Seminar on Traditional Knowledge

Seminar on Traditional Knowledge Systems
Summer 2002
Almora, India

Lok Vigyan Kendra, Ashirvad, Pokharkhali, Almora 263601
Phones: 91(0)5962-33868/31221/34202/33853/33190.

March 5, 2002

Dear Colleague

“Traditional knowledge or local knowledge” is a record of human achievement in comprehending the complexities of life and survival in often unfriendly environment. Traditional knowledge, which may he technical, social, organisational, or cultural was obtained as part of the great human experiment of survival and development.” Traditional Knowledge Systems have been a target of attack from the West. Now they find it profitable to exploit our Traditional Knowledge Systems for their commercial ends. But in the past, out of its intellectual arrogance, as also to preserve its colonial economic interests, the West either uprooted or undermined the local traditional science, technology of the colonies. Western science created hegemonic categories of science/ magic, technology/ superstitions etc., which were both arbitrary and contrived.

In view of its importance to Uttaranchal in particular, and the nation in general, Lok Vigyan Kendra (the research wing of Bratpalji Evam Pannalalji Smriti Nyas) and INHERE (Institute of Himalayan Environmental Research and Education) propose to hold a Seminar on Traditional Knowledge Systems in the summer of 2002 for 3 days at Almora. You are requested to send the title of your paper as soon as possible and abstract by the 25th March 2002. As we would be circulating the abstracts, may we request you to adhere to the deadlines and also to send a brief bio-data and a list of your publications. The language of the seminar would be English to facilitate discussions with non-Hindi speaking delegates.

The Infinity Foundation, Princeton, which supports a variety of projects related to India’s contributions to world science and culture, has kindly agreed to sponsor it.

Each speaker would be given 15 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes for discussion. Scholars with institutional affiliation are requested to claim TA from their own institutions. Due to the funding regulations, we would be able to pay for travel expenses and local hospitality only to those delegates who bring their full papers in press-worthy form. The format of the paper would be intimated to the delegates who send titles of their papers.

Topics to be covered:

Though the focus would be on Uttaranchal, the Traditional Knowledge Systems as a discipline would be situated in a wider context.

1) Traditional technologies of Uttaranchal in hydraulics, iron and copper metallurgy, reed crafts, woodcraft, architecture, civil engineering, herbal medicine, other traditional therapies, forest and ecology management, use of minerals, traditional veterinary treatments, medicinal benefits of jagar etc.
2) Relationship of Traditional Knowledge Systems and modern western science.
3) Measures to preserve and use traditional knowledge.
4) Revival of traditional technologies for the rural uplift.
5) Dissemination and education of Traditional Knowledge Systems.

Your participation would enrich the discussions on this crucial theme, so please do send your title soon.


Manikant Shah, Convener
Organising Committee

Prof. D. P. Agrawal, Chairman
Sri Bharat Singh Bisht, Co-chairman
Prof. Shekhar Pathak
Dr. Diva Bhatt
Sri Subhash Agrawal
Dr. Nirmal Joshi
Dr. P.C. Pande
Sri Shirish Pande
Sri Manikant Shah, Convener
Sr. Lalit Tiwari, Local Secretary