IIT Kharagpur inaugurated the Academy of Classical and Folk Arts on Tuesdays . A first in the IIT system, the Academy aims to nurture the creative talents of the IIT Kharagpur community through an immersion in music and fine arts.
The Academy will offer regular training on music, fine arts and other performing arts, and run micro-credit courses for students. Its global outreach programs, that will include MOOCs courses and live classes, will create opportunities for a wider dissemination of the creative liberty at the heart of Indian classical music. The Academy will also pursue collaborative research in science and technology interventions in Indian classical music and other art forms that will not only help preserve India’s rich heritage but also create new teaching-learning resources.
“The spirit of creativity, collaboration and collective well-being is ingrained in the teaching-learning of our traditional performing and creative art forms. Inspiring the present generation to learn creative arts will enable them to develop the faculties of concentration, coordination, confidence and creativity, which are catalysts for scientific excellence,” said Prof. Pallab Dasgupta, Professor-in-Charge of the Academy and Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering.
The Academy is working in close collaboration with Padma Bhushan Pt. Ajoy Chakrabarty, Distinguished Professor and Mentor, who will grace the inauguration and conduct a unique workshop called “Sur-o-Srishti: The Science and Philosophy of making Indian Music” connecting the principles of learning music and rhythm with that of cultivating scientific innovation abilities.
“India will reach the pinnacle of scientific and engineering eminence if the spirit of innovation is inculcated in the young minds,” said Pt. Chakrabarty. “The modern style of learning music, which I have been professing over the years with remarkable effect, is designed to inculcate the traits of experimentation and innovation in young minds, rather than blind imitation which has become prevalent not only in music but in most other forms of learning. There is no better place to bring about this change in the mindset than a top seat of learning like IIT Kharagpur.”
Pt. Chakrabarty is heading the ‘100 Ragas Initiative’ of the Academy. The initiative intends to formulate the deep structure of Indian ragas as semi-lexical languages by forging a c onnection of the creative arts with the cognitive sciences.
“It is essential for an institute of national importance to focus on the holistic development of its students, staff and faculty. The Academy of Classical and Folk Arts is the first of its kind at IIT Kharagpur. This and other forthcoming academies such as the Academy of Leadership are designed to expand the mind set of our students from narrow individual academic competitors to versatile and creative social beings with the flair and confidence of excelling in innovation and technology leadership. We are privileged to have an eminent musician in the form of Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty by our side as a Distinguished professor and mentor of this academy. With him by our side, we are happy to officially launch the academy,” said Prof. V K Tewari, Director, IIT Kharagpur.
“The activities of the academy will bring new colors into the life of the IIT Kharagpur community. We launch the Academy on the auspicious occasion of the Foundation Day, and look forward to exciting events from the academy. We are very happy that Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty has very kindly agreed to deliver a lecture demonstration on a very apt topic, where he will explain why learning music can help in developing the necessary traits for scientific innovation,” said Prof. S K Bhattacharyya, Deputy Director.
The Academy is closely supported by IIT Kharagpur’s distinguished alumni, including Mr. Arjun Malhotra, Dr. Kiran Seth, members of the IIT Kharagpur Foundation, USA, and more recently Mr. Mukund Padmanabhan. Talking about the Academy’s vision, Mr. Malhotra said, “In today’s world innovation is driven by individuals or teams who have access to both the left side and right side of their brains.”
Over the years IIT Kharagpur, besides producing great engineers and Managers has produced a number of outstanding individuals who have excelled in the arts and the humanities – people like Kiran Seth of SPIC-MACAY, Harish Hande and many others. There are many more who, if they had the right stimulation when at IIT Kharagpur, would probably have gone and done much better in what they have achieved. By having an academy of music and arts in the Institute we not only archive and save our cultural heritage, but enable those young minds to look at issues in a more holistic way and hopefully, provide better answers and solutions to our problems.”
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