Heartfulness proposes meditation on the heart with an aim of attaining subtler levels of consciousness. The heart is not merely a pump for blood circulation – its role goes far beyond that. References in ancient Indian literature on Yoga, especially that from Sages like Patanjali,…
Formerly Known As Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University
(Declared by Government of India under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956)
PO Belur Math, Dist Howrah 711202, West Bengal, India
Brief Profile of The University
Swami Vivekananda prophesied on the eve of his passing away on 4 July 1902 that “the spiritual wave that has come to Belur [Math] will last for fifteen hundred years and it shall be a great University. Do not think I imagine it; I see it.” He also said on the very last day of his life in the mortal frame that: “Keeping the ancient Indian spiritual ideal and rooted in it, and blending it harmoniously with modern science and technology, we should establish a University at Belur Math.” This University therefore, bearing Swami Vivekananda’s hallowed name is a humble attempt by Ramakrishna Mission to actualize his vision.
Vision and Mission of the University
To be a great centre of learning blending the two sciences—‘natural and humanistic’—and harmoniously synthesizing the twin excellences of ancient Indian wisdom and modern scientific knowledge and technological skill, imparting life-building, character-making education to the youths for their individual improvement as well as for the collective good as envisioned by Swami Vivekananda.
- (Pursuit of Excellence) To strive for excellence in teaching, research and all academic endeavours.
- (Blending of Eastern and Western values) To inculcate ancient Indian values like Shraddha (unshakable conviction), purity, truth, selflessness, harmony and peace, blending them with predominantly western values like scientific temper, rational outlook, technological efficiency, teamwork, professional integrity, work ethics, etc., in order to create a band of educated youth with lofty character and integrated personalities with harmonious development of heart, head and hand—faculties of feeling, thinking and willing—bhakti, jnana and karma with yoga or concentration interpenetrating all these.
- (Social responsibility) To train and educate the youth to become socially responsible citizens to collectively rebuild a rejuvenated, glorious India by first of all building an impeccable, lofty character at the individual level.
Thrust areas of the University:
The various ‘thrust areas’ of the University have been chosen keeping in mind the above vision of Swami Vivekananda. The motivation for the choice of the ‘thrust areas’ came essentially from the following considerations:
(1) These ‘thrust areas are in a sense ‘gap areas’ in the sense that these areas receive little attention in most of the conventional Universities in India.
(2) These ‘thrust areas’ are meant to directly benefit the common man, particularly the underprivileged and the rural/tribal sections of the society, thereby fostering social commitment of higher education institutions in India as taught by Swami Vivekananda (which aspect, interestingly, the MHRD and the UGC have recently begun to emphasize).
(3) The Ramakrishna Mission has developed a high degree of expertise and a huge infrastructure and resources at least in some of these areas over several decades of its educational service.
(4) Fundamental science education and research was pioneered in India by Swami Vivekananda by inspiring Sir Jamshedji Tata to start an Institute to impart science education and to promote science research in India, the outcome of this inspiration being the well-known Indian Institute of Science.
The ‘thrust areas’ are operationalized through Specialized Faculty Centres located at various Ramakrishna Mission Centres (all of which are branch-Centres of Ramakrishna Mission headquartered at Belur Math) which have developed expertise in these areas. These Centres are ‘Off-Campus’ Centres approved by UGC/MHRD as required by UGC Regulations for Deemed-to-be-Universities. As of now, the University has the following Campuses housing the Specialized Faculties devoted the various ‘thrust areas’ with the approval of UGC/MHRD:
Belur Main Campus
Mathematical Sciences (Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science), Indian Heritage (Sanskrit, Indian spiritual heritage, yoga, classical music), Sports Science.
Disability Management and Special Education, General & Adapted Physical Education, Agriculture and Rural Development, Computer Science and Applications, Data Science.
Integrated Rural & Tribal Development and Management, Agricultural Bio-technology, Agricultural Science.
Agriculture & Rural Development, Integrated Rural Development and Management, Agricultural Bio-technology, Medical Biotechnology, Molecular Biology, Pharmocognosy, Environment and Disaster Management.
NAAC Accreditation and other recognitions:
In recognition of our unique thrust areas to create the human resource in the form of trained teachers for disability management, UNESCO has honoured us by creating a Chair in the field of ‘Inclusive Adapted Physical Education and Yoga’ to promote this unique area. Also, in recognition of our social commitment, the University has been awarded full membership of an organization called GUNI (Global University Network for Innovation), a Europe-based global organization networking Universities across the globe working with social commitment.
The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) has awarded the University the highest grade of A++ with Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) 3.66 out of 4.
Details of ‘Schools’, ‘Faculties’, and Courses run by the University:
The details of the ‘Faculties’ and the Courses/Programmes under the various ‘Schools’ are as follows:
(1)Disability Management and Special Education, through ‘School of Rehabilitation and Sports Sciences’ with the following Faculties:
- Faculty of Disability Management and Special Education, and
- Faculty of General & Adapted Physical Education and Yoga, located at Ramakrishna Mission Centre in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu,
- Faculty of ‘Sports Science’ at Belur main campus,
The above Faculties are running Diploma, Advanced Diploma, B.Ed., M.Ed., M.Phil. and Ph.D. courses/programmes in Special Education, Diploma, PG Diploma, B.P.Ed., M.P.Ed., M.Phil. and Ph.D. courses/programmes in General and Adapted Physical Education and Yoga, Sports Science, etc.
(2) Integrated Rural & Tribal Development, through ‘School of Agriculture and Rural Development’ with following Faculties:
- Faculty of Integrated Rural Development and Management, including Agricultural Bio-technology, located at Ramakrishna Mission Centre at Narendrapur, Kolkata, West Bengal, and
- Faculty of Integrated Rural & Tribal Development and Management, including Agricultural bio-technology, located at Ramakrishna Mission Centre at Ranchi, Jharkhand,
- Faculty of Agricultural Research and Education at Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
The above Faculties are running M.Sc. and Ph.D. courses/programmes in ‘Agriculture and Rural Development’, ‘Agriculture, Rural and Tribal Development’, and ‘Agricultural Bio-technology’, B.Sc. in Agriculture, M.Sc. (Ag.) in Genetics & Plant Breeding, Ph.D. in Agricultural Biotechnology, Agriculture and Rural Development.
(3) Indian Spiritual and Cultural Heritage including Value Education, through ‘School of Indian Heritage’ with the programmes in the following areas:
- Sanskrit Studies,
- Indian Spiritual, Cultural and Scientific Heritage,
- Yoga Studies and Research,
- Classical Music with special emphasis on Dhrupad,
- Values Education
- Bengali Studies and Research
- Philosophical Studies (Western and Eastern, with special emphasis on Ramakrishna-Vivekananda philosophy)
These programmes and courses being run on the above areas include: Certificate, Diploma, Integrated 5-year M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. courses/programmes in Spiritual Heritage of India like the Upanishads, Bhagavad-Gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Ramayana, Sanskrit (Integrated 5-year M.A. course completed taught in Sanskrit medium), Ph.D. in Sanskrit Studies with special reference to Vedanta, Vyakarana (Grammar), Ph.D. in Philosophy and Bengali, etc.
(4) Fundamental Science Education and Research, through ‘School of Mathematical Sciences’ with the following Departments:
- Department of Mathematics,
- Department of Computer Science and Applications (including Data Science),
- Department of Physics,
All these Departments are located at the Belur main campus, and at Coimbatore Centre and are running M.Sc., M.Phil., Ph.D. courses/programmes in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science and Applications and Big Data Analytics.
It may be recalled in this connection that it was Swami Vivekananda who inspired Sir Jamshedji Tata to start an Institute in India for fundamental science education and research during their travel together in the same ship to Chicago in 1893. The result of this dialogue between these two great minds and great sons of India is the present ‘Indian Institute of Science’ at Bengaluru, which is the pride of Indian science, a globally acknowledged premier Institute devoted to research and education in fundamental sciences.
(5) Environmental Science and Disaster Management, through ‘School of Environment and Disaster Management’ located at Ramakrishna Mission Centre at Narendrapur, Kolkata, West Bengal, running M.Sc. and Ph.D. programmes in Environment and Disaster Management (with emphasis on climate change and human health issues). This programme is being supported by European Commission in a collaborative venture through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
(6) Medical Biotechnology, Immunology, Microbiology and related fields through ‘School of Biological Sciences’ located at Ramakrishna Mission Centre at Narendrapur, Kolkata, West Bengal, in collaboration with Ramakrishna Mission Sevapratishthan, Kolkata, running M.Sc. and Ph.D. programmes in the above fields.
(E) Special Feature: A harmonious blend of spiritual wisdom of the East and modern scientific and technological knowledge of the West
The vision of the University is, as stated earlier, the actualization of Swami Vivekananda’s educational vision, namely, to impart ‘man-making’ and character-building education to the youths so that they would not be only acquire knowledge and skills, but also become men and women of character, possessed of the qualities of integrity, truthfulness, honesty, purity, selflessness, feeling for the suffering and the underprivileged, etc. Further, Swami Vivekananda wanted the blend of the ancient moral and spiritual wisdom of the East—the humanistic sciences—with the modern scientific and technological knowledge of the West—the natural sciences. The Deemed University is striving to achieve this unique blend by setting up two Schools: The School of Indian Heritage and School of Mathematical Sciences side by side so that scholars well versed in both could be created in a natural way by proximity and continuous exchange of ideas. The University is also trying to seriously explore the realization of Ramakrishna-Vivekananda ideal of Religious Harmony and Peace, as articulated by Swami Vivekananda in his famous two lectures: ‘The Ideal of Universal Religion’ and ‘The Way to the Realization of a Universal Religion’ through an institution for the study of and research into comparative religion and philosophy in its most liberal and widest form, through research programmes and the institution of Vivekananda Chair in Comparative Philosophy and Universal Religion.