Friday, October 31, 2014

Would be finance secretary RP Watal chants Sanskrit verses to explain investments, savings

RP Watal
IT’S only a matter of time that expenditure secretary and 1978 batch IAS of Andhra Pradesh cadre RP Watal will get a new designation – finance secretary, as he is the senior most among all five finance ministry secretaries after Arvind Mayaram’s exit of North Block. As expenditure secretary, Watal does not give any television interview, but on Tuesday, his articulation and oratory skill came to the fore when he chanted a…
verse in Sanskrit language before explaining it to the audience what did that mean. The verse implies that knowledge and wealth can only be acquired gradually by investing time and sustained savings, respectively.
“If one does not invest time, knowledge cannot be acquired and unless one saves, wealth cannot be built. Not surprising, it is common place in India to set aside a sum as first charge from the income for saving for future generations and educating them,” Watal said while addressing Cross Regional International Conference organized by ministry of finance and World Savings Bank Institute.
In fact, most Indian bureaucrats and for that matter most Indians have deserted Sanskrit language despite it being the oldest and the most revered language. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages in India.
Among bureaucrats, 1980 batch IAS Kapil Dev Tripathi who currently has duel charge of Central Vigilance Commissioner and secretary in department of public enterprises (DPE), is proficient in Sanskrit. Also, PMO secretary R Ramanujam knows Sanskrit well. Ramanujam was a joint secretary in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s PMO as well.
The government of India promotes Sanskrit language through New Delhi-based Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan (RSKS) and Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth,  Tirupati-based Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth and Ujjain –based Maharshi Sandipani Rashtriya Veda Vidya Pratishthan (MSRVVP). Also, there are 1,057 Sanskrit colleges or centres affiliated to different Sanskrit Universities being funded by University Grants Commission (UGC), according to information provided in Lok Sabha two years ago. UGC provides funds for teaching and research in Sanskrit.

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