UNITED KINGDOM, October 4, 2012 (Daily Mail): Cao Yan, a 36-year-old teacher from China, came to India last year on a mission to decode ancient Buddhist literature. Cao Yan picked up Sanskrit in the year-long training he received under retired professor Pushpa Dikhshit, an eminent Sanskrit scholar based in Chhattisgarh. Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan has 33,668 students enrolled in its centre for a non-formal certificate program.
Cao is not the only one interested in learning the "forgotten language." Professionals are learning Sanskrit to read ancient texts and use the knowledge in their current profession. 'I teach Buddhist philosophy (in China). A lot of Buddhist scriptures were originally written in Sanskrit. So it was necessary for me to learn Sanskrit to be able to research and teach other students in this field,' Cao, who teaches at Wuhan University in China, said.
Nearer home, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan is witnessing a turnaround in its fortunes. Established in 1972 by the ministry of human resource development, it's a deemed university with 11 campuses across the country. Nearly 750 students enrolled in its distance mode this year, which is up from about 300 students in its debut year in 2010 "We have engineers, teachers, businessmen and even farmers learning Sanskrit these days. They have perhaps realized that matter related to their work and life is available in Sanskrit books," Ratnamohan Jha, national coordinator of non-formal Sanskrit education, said. Increased awareness about Vaastu Shastra, Yoga and Ayurveda has also added to the relevance of Sanskrit.