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The Academy of Classical and Folk Arts aims to nurture the innovation skills of the unique talent pool at IIT Kharagpur through India's rich milieu of creative arts. It aims to provide a platform for the IIT Kharagpur community to teach and learn various music and creative art forms, explore the scientific and cognitive principles of learning art forms, and translate these principles into a unique pedagogy for learning science and technology. The teaching learning processes of our traditional arts forms are rooted in innovation, which enables for example, a sitarist to render a raga in her own way without adherence to any preset notation. Such abilities, when cultivated over time, develops concentration and confidence, advanced left-brain right-brain coordination, and superior innovation skills, all of which are recipes for excellence in scientific creativity.
The objective goals of the academy consist of education, outreach, heritage preservation, research and innovation. The education offerings include regular training on music and fine arts, periodic workshops and thematic sessions, and micro-credit courses connecting science and heritage. The outreach activities aim to touch participants all across the world through MOOCS courses and live classes, with the goal of exposing them to the unique creative liberty and deep scientific foundations of Indian Classical Music.
The Academy aims to work with experts on digital humanities across the globe with the aim of preserving unique artifacts of our heritage. In our 100 ragas mission led by Pt Ajoy Chakraborty, we aim to formulate the deep structure of Indian ragas as semi-lexical languages and archive the deep structure of 100 popular ragas. Finally the cornerstone of the Academy is research and innovation to reinvigorate the practice of Classical and Folk Arts through scientific innovations, ranging from manufacturing of instruments to developing a modern pedagogy of teaching-learning.
Creativity is at the heart of scientific innovation, yet the atmosphere of rigorous competition prevalent in our education system curbs creativity and overemphasizes curricular performance. Unfortunately this is creating a generation which is less confident in thinking out of the box, afraid of taking risks in the pursuit of innovation, and trained to prioritize competition over collaboration. 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.
The academy offers exciting areas of research. The next wave of scientific innovation will transform humanities. AI and Machine Learning technologies are being tuned to behave humanely. These frontiers are beginning to reach creative arts and offer unique user experiences. The connections between creative arts with cognitive sciences promises to transform our mental well-being in innovative ways.
In spite of our rich heritage in classical and folk arts, we have as a nation ignored its potential when explored through the lens of science and technology. The Academy, which is a unique new entity in our IIT system offers a platform for all to participate -- students, faculty, staff across departments, campus community. We also aim to reach out to educate the world about the creative liberty in Indian forms of music and art. IIT Kharagpur thanks its alumni for supporting this unique initiative.