Some time back I had read about one Pune teenager winning Philosophy Olympiad. My curiosity had aroused, due to my general interest in philosophy as subject. Me researching more into this topic was preceded by others topics at hand, until I recently heard about it again on radio. This time I wanted to make sure I understand about it and also write here.
The radio interviewed the winner Abhijeet Dedhe who outlined the process for this Olympiad and how he got into this etc. I had heard about science, languages related olympiads (both India level and as well international), but had never heard of philosophy related). This is open for students studying Std 9 till Std 12. During the years when my interest in philosophy was at its peak, I had learnt about the fact that it is available as one of the optional subjects at Std 11 and 12 level in Maharashtra, for Arts(humanities) stream, having prescribed books as well published. But I was surprised to know that in western countries, this is mandatory subject(along with music) to since very early years in the school. Abhijeet finely narrated the need of philosophy to better thinking process which is very essential in any field.
There is no second question on the significance of Philosophy as a field and now as a tool which can be applied to any other field also. This subject was in vogue, in India, until 30-40 years back, at the university level. It lost its sheen, like few other humanities subjects such as Sanskrit, because other job-oriented streams took precedence, in the grind of industrialization. For a layman like, it was interesting exposure, to comparatively study Indian philosophical systems(called darshan in Sanskrit) against western philosophical systems. This lead to fascinating realization on something called Nyaya Darshan(aka Indian Logic) about which I have written already here.
Events such as International Philosophy Olympiad certainly would encourage to study it early enough to equip new generation on critical thinking. Mumbai based Abhinav college has taken a lead in conducting training for aspiring students in India, and conducting Indian version of Philosophy Olympiad. The winners of this are enrolled for International version and further coached for that. For more info on this, please refer to their Facebook page also.
So please go ahead, share and spread the word about this unique and hugely useful event.