FLAME University’s flagship event, the Discover India Program (DIP) 2015-16 was held on March 18th and 19th, 2016. Under the aegis of DIP, FLAME’s undergraduate students travel to different destinations around India exploring the rich traditions and socio-cultural heritage of our country. Students involve in intensive fieldwork, interview practitioners and people involved in the arts, crafts and cultural activities, and collect data and audio-visual information regarding their topic in focus. Following a systematic course work comprising of methods/techniques and teaching-learning process necessary for research and documentation, ways of analyzing and interpreting primary and secondary data and articulating their learning in a creative manner, the students make a Report, an Exhibit and a Presentation.
After many months of engagement with tools and techniques necessary to undertake such a study – researching the topic from secondary sources, and armed with some added skills gained through recently initiated methods and techniques of observation and analysis – collecting data in field and analyzing that data once back, these students put together their learning’s in their reports, exhibition and presentations to compete for the trophy. The Trophy – chance to travel beyond Indian borders to study another culture in another country.
In 2015-16 ten groups of students traveled to destinations around India, exploring different traditions, local arts, crafts and heritage. Our DIP 2015-16 groups studied: The Kalbelias of Rajasthan, The Kuttiyattam dance performance of Kerala, The Siddi Tribe of Gujarat, The Bauls of Bengal, Theyyam ritualistic performance of Kerala, Ratha making tradition of Karnataka, Boat making tradition of Mandvi in Gujarat, The Shani Shingnapur shrine of Maharashtra, Phulkari embroidery of Punjab and The Qawwali of Nizzamudin Aulia in Delhi.
After meeting people, interacting with practitioners and experts and bringing together their experiences, as is usual practice, they submitted their Group Reports, which were assessed by an internal jury comprising of the DIP Committee Members. Their Group Exhibits and Group Presentations were assessed by an invited three member external jury as per predefined criteria. This year our external Jury was Prof. Archana Shastri, Mr. Makarand Sathe and Dr. Skye Morrison, who had a tough time assessing the fabulous presentations and exhibits put together by our students.
A proud moment for FLAME, the students and their parents, the DIP Finale brought all exhibits together under one roof inside the Multi-Purpose Hall. The exhibition remained open to public for an extra day and was much-visited venue for the parents and their guests while the group presentations were made in front of a large gathering of invited guests and parents in the Kalidas Hall.
We are proud to say that this year, the DIP 2015-16 Trophy went to the group that went to Delhi to study Nizami Qawwali, their report and presentations were titled “The Echoes of Nizami Qawwali”. The group unanimously walked away with the Best Report Award and the Best Exhibition Award. The Best Presentation Award was won by the group that studied “The Siddis of Gujarat – Africans Lost in Transition” for their simple, eloquent and engaging presentation.