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7th ICHVE: Education for Holistic Human Health
Celebrating 50 years of Bhutan – India friendship

Today at the Faculty of Traditional Medicine, Kawajangsa, Thimphu, the 7th International Conference on Human Value Education (ICHVE) with the theme: Education for Holistic Human Health is being inaugurated by Her Majesty Gyalyum Tshering Pem Wangchuck. The inaugural ceremony is attended by Their Royal Highnesses, Ashi Chimi Yangzom Wangchuck and Ashi Kesang Choden Wangchuck, Lyonpo Tandin Wangchuk, Minister for Health, foreign dignitaries, senior officials and 150 delegates, including Chancellors, Vice Chancellors and senior academicians from 5 countries in the region (Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, India and Bhutan).

This is the second time that this conference is being held in Bhutan. The 4th conference was held at Gaeddu College of Business Studies in 2015.

This 7th conference is focused on the theme “Education for Holistic Human Health”, which covers all aspects of human health, including mental health (health of the self), physical health (health of the body) as well as the health of the environment (family, society and nature), which play an important role in human health. It provides a holistic perspective on human purpose and outlines a society in which the human purpose is fulfilled. A health system for all is a part of such a society – a system for preservation of health as well as one that deals with disease and accidents. It also enables us to approach the major issues being faced by the medical system today, while duly appreciating the many advances in medicine.

The Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan is hosting the conference in collaboration with Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) and 6 Indian universities. The six Indian universities are:

  1. Adesh University, Bathinda (medical university) – VC, Dr. GPI Singh and Registrar, Col. Jagdev Singh and team
  2. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University, Lucknow – VC, Prof. Vinay Pathak and his team
  3. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT (BHU)), Varanasi – Director, Prof. Rajeev Sangal and his team.
  4. International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Hyderabad – Registrar, Prof. Ramancharla
  5. Atmiya Group of Institutions, Rajkot (technical, science and management university)
  6. IK Gujral Punjab Technical University, Kapurthala.

The International Conference on Human Values in Higher Education (ICHVHE) is an annual conference for education policy makers, chancellors, vice chancellors/di­rectors, other key decision makers in edu­cation, and people committed to value based education.

The conference is aimed at developing a shared vision of holistic, human education or education for the wellbeing of all. While the initial scope is SAARC nations, the effort is ultimately for human education globally; and through human education, the emergence of a human society, in which the wellbeing of all is realized generation after generation.

The first ICHVHE was conducted in 2012 at IIIT, Hyderabad and has been conducted regularly ever since.

Only after understanding fundamental human values can s/he be in harmony within, and participate meaningfully with other human beings (in family and society) as well as with the rest of nature (the environment, of which s/he is an integral part).

Without the understanding and inculcation of basic human values, human beings tend to be in disharmony within themselves, they tend to be unable to fulfil relationships – with other human beings and also with the rest of nature.  We are witnessing the results of these lacunae in the form of problems at different levels of human existence like obesity, depression, suicide, terrorism, war, global warming and climate change.

Education, if it has to be fulfilling for human being, has to be based on fundamental human values, without any content contradictory to the basic human values. It has to be in the form of proposals that the student can explore on their own right, verify the values within – to be able to see that living with these values leads to their own happiness – in this way, they can understand, accept fundamental values naturally and live up to them, without external enforcement.

The purpose of the conference is:

  • To develop the guidelines, content and process (methodology) for imparting universal human values in higher education, particularly in health education
  • To share existing practices & experiences in imparting universal human values in higher education,
  • To discuss how further efforts can be made for implementing universal human values in higher education

The delegates will participate in the inclusive speaker-led discussions, panel discussions and sharing sessions about the core aspects of universal human values and holistic human health.

What is shared at the conference is based on actual experience. i.e effort being shared has been tried in education concretely and not just based on theoretical arguments alone. We are focusing on approaches that have been “experimented on a large scale” and proliferating, from one institution to another, in a natural manner.

The content of education is expected to be:

Logical: Possible to discuss and ask questions;
Verifiable: Can be verified in one’s experience; non-mystical; not a set of do’s & don’ts;
Universal: Applicable to all individuals, for all time, for all places;
Humane: Good for people and the planet;
Scope: Encompassing all aspects of life.

From this conference, we expect specific recommendations and guidelines to develop education for the wellbeing of all, particularly in the area of health.

Dr K P Tshering
26th April 2018


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