HYDERABAD: The HK Sherwani Centre for Deccan Studies at the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) recently introduced a new initiative to promote heritage education and preserve the heritage structures in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
‘Deccan Heritage Club’, a new project by MANUU, will soon be open for university’s post-graduate students of the school of arts and social sciences such as departments of history, public administration, political science, economics, sociology, social work, Islamic studies and women studies.
As part of heritage education, the club will engage the students in several activities like field trips to monuments and archaeological sites, heritage walks in historical areas, adopting a local monument and finding out its local official and oral history. The Centre will also conduct sketching competitions for students at heritage sites and workshops with experts.
Faculty at the Centre for Deccan Studies stated that the concept of heritage education has received good response across the country in both the primary and secondary education. Being located in Deccan area, which has a great history, MANUU officials though it was the right time to launch a heritage club in Hyderabad.
Heritage education is hardly taught in any state boards or universities in India. However, some of the state governments are taking the initiative to promote it both in the school and higher education. Nagaland government has already made heritage study compulsory in schools.
In a major development towards encouraging heritage education, the University Grants Commission (UGC) recently launched a scheme to grant special heritage status to colleges. Around 19 colleges from across the country were identified to receive special grants for conservation and preservation of heritage buildings, rare books, maintaining heritage and art galleries. Around `25 crore were granted to these 19 colleges. However, none of the colleges from AP or Telangana could make it to the list.
Prof Salma Farooqui, director, HK Sherwani Centre for Deccan Studies, MANUU, urged all universities to set up innovation clubs to inspire and enable students enjoy and experience alternative education.