India with its multicultural diversity and civilisational legacy, is the repository of Traditional Knowledge (TK) Systems. Through centuries, communities in India have developed a body of knowledge that is unique. The sustenance and transmission of the knowledge has largely been informal. It has been transmitted mostly through oral traditions by a large body of lay persons and also by a huge corpus of scholars and seers.
The existence and application of TK is seen in domains as varied as performing arts, fine arts and craft, textiles, health science and practices, museology, metallurgy, agriculture, horticulture, forestry and veterinary practices, natural resource management, environmental protection, architecture and housing, and customary law. In spite of its wide spread prevalence and utility, not enough attention has been paid to TK from a policy perspective. This could be due to:
- Lack of research and documentation
- Lack of infrastructure and means to combine the insights offered by TK
- The status and worth of TK specialists remains unrecognized, thereby putting them in a position of distinct disadvantage as compared to modern knowledge educators
- Adoption of a segmented approach towards research and data collection with regards to TK
Realising the need for strengthening the Mission of National Knowledge Commission for TK, the Centre for Traditional Knowledge Systems (CTKS) was established IGNOU in its 106th Board of Management vide Notification No. IG/Admn(G)/Not.2010/20 dated December 23, 2010 at the IGNOU headquarters, New Delhi.