found teaching the disciplines in the monasteries and conducting discourses on doctrine, spiritual exercises and advanced philosophical ideas. The Nalanda Mahavihara in Bihar and other known monasteries were the centres of learning –secular arts, sciences and theology in particular. 
Later in all the times from Chanakya16 to the Gupta17 or later to the medieval period18 and from Colonial India –particularly in the time of the English control over the Indian Subcontinent19 to the time of Mahatma Gandhi20, education, in spite of being the same in theoretical perspective and dedicated more or less to the development of man according to its basic spirit was different in practice. 
In the time of Chanakya –the Mauryan Empire in India in particular [325-185 BC], world renowned universities like Takshila, Vikramashila and Nalanda were flourishing; education was according to its basic spirit imparted liberally to an extent among women and common people by Jainism and Buddhism in particular.
In the Gupta period, which is known as the golden era of Indian history –Hinduism in particular, education received another and unprecedented dimension. The Guptas founded and patronized many institutions of higher learning, research and study. The standard of universities was so high that due to it India became a centre for learning. Students and scholars from across the world came to study in the University of Nalanda –a centre offering a variety of courses, Takshila –for study and research in medicine, Vallabi –for religious studies, law and medicine, Ujjain –for learning astronomy, Ajanta –for art, architecture and painting, and Sarnath to study and research in Buddhism.
In the medieval period, and also up to early modern time, under the Muslim rule in particular, emphasis on urban education could categorically be observed. Along with promotion in urban education and establishment of several libraries and literary organizations, foundation of primary schools for learning, reading, writing, particularly religious prayers and secondary schools for teaching advanced language skills, exegesis, prophetic traditions, law [religious] and related subjects could be seen. So many schools affiliated to mosques/shrines were open to the poor, but were gender segregated and accessible only to the boys. Muslim girls from higher families used to study at home.
In Colonial India, under the English Rule in particular, education got another dimension. Its fundamental structure was changed. Thomas Babington Macaulay, as known to us, introduced English education in India through his famous minute of February 1835, which he in fact successfully implemented the ideas put forward by William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, Governor General of India between 1833 and 1835. The main purpose of this was to prepare a particular class of elite to strengthen the Rule. But on the other hand the system of education under the British Rule received unprecedented development. Not only new universities and colleges were opened, but the scope of the system with more facilities got unique extension. The standard of education improved, expended to towns and approached even those who were less privileged.    
In the Gandhian era, most of the first half of the Twentieth Century AD in which along with Mahatma Gandhi himself, other great scholars-thinkers and educationists like Tagore and Aurobindo could be listed, education process with great ideas and endeavours turned to get a new dimension. Great and unprecedented efforts to make education process the basis of self-reliance in regional-national circumstances were initiated. Many panels were formed to analyze the prevailing situation and requirements as per demand of time. Moreover, institutions were established for imparting education accordingly at primary, secondary and higher levels. In it besides self-sufficiency of man, stress was laid on making high moral values, humanity and universal unity the part of the process. Through this all-round development of personality was expected. Especially, Tagore, Aurobindo and Gandhi laid great stress on making endeavours for this, account of which is well before us to observe and analyze.                          
Hence, each time in history, education got a new and different dimension. As per the requirements it obtained refinement in prevailing situations of time and space, to become more or less welfaristic. The people whose names have been particularly mentioned above played the vital role in making the system of education conducive in prevailing situations of their own respective times. That is why; their names are mentioned even today in course of discussion on issues related to education.
Problems-Difficulties and Expectations
Further, education as a process can never come to a situation of the status quo or the perpetuity. Dimensions, one after the other, are necessary in this process. Getting situations conducive to pave the way for the welfare as per the demand of time and space is the aim of this process. Not only this, making resources, whatever available, the means of development through the use of intellect, capability and actions and thus achieving the best can be the very expectation from this process. Hence, we can mention again, words like dimensions and refinement are necessarily associated with this. It will remain so in future as well. In the absence of it, or without it, education-process can never proceed further in a fine manner. Outcome can never be welfaristic.
Along with this, it is necessary to clarify that by the first half of the Twentieth Century AD despite getting dimensions one after the other from time-to-time through the ages, the process of education remained more or less confined to some particular sections of societies. Remaining restricted it was available in one way or the other to those who were resourceful –prosperous socially and politically. Not only this, common people were not within its domain in those eras. It was not all welfaristic from the viewpoint of providing equal opportunities in particular. It does not matter how great dimensions it got in the long human history, but reality is this that in practice it remained isolated to a large extent.       
It was in fact particularly since the second half of the Twentieth Century that the huge waves started rising for political freedom of people all over the world. The mass awakening to a large extent paved the way more or less for people’s participation in one way or the other especially in social and political spheres. Resultantly, situations started changing rapidly. The demand of time also changed unprecedentedly.
Despite the constant refinements and so many dimensions in education process much more has still to be done to achieve the real object, to make education all-welfaristic. Education is, to repeat, an endless process. To struggle with problems and to come out of obstacles on the way is unavoidable; rather, it is the essential part of this process. That is why; it continues. Further, to repeat, much more is to be done. So many dimensions are to be added in this process in the prevailing situations of space, and as per the demand of time.                     
In the entire human history now is the time when not only equality and freedom are indispensable for each and everyone on this planet, but, along with this, ascertaining equal opportunity for all to develop is also necessary so that all-round development of personality can be possible. For this, only a sound education process can pave the way. In this course a fourfold education process, which accords equal opportunity to one and all to acquire knowledge on the one hand and making them adept of bringing coordination at all levels –individual life to universal level on the other can be capable to achieve the purpose. In brief, we can say with certainty that only a fourfold education system can be capable of all-round development of personality, which is the basic spirit at the root of word education and that is the sole aim of education process.  
The fourfold education, which can pave the way for the all-round development of personality, or can be the only sound and capable basis of achieving a goal in life, in fact, comprises of the following four aspects:
1-General education that is imparted at different levels according to prescribed syllabi and which ends with the earning of a degree –graduate, postgraduate, a doctoral or postdoctoral;
2-Physical education –exercises to make the body and mind healthy and to fill them with agility, dynamism and constructiveness;
3-Moral education –to lead one to the righteousness and develop the sense of duty and responsibility on the one hand and to safeguard those values on the other, which ascertain the identity of a human being and are also essential for the proper conduction of the system –from individual life to the universal; and
4-Technical or practical education –to make one self-sufficient while being imparted along with the general education, which can, in fact, play a vital role in making education process meaningful and to lead one to achieve the real objective according to its meaning and also the spirit at its root.        
Education, despite being a process of all-round development of man by bringing out from his own inside, has never remained free from problems. During the course of moving forward this has faced many difficulties always. In the present, education process faces them and it will be so in times to come. This is the inevitability. For, as per the demand of time efforts have been made in this regard. Effective and worthy efforts have always been tried to make the system momentous and welfaristic. On the other hand, if education process has not brought fruits as per the expectations, it is definitely due to lack of sincere, effective and appropriate efforts. This equally applies to the present and will be so in future.
In this regard it is the reasonability of all those associated with education system, particularly the community of teachers that occupies the most respectable place in society all over the world to come forward to make the process conducive, meaningful and welfaristic as per the demand of time and space so that it becomes capable to all-round development of man and thus passes its acid test. It is the expectation that they will while becoming dutiful remove hurdles from the way and will do their best to get the process of education free of difficulties and problems, and makes it clear and valued as per the spirit at its root.                  
In this context going forward in some details I will first of all once again like to repeat that education imparted according to prescribed syllabi at different levels –from primary to higher, ends generally with the earning of a degree by a student. For this, a student spends approximately 20-22 years of her/his life. Thousands and millions in number earn degrees at graduate-postgraduate and doctoral-postdoctoral levels all over the world. But, irony is this that even after earning a doctoral degree they generally lack self-sufficiency. They stray from self-reliance and it is, but natural. The education they get according to the prescribed syllabi lacks the spirit remains at the root of education. It is not in consonance of the real word-meaning and the aim of education. It is not for bringing out what is there inside of man and to pave the way for his all-round development on its basis. Those who play a vital role in preparing syllabi do they really care for this? Whether they stress on how to bring out from inside and to make it the sound basis of all-round development of personality in prevailing situations of space and time while preparing syllabi?
In not a single country of the world, I am of the firm opinion, responsible ones for the job do not care for the spirit at the root of word-meaning and purpose of education while setting up their respective syllabi, which are the most important instrument structuring the courses. Syllabi may seem prepared well and beautifully and may also seem laying stress on knowledge at different levels, but in reality there is no emphasis on bringing out from inside and on the all-round development of personality on the basis of it.
In this regard, technical education, placed as the fourth in the fourfold education plan, must be connected with general education to be imparted according to prescribed syllabi right from the primary level. Identifying the chief attribute from many of the attributes, which each and every child naturally possesses, the process of his education should be started accordingly from the basic or primary level. This is, in fact, that technical education in which he can get proficiency easily. Becoming capable on the strength of the chief attribute that he already possesses, he can make his way trouble-free in this context. In other words, by illuminating out what he has inside through proficiency, sincerity, dedication and efforts, he can continuously step forward to achieve a goal and will not depend on anyone even in the matter of employment. Thus, what is expected that will be achieved from education. Along with this, education in itself will prove to be true and meaningful.   
It is a challenging task. Who will identify the chief attribute of a child in these days of constantly increasing competition for gains? I am asked about it by teachers-professor when I talk or speak on this subject. They accept the truth, but doubt about its success. However, I again lay stress on it and firmly say that if education has to become effective and meaningful, and to be the basis of all-round development of personality simultaneously, this is inevitable and necessary. Otherwise, education process will remain filled with darkness; it will not bring fruits as per the expectations. Shortcuts, momentary gains and unnecessary competitions, which have no place in this process, and are not welfaristic at all, will remain compelling. This has to be understood and realized by those who think about it and by accepting challenges desire to do something concrete in this regard –to make education meaningful and real.                   
Further, in the all-round development of personality the importance of physical and moral education is not the least. The fourfold education essentially includes these two –moral and physical exercises, and in the absence of these two, education can never convey its meaning and fulfill its purpose.
The physical education is important for the growth of body and mind, both. It is physical education, which brings discipline in life and plays an important role in the creation of constructive approach. It is this that leads man towards self-sufficiency and purity. Therefore, can repeat again, physical education is necessary and inevitable for the development of personality.
It does not matter if the one is sound enough mentally; it also does not matter if due to sound mind the physical growth of a person is not given much importance in this era of unprecedented progress of science and technology, but it has to be realized that physical exercises are always necessary for maintaining the prosperity of mind. Not only this, it is also essential for blooming, controlling and ensuring steadiness of mind, getting it free from tensions and making it peaceful. It is of the utmost importance for balancing the body and mind. It may have many dimensions at different levels –from general exercises to extraordinary ones, and Yogic exercises are its best and furthering steps, which play the significant role in different forms in the development of one’s personality. The great Indian concept and tradition pertaining to Yoga21 can also be observed and viewed in this very perspective.       
Similarly, moral education is necessary for making one’s deeds welfaristic. It is inevitable to fill the one with the sense of duties and responsibilities. Apart from remaining within the scope of inevitable law of change, morality is not merely a principle. Rather, morality plays the vital role in conducting the system –from individual life to the universal level. Its significance can be understood just from the spirit of responsibility that originates from morality itself. Therefore, education, which is expected developing personality, is without morality worth nothing. It is also for the reason that education, which lack the spirit of duty and responsibility is not the real one.
In conclusion, it can be said with certainty that along with general and technical knowledge, physical exercises and moral education are indispensable of fourfold education system that can, in fact, be capable of all-round development of personality, or in other words for leading the one to her/his goal. None of them can be neglected on the one hand and importance of anyone cannot be minimized on the other.  It is to be understood and on its basis only we should proceed further.                                                                                                                                              
1. I am of the firm opinion that Ahimsa [non-violence], besides being the eternal and permanent value, is a natural value also; it has remained present in man’s nature from the time of his emergence, or the birth. Further, it is an essential condition of existence, development and reaching the goal in life. If it was not so, what to say of development or the goal, the human race would extinct long ago.  
5. As is known the word education is the noun of the verb educate coming from the English, it originated from the Latin term educare, meaning thereby bring up, or rear and linked further to educere which means to lead forth or bring out. 
6. Global Peace, 11/3 [To quote Socrates himself, “I cannot teach anybody anything; I can only make them think.”]
7. As above. 
8. Harijan: July 31, 1937
9. Kumar, Ravindra. 1999. Essays on Gandhian and Peace, page 2. Meerut [India]: Krishna Publications.
10.  The six auxiliary disciplines traditionally associated with the study and understanding of the Vedas –Shiksha, Kalpa –ritual, Vyakarna –grammar, Nirukta –etymology, Chandas –meter and  jyotisha –astronomy.
11. Not only in theoretical context, but, simultaneously, from practical viewpoint in different forms.   
12. It was in 335 BC when Aristotle after his return to Athens, established his own school or academy known as the Lyceum.
13. In the scheme of Aristotle’s four types of education, basics include reading, writing and mathematics, not for purposes of trade, but as a preparation for the intellectual abstractions of higher mathematics; natural sciences include astronomy, biology, physiology, zoology, chemistry and physics in particular; physical education includes the training of the body –for the physical well-being of every citizen; and humanities include rhetoric, grammar, poetry, politics and philosophy as they are important subjects for life.
14. Approximately 1200-600 BC
15. Approximately 600-450 BC 
16. 370-283 BC
17. Approximately 320 to 550 AD
18. Approximately 5-15 Centuries AD
19. Between 1858 and 1947
20. Up to 1948
21. Which takes mind, body and spirit to be one and inseparable from one-another; the Yoga philosophy simultaneously stresses on Yogic practices for moral, ethical and character building of man to lead him to achieve the goal in life.