Modern societies see themselves as Knowledge Societies and Knowledge Economies, having gone beyond the Industrial age, with Knowledge being seen as the prime driver and resource for human development and progress. India too rightfully aspires to belong here, especially as we have had reasonably unbroken traditions of creating and sustaining Knowledge in various spheres, going back to many thousands of years. The problem however, especially in our context, arises when the term Knowledge is used to imply only that which has been validated through the “scientific method”, and captured digitally into the Net and the Web. Even where it is granted that cultures and civilizations need (and do possess) so much more than the knowledge validated through the modern scientific method, such as what exists in arts, aesthetics, artisanship, spirituality etc., the knowledge in these domains are considered vastly inferior to the scientific knowledge – very often as not being valid knowledge at all.
Theme-4 of the Conference would attempt to bring out the notion and nature of the knowledge embodied in the arts by raising questions such as