Dr. habil. Narahari Rao

Main themes of Research: Forms of knowledge, Conceptions of Culture, and the question, ‘how to investigate traditions as knowledge inherited from the past?

Dr. habil. Narahari Rao is also the founder of the Sri Vagdevi Vidyaa Pratisthana or Vagdevi Educational Trust, a trust to support research on cultural and educational issues in India.

Born in 1946 in Mangalore, India, he had his Graduation in 1968 in Chemistry and Botany from the Karnataka University, Dharwar and obtained his Masters-degree (with distinction) in Philosophy in 1971 from the University of Mysore. There, he was also awarded a Government of India UGC Research Fellowship for doctoral studies. From 1974 to 1977 he taught philosophy at the University of Bangalore, and later also worked for literacy programs and issues concerning rural development under the auspices of “Centre for Informal Education and Development Studies (CIEDS)”, an institution of which he was also one of the founding members. (This institution exists today under the name ‘Society for Informal Education and Development Studies’, shortened as the ‘SIEDS’).

He came to Europe in 1979, first to Paris and then to Saarbrücken in Germany. In 1991 he obtained his doctorate in Philosophy (with distinction, ‘summa cum laude’), and did the habilitation (a post-doctoral degree specific to Universities in Central Europe) in 1997, both at the Universität des Saarlandes, Germany. He worked as Privatdozent (Adj. Professor) at the Universität des Saarlandes, participating as teacher in two DFG supported Interdisciplinary Graduierten Kolleges (the Research groups), one on Intercultural communication and another on Cognitive science. During this period he was also a regular participant in the activities of Archives H.Poincare`, Universite de Lorraine, Nancy, France. Later he worked for a semester each as a Visiting Professor at two universities, Kanpur (Indian Institute of Technology) and Lille (France).

The Vagdevi Educational Trust, established and founded in Mangalore (India) by Dr. Rao supports educational research, focusing on how Indian traditions have their presence in the day today activities involving both skills and attitudes towards the nature and environment. The Trust attempts to embody a general approach conceived by Mr. Rao in 1999, which seeks to renew, revise, as also further the Humboldt model of education (initiated in the 19th century Prussia or Germany) as a means of all round development at both individual and social levels.




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