A two-day international conference on “Rethinking Education of Religions in the Modern World-Prospects and Challenges,” organised by the Department of Religious Studies, Central University of Kashmir (CUK) began at EMMRC Auditorium, University of Kashmir here on Tuesday.
The conference is being held in association with Delhi based Institute of Objective Studies (IOS).
Speaking on the occasion, KU Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Talat Ahmad described the conference as important for the present situation in the world as a whole where modern education has its advantages and disadvantages.
He said the religious education lacks the modern day requirements. “We have to have a balance so that we should not be going to the extremes in any way,” he said, adding the modern education is more materialistic and less value oriented. “Religious education gives peace to the soul.”
He said, “In Madrassas, we have to impart modern education to the children in addition to religious teaching. These children should be taught Computers, English and other relevant subjects so that they become more practical and get their due in the society.” In the keynote address, Dr. Mahmood Chandia, in his presentation said, that in the 21st century, “each one of us is being challenged due to technological advancements and the theme of the conference is very relevant in contemporary times as the people are writing about it.”
“The conference issue is on the global radar and the subject to be written about,” he said. He said the world is changing and people should be ready to learn, unlearn and relearn.
Dr. Mahmood Chandia said that “if we don’t understand the change, we cannot put together relevant teaching programmes. Whether it is university, seminary, theological school of particular faith, if we don’t understand our age its challenges and relevance of knowledge, the educational institutions would struggle to prepare their programmes,” he added.
Addressing the participants, Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam, who was the Chief Guest said, the IOS is a non-profitable voluntary, apolitical organization whose primary concern is to conduct conceptual and epistemological research, action research field research.
He said, “We invite experts to conduct research and surveys, adding that we are more concerned about the marginalized sections of the society.” He said “We have a vibrant publication and translation division,” adding that nowadays “we are concentrating on an important area which is carving out models of development for future generations of the country including regions, sections of society, particularly professional groups.”
He added that IOS is also organizing national and international conferences like this one.
Two books were also release on the occasion. Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Dr. Nazir Ahmad Zargar conducted the programme proceedings while as Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, proposed the vote of thanks.