Glowing tributes to Shankar Dayal Singh

Shankar Sanskriti Pratishthan marks 83rd Birth Anniversary of Laureate with a Lecture on “Education, Culture and Samskara”

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New Delhi: On the occasion of the 83rd Birth Anniversary of noted Parliamentarian and Laureate Dr. Shankar Dayal Singh, the Shankar Sanskriti Pratishthan hosted a webinar on the topic of “Education, Culture and Samskara” in his memory on Sunday. The program’s Chief Guest, Shri Manish Sisodia, Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi who also holds the Education portfolio recalled his first meeting with Dr. Singh at the Rajbhasa Committee, when Dr Singh was a celebrated writer and politician, while Mr Sisodia was a new entrant in journalism. He remarked what a coincidence it was that today he was participating in a webinar in the memory of Dr. Singh as a politician. In his address, Shri Manish Sisodia stressed the need for policy measures that inculcate emotional capabilities of students in the initial years and create an entrepreneurial mindset in high school. He stressed that just the skilling of students was not enough for nation building, and that the model in Delhi built around the Happiness Curriculum, the Entrepreneurial Mindset Curriculum and the Deshbhakti Curriculum needs to be studied and adopted on a greater scale for the nation’s students to reach unto their true potential in building their own career and in building the nation.

The other panelists in the program included Dr. Pramath Raj Sinha, the Chairman of Harappa Education; Dr. Mahashweta Maharathi, the secretary of Rajgir Buddha Bihar Society; Dr. Bal Ram Singh, Professor, Institute of Advanced Sciences at Dartmouth, USA.

Dr. Pramath Raj Sinha stressed on the necessity for online education to expand in India if we are to successfully educate the huge population that India has. He noted that even though in-person education has a lot of advantages, there is a lack of qualified and trained teachers especially in rural India and in government run schools. The best way to ensure quality education in such a circumstance might then be to focus on delivering quality education using technology to all the schools in the nation. Dr. Mahashweta Maharathi talked about recognizing the value of traditional education in India, that goes beyond just academics. From crafts, handlooms and sculptors to traditional artisans, India has a huge talent pool that currently remains untapped and must be made an essential element of when we talk about education. Dr. Bal Ram Singh also noted the historic significance of India and its place in the world, stressing upon the need for more mainstreaming of traditional Indian knowledge like ayurveda and yoga.

Shankar Sanskriti Pratishthan also congratulated Shri Ranjit Singh Disale, the recent recipient of Global Teacher Award 2020 and noted his contributions made to the field of education.

The program was attended by over 500 people from India and across the world, garnering participants from USA, UK, Germany, France, Poland and Australia. It was moderated by the son of Dr. Shankar Dayal Singh, Ranjan Kumar Singh and was attended by several noted academics. It was live streamed across villages in Bihar and women from self help groups congregated at Kamta Seva Kendra in Deo, Aurangabad, the birthplace of Dr. Singh, to pay their regards and watch the program.

The Deputy Chief Minister Shri Manish Sisodia also launched a Hindi book titled “Dr. Shankar Dayal Singh ki Sahitya Sadhana” written by Dr. Devesh Pandey on the literary works authored by Dr. Singh. Present with the Deputy CM at the book launch were Dr. Rashmi Singh, IAS and daughter of Dr. Shankar Dayal Singh, Dr. Manisha Priyam, Associate Professor, NUEPA and other academics.

At the start of the program, grand daughter of Dr. Singh, Dr. Rachita Ramya recited the manglacharan from New York, USA. The program also paid tributes to those close to Dr. Singh who aren’t amongst us anymore. The audience fondly remembered Smt. Mridula Sinha, Former Governor of Goa, Shri Fanish Singh, Former Advocate & Author, Shri Hiralal Bachhotia, Former Educationist of NCERT & Hindi Litterateur and Shri Madhukar Gangadhar, Former Dy. Director General of All India Radio.

Litterateur and parliamentarian Shankar Dayal Singh was twice elected to the Parliament of India. He was one of the youngest members of the 5th Lok Sabha. Contesting his maiden parliamentary election, he had defeated Vijaya Raje, the wife of Kamakhya Narayan Singh, the erstwhile ruler of Ramgarh. He was again elected to the upper house, the Rajya Sabha in 1990 from Bihar. Widely travelled person, he made valuable contribution in the fields of literature, education, culture, social work and labour welfare. 

As the Vice Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Official Languages, he promoted the use of Hindi and other Indian languages in official work and also encouraged various Public Sector Enterprises (PSE) to come out with their house magazines in vernacular. He was Chairman of Samachar Bharti, a news agency for vernacular languages. He authored more than thirty books and edited many others. He was a popular columnist for Hindi dailies and periodicals.

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